By pitchside reporter Andy Mason
Ramsgate 5 East Grinstead 0
80, 85, 89 Liburd
A chilly but sunny day at the WW Martin Community stadium Southwood as league leaders took on mid table East Grinstead buoyed by their mid-week victory. Rams had won the reverse of this fixture 1 – 3 back in October but the Wasps were by no means a pushover side.
A minute’s applause took place prior to the kick off to acknowledge the passing of Lord Pendry, club president for a good number of years, and Geoff Bradley, a long standing member of the Rams match day team.
Rams got us under way, attacking the airport end. It was a really bright start from the Rams as they kept Wasps on the back foot. Wasps keeper Pierson looked like he would be in for a busy afternoon after parrying a good low shot from Carvalho going out for an early corner. The keeper punched it away but was not looking to confident. An 8th minute shot from Paxman deflected just wide for another Rams corner, it came over and was knocked away. Paxman picked up the loose ball and took it up to the back post for Carvalho to head home, a perfect start for the Rams getting an early lead.
Rams seemed to settle and relax a little too much and started just knocking the ball around, it seemed a little lacklustre although the majority of the play was in the Wasps half, Rams were not pressing like they did at the start.
20th and Wasps created a golden opportunity as Daniel went through with just Bexon to beat, he shot wide of the far post but it was a real wake up call for the Rams. Indeed it seemed that way as Rams mounted an attack down the right, Carvalho down the line to Aboayge who took the ball right down to the line crossing for Paxman, running in Pierson came out as the players collided and the ref awards a goal kick.
27th and Rams penalty appeal, Carvalho slipped the ball to Aboayge who was in the box. He got a shove from behind, tried to stay up but went down. The ref waved to play on, not the decision the large crowd wanted.
Rams defensive frailties were exposed again when they stopped for an offside decision that was not given, leaving Walsh totally free. He shot wide of Bexon’s goal, Rams could not relax by any means as the job was nowhere near done.
Rams built up another good attack as the ball was played into Carvalho, a coming together with Savane in the box but the ref says it was a 50/50 challenge and plays on. Rams were really pressing coming up to half time with Bamba & Carvalho both having shots going just wide. Another Rams corner and Pierson punched it, dropping perfectly for Paxman to hit a screamer just over the bar, Rams would be happy with a one goal half time lead but needed to improve.
The second half began much the same as the first half ended, with Rams on the attack but unable to finish, Carvalho beating the offside trap. 54th and he was stretching as he shot and the ball ballooned over, Rams showing good intent as the fans got behind them.
Wasps came back into the game and had a good 10 minute spell but created no threat on Bexon’s goal.
60th and Rams make a change, Liburd for Bamba. Would this be the spark they needed? He made an instant impact, slotting a ball through for Jadama who stumbled as he shot and fell, watching the ball from a prostrate position roll just fractions wide.
65th and a game changing moment as Miller was free down the left and iwa poorly tackled by Savane who got red for his troubles, the ref not really having any other choice as Miller’s route towards goal was not covered.
Miller took a 74th minute corner hit low toward the near post, Jadama got in front of his marker and turned the ball in from a tight angle with Pierson falling back unable to prevent the ball crossing the line. Rams were now on top two goals and a man up.
Rams made another change, 77th Rowland for Miller, another magic substitution as Rowland fired in a shot with plenty of power. Pierson was unable to hold on to the ball and Liburd pounced to hit Rams third.
82nd and Rams sub again, Riley-Snow for Olopade, who had a great game in the midfield holding roll.
85th and Liburd struck again from a well played Rams move, 89th he completed a quick fire hattrick with a solo effort from the edge of the box struck with such venom Pierson could not get anywhere near it.
What a finale to a cracking second half and plenty of action for the 1141 in attendance.
Ramsgate: 1Josh Bexon, 2Jerald Aboagye, 4Jamie Coyle, 6Denzelle Olopade, 10Ashley Miller, 11Gil Carvalho, 12Jack Paxman, 16Taofiq Olomowewe, 18Youssouf Bamba, 19Jake McIntyre, 20Tijan Jadama
Subs: 3Jahmal Howlett-Mundle, 5Callum Emptage, 7Blaise Riley-Snow, 9Kane Rowland, 14Rowan Liburd
East Grinstead Town: 1Matte Pierson, 2Junior Savane , 3Thomas Cooney, 4Tom Summerfield, 5Ryan Green, 6Glenn Wilson, 7Matthew Daniel , 8Thibault Abie, 9Max Walsh, 10Matt Astle, 11Tariq Straker
Subs: 12Andrew Briggs, 14Lewis Unwin, 15Omar Folkes, 16Chima Uchechi, 17D’Armando Lawrence
RFSA player of the match: Rowan Liburd
Ramsgate next in action:
14March Home Tonbridge Angels 730pm Kent Senior Cup
18March Away Corinthian 3pm
25March Home Haywards Heath 3pm