By pitchside reporter Andy Mason
Ramsgate 0 Hythe Town 0
Extra time: 94 Osinfolarin 100 Collin (p)
Hythe win 4 – 3 on penalties
A chilly bright evening at the WW Martin Community Stadium as Ramsgate host Hythe Town in a one-off play off semi final to go forward to Friday’s finale.
Both sides coming into the match virtually at full strength, with just one missing from each side, Carlse for the Rams & Achaempong for Hythe. The fans expectant of a footballing spectacle befitting a promotion place.
Hythe get us under way attacking the Town end in the biggest Kent derby for some years, taking time to settle, Aboagye goes on a break down the right but unable to cross.
The game takes a while to come alive. Rams attack 11th minute ball into the box from the left Jadama heads just over the bar, Rams are starting to string a few passes together as they press, putting Hythe on the back foot.
Hythe show a little pushing forward but Rams break as Jadama goes on a run and fires in straight at Phillips in the Hythe goal.
A match that’s taking forever to come alive, in the 29th Rams have a long throw into the box headed wide, Rams looking better of the sides with a 33rd min corner swung in by McIntyre but too deep for Rams stickers.
35th min strike from Paxman hit with some venom from range tipped over by Phillips, for a corner in the best set play Rams have had so far, Ball in from Miller out to Carvalho to have a shot blocked.
41st Liburd put through, opens his body and tries to place the ball in the bottom left corner going inches wide, Rams have looked the more dominant of the sides throughout this half thus far only being troubled by the odd long throw from Smith.
Late free kick for Rams wide right of the box as Jadama making a run is brought down, Emptage comes off for Rams with a hamstring injury replaced by Riley-Snow, Hythe struggle but clear from the free kick, ref indicates 3 mins added.
Rams press forcing Phillips to punch not cleared and out for a corner to Rams played in and cleared as the ref blows for half time 0 – 0.
Hythe are out of the blocks quicker than Rams, an early free kick into the box shooting opportunity for Hythe smashed straight at Lee in the Rams goal for a comfortable save.
52nd Rams break stick a ball up to the back post, Carvalho unable to get enough on the header. 54th a swift turn in the box by Carvalho getting a shot away just wide of Phillips left post.
59th Rams link up play from mid-field down the right wing through to Carvalho who is unceremoniously dumped to the floor for Rams free kick in by McIntyre. Ball cleared out to Paxman to make a run and shot just wide of the right hand post, as Rams take control of the second half.
65th Rams have to defend as they make a sub Osinfolarin on for Carvalho, Rams defend the long throw. 67th Rams free kick into the area, Fitchett & Jadama go for the back post cross the header going wide.
Hythe free kick as Lee goes sliding to save and goes outside the area, free kick in absolute chaos as Rams clear off their line for a corner, shot from the corner wide of Lee’s goal.
71st Trespaderne replaces Hamilton for Hythe, Rams missing second ball but still manage to press through. Jadama & Aboagye press down the right, bodies on the line as both sides press for that promotion final.
Free kick just wide left as Paxman breaks through and is brought down, 79th min free kick from Miller over the top, just as the fans were getting excited.
81st Hythe sub Duah-Kessie replaces Steventon.
Rams push on with Riley-Snow breaking forward, stopped in his tracks following up Aboagye unable to make anything. Ball back to mid-field played forward for Miller wide left, he’s unable to keep the ball in.
85th Rams attack again, ball across the box Miller goes for it, misses, putting off Liburd coming in behind.
88th Hythe break as Caney-Bryan is brought down edge of the box to the right, Collins strikes and hits the outside bottom of the post as Rams breathe a sigh of relief. Hythe have possibly had the better of the second half, especially the last few minutes as the ref indicates an additional 5 mins with Hythe in the ascendancy.
Rams have a golden chance as Liburd swivels in the box, lays it back and Osinfolarin puts over from close range, as we head toward extra time. Rams press with multiple efforts but no serious shot on target. It’s back to the wall stuff now for Hythe as the whistle blows for full-time honours even in a gripping tie.
Extra time, first half Rams attacking the Airport end as we are underway 1st min ball into Liburd who shoots into a diving Phillips arms. 4th and Jadama down the line, crosses into the box, Osinfolarin to slide in between the keeper and defender to score. The Ramsgate massive go mad.
10th min in Hythe awarded a penalty as Lee collects the ball and collides with Duah-Kessie contentious but the ref awards it. Collins steps up hits a good penalty high to Lee’s right.
Rams straight up the other end, Jadama brought down again, a free kick in McIntrye territory. He shoots forcing a wonderful save from Phillips, diving high to his far post out for a corner.
15th of the added first half, Jadama going through is caught from behind, another golden free kick opportunity deflects off the wall for a throw. The ball works through to Osinfolarin, he shoots just outside the box hitting the bar, last action of the first period.
Rams sub Rowland on for Liburd to start the second period. All very cagey now as neither side want to commit in case they lose. All the action in the middle third until Hythe push to gain a corner in the 20th min. Foul in the box, Rams hit a long ball up to Rowland, he’s fouled, free kick in to the box scrambled clear, falls to Paxman to shoot just wide.
Rams build a head of steam with Paxman, Miller & Jadama all having efforts, as Phillips keeps Hythe in the game with numerous saves. McIntyre corner 27th into the area Fitchett gets under it with his header over the bar.
Full time whistle blows we enter into the penalty lottery.
Rams to kick first
Mcintyre scores Ngandu scores
Miller saved Smith scores
Paxman scores Carney-Bryan scores
Riley-Snow scores Duah-Kessie scores
Hythe through on penalties in a dramatic shoot out as Phillips saves two penalties.
RFSA player of the match: Jack Paxman
Ramsgate: 1Patrick Lee, 2Jerald Aboagye, 5Callum Emptage, 10Ashley Miller, 11Gil Carvalho, 12Jack Paxman, 14Rowan Liburd, 16Taofiq Olomowewe, 17Ben Fitchett . 19Jake McIntyre, 20Tijan Jadama
Subs: 4Jamie Coyle, 7Blaise Riley-Snow, 8Theo Osinfolarin, 9Kane Rowland, 13Josh Bexon
Hythe Town: 1Steve Phillips, 2Liam Smith, 3Marcus Goldsmith, 4Jack Steventon , 5Jason Fregene, 6Lex Allan, 7Ethan Smith , 8Marvin Hamilton, 9Johan Caney-Bryan, 10Frannie Collin, 11Shad Ngandu
Subs: 12Josh Stirman, 14Sam Itauma, 15Morgan Williamson, 19Jeff Duah-Kessie, 16Jarred Trespaderne
What a game but not sure Hythe deserved their penalty!