Pitchside: A draw for Rams against Millers

Joe Ellul's effort cleared off the line Photo John Emmins

By pitchside reporter Andy Mason

Cray Valley PM  1                    Ramsgate (0) 1

 Matthew Vigor (24)                 Joe Ellul (82)

The sun low in the sky on a very chilly day at the Artic stadium for what should be a spectacle of football with Cray Valley, the Millers, unbeaten in the league this season and Ramsgate on a run of ten wins. I expect these two teams to be in the mix for the title.

The Millers are on the front foot from the off.  Tom Chambers is causing a few issues down the Rams left as he pushes on from the left back position. Rams seem to be struggling in midfield where there appears to be big gaps. This is allowing Cray too much space, they are able to play through balls and break a pace.

We have to wait until almost the tenth minute before there’s a shot, fired way over Tom Hadler’s crossbar.

Photo John Emmins

Rams finally launch an attack seventeen minutes into the match, a shot fired in and the first save of the day as Millers keeper, Max Ovenden, diving to his left pushes the ball around the post for a Rams corner. A ball into the area by Alfie Paxman, a scramble ensues but Millers manage to clear.

Twenty fourth, a mix up at the back as Jack Parter and Joe Elull seem to miss the ball. Hadler comes out but Matthew Vigor acting really quickly intervenes and hits a brilliant lob over Hadler, the ball hits the back of net, for the opening Millers goal.

Rams really seem to have their minds on other things and are not in the game at all. With the Millers in full control, Rams are hanging on a little.

With the Rams lacking a midfield they are resorting to playing long balls, the issue with this is that Joe Taylor seems to be playing deeper, leaving Jordan Green as a lonely figure upfront.

Millers get the ball in the net again in the thirty seventh only to see the offside flag to cancel it out.

Green receives the ball inside the Millers half and drives at goal only to be brought down just outside the penalty area by Kiki Oshilaja.  A professional foul, he sees a yellow card. Rams unable to make anything from the free kick.

Forty fourth, Millers Kyrell Lisbie comes in off the wing and unchallenged gets a powerful shot away, saved well by Hadler, who has certainly been the busier of the keepers.

Rams have a stoppage time corner, won superbly by Mike West.  Millers clear and are like an express train as they breakout with a four on three advantage. Somehow Rams survive and contain Millers to just the one goal in the first half.

Double substitution for Rams at the start of the second have Bode Anidugbe on for Medy Elito and Alfie Young for Jack Parter. These changes should give Rams a better shape.

Forty ninth, Rams get the ball froward to Taylor in the box, he’s immediately surrounded by four defenders, as Millers keep Taylor bottled up.

Millers have another great opportunity as Lisbie slots a perfect pass to Vigor, his shot forcing another brilliant save by Hadler.

Photo John Emmins

Fifty seventh, Millers attacking again, this time it’s Vigor supplying Lisbie, whose shot is saved again by Hadler, he is really keeping well and saving Rams at the back. Millers continuing to attack at pace.

Jack Paxman gets creative down the right, nutmegs a defender and comes in toward goal, he hits a terrific curler going just past Ovenden’s post.

Sixty first, Taylor receives a ball played through from Anidugbe, he turns too quickly for Oshilaja who scythes him down and is given a second yellow and his marching orders.

Millers react with a couple of changes and replace their dangerous forward line as both Vigor and Lisbie make way for Clement Asiedu and Michael Ademiluyi, to bolster their defence.

Rams with the one-man advantage now come into the match as firstly Alfie Paxman goes just wide, then West goes through, shoots, the ball comes back out to Taylor, shoots and cleared wide the ball back in for Taylor and falling back he fires over the crossbar. Millers riding their luck a little.

Rams continuing to press the advantage and are firing shots in from all angles, shots coming in from Lee Martin, Green, West and Taylor.

Millers are still dangerous on the break. It’s not all one way as they continue to work Hadler forcing another couple of good saves.

Seventy ninth, Rams make their last sub as Tijan Jadama replaces Jack Paxman. He’s straight in the action, earning a corner. The ball in by Alfie Paxman punched away by Ovenden, back into Taylor, he fires across goal, it just needs a touch and there’s Elull to slot home a Rams equaliser.

Rams have an additional seven minutes to try and force a winner with Anidugbe and Green going closest as the Millers hang on for the draw.

Both teams will be happy with the draw, although Rams probably slightly more so as the Artic stadium has not been good to them over the years.

Attendance: 272

RFSA player of the Match: Tom Hadler

The Teams:

CRAY:  1Max Ovenden, 2Barney Williams, 3Thomas Chambers, 4Arthur Lee, 5Mohammed Idris Oshilaya, 7Denzel Gayle, 8Sonny Black, 10Adam Coombes, 12Julien Anau, 16Matthew Vigor, 17Kyrell Lisbie

Subs: 11Michael Ademiluyi, 14Marcel Barrington, 15Calvin Ekpiteta, 18Clement Asiedu, 19Danny Waldren

RAMS: 1Tom Hadler, 3Jack Parter, 4Joe Ellul, 5Craig Stone, 8Jack Paxman, 9Joe Taylor, 10Jordan Green, 11Alfie Paxman, 14Medy Elito, 15Lee Martin, 17Mike West

Subs: 2Alfie Young, 6Bode Anidugbe, 7Benny Bioletti, 19Dan Johnson, 20Tijan Jadama

Ramsgate next in action

04Dec Away AFC Wimbledon Emirates FA cup 7:45

09Dec Away Three Bridges ILSE 3pm

13Dec Home Chichester City 3pm