By pitchside reporter Andy Mason
AFC Wimbledon 5 Ramsgate 0
Jake Reevs (9)
Ali Al Hamadi (26,54)
Josh Neufbill (44)
Connor Evans (54)
A rather wet evening at Plough Lane as AFC Wimbledon hosts Ramsgate, with tiers between the two sides in the FA pyramid it would be a miraculous performance from the Rams to obtain a result.
The game under way and you can instantly see the difference between the professional Don’s outfit and the semi-professional Rams.
Rams bring on their own downfall as an error at the back gifts the Don’s an early goal. smartly taken by Jake Reeves firing in across Tom Hadler to give the hosts the lead in just the ninth minute. Not the start that Ben Smith would have wanted.
As Rams try to recover after a poor start, they are leaving gaps and the Don’s with their quick pace are exploiting them with some ease.
Rams hold on well until the twenty sixth minute despite going forward without creating cutting chances. The Don’s go forward, when Ali Al Hamadi bangs in a second, as Rams seem overwrought with the professionalism. The Dons are so quick to the ball and close down everything Rams try to achieve.
Approaching half time Rams mount a wonderful attack and actually look as if they will make a game of it. Alas the chance goes begging. It’s the Dons that take advantage as Rams have committed forward and on the stroke of half time Josh Neufbill scores Dons third. Probably putting the game out of Rams reach.
Second half after a Rams re-group does not go according to plan and they concede a fourth just three minutes into the half with Conor Evans scoring.
Rams Tom Hadler in goal for the Rams has been outstanding throughout the game and you can fully understand him shouting at the players in front of him, as there seems to be a big gulf in quality, with only Lee Martin in the Rams midfield looking like he’s done this before, which he has.
The usual Rams playing style is a little awry as the Dons quality comes through, Rams really struggle to move play up-field, being quickly closed down in every avenue.
Dons press on not allowing Rams to play. They have not made the mistake of underestimating the mighty Rams. The Rams, but for Hadler, could be well out of this game, they are persevering and continue to try and play. They just seem to be trapped in by the quality of the Dons.
The support from the travelling masses from Ramsgate are making so much noise, it’s creating a wonderful atmosphere, however when Al Hamadi gets his second and Dons fifth, his gesture toward the Rams fans does not do him any favours.
Rams efforts certainly showed that they are not far behind the league levels. A few late substitutions for the Rams, allowing a few of the younger members to experience a large game.
The shining light of the substitutions was Jack Paxman coming on and he made a strong impact toward the end of the game and actually created a threat against a well drilled Dons side.
Congratulations to the Dons who were the better side and good luck to them going forward, this dream ends for the Rams but now it’s just the small matter of the league with a big game on Saturday away to Three Bridges who are in the mix for the title.
Ramsgate have to be pleased overall with the performance and the fans were immense, a pity the team didn’t score.
The town has been amazing in their support, hopefully this will continue after the cup exit. Just a step too far at this stage for the Rams.
RFSA player of the match: Tom Hadler
Thank you to all of the RAMS fans that came, I hope you enjoyed yourselves!
Up the RAMS 🐏 pic.twitter.com/DjjD4dEN37
— Mike West (@Mike23West) December 5, 2023
DONS: 12Alex Bass, 2Huseyin Biler , 4Jake Reeves, 6Ryan Johnson, 10Ali Al Hamadi, 11Josh Neufbill, 14Armani Little, , 18Omar Bugiel, 19Connor Evans , 26Jack Currie, 31Joe Lewis
Subs: 1Nik Tzanev, 3Lee Brown, 7James Tilley, 8Harry Pell, 9Josh Davison, 15Alex Pearce, 16James Ball, 29Aron Sasu, 33Isaac Ogundere
RAMS: 1Tom Hadler, 2Alfie Young, 3Jack Parter, 4Joe Ellul, 6Bode Anidugbe, 7Benny Bioletti, 9Joe Taylor, 10Jordan Green, 15Lee Martin, 17Mike West, 20Tijan Jadama
Subs: 5Dan Johnson, 8Jack Paxman, 12Louie Procopi, 14Medy Elito, 16Wes Hennessey, 18Sinnkaye Christie, 19Freddie Oliver, 21Tristan Holden, 23Archie Simmons
Ramsgate next in action
09Dec Away Three Bridges ILSE 3pm
13Dec Home Chichester City 7:45pm
17Dec Away Erith & Belvedere 3pm
Coaches currently available for away games contact Steve Miller on 07508 364101