Pitchside: Ramsgate battle through the storm

Rams v Bridges Photo John Emmins

By pitchside reporter Andy Mason

Photos and video by John Emmins

Three Bridges  0         Ramsgate  2

                                       Joe Taylor (40)

                                      Craig Stone (44)

A wet and windy Jubilee Stadium, as the wind blast straight down the pitch towards the Town end of the ground.  Bridges must have won the coin toss as the teams change ends so that Rams have the wind at their backs.

Rams playing in white and Bridges in their gold and black. A lively start with the ball zipping off the wet surface.

Five minutes in and no real action just a midfield battle as the teams test each other. Bridges just slightly edging the early play, having gone behind the Rams defence a couple of times but losing control in the blustery conditions.

The pitch looks fine for the most part however small areas in the goal mouths and just outside the penalty area are cutting up a little.

Eleventh minute, first save of the game as Ibrahim Jalloh goes down the right at pace beating Jack Parter, he cuts into a shooting position and fires a skidding shot toward Tom Hadler’s goal. Hadler is down quick, getting his body behind the ball and holds on.

Thirteenth minute, a mix up in the heart of the Rams defence as two players go for the same ball. Noel Leighton unmarked and clear on goal, quick reaction from Mike West, saves the day with a timely challenge and clearance.

Sixteenth, Rams go down the right as Benny Bioletti slots a ball inside for Jack A Paxman.  He takes the shot, deflected for a corner, the first of the game. Alfie Paxman over on the right to take it, uses the wind, forcing keeper Leo Anderson to tip over for another Rams corner from the right.

Bioletti and Jack A Paxman are seeing a lot of ball down the Rams right as Rams ply their trade, moving the ball quickly and using the surface to their advantage. They have tried a few long balls and that certainly does not work in these conditions.

Twenty second, Bridges steal the ball just in their own half, quickly moving it forward to Jalloh, he plays a perfect ball splitting the Rams defence and allowing Kevin Rivera to go through on goal, his effort lacking composure as his shot goes wide. Just minutes later Rivera pops up on the left. Again he’s through and shoots wide.

Bridges certainly look very dangerous going forward, excellent pace from both Jalloh and Riveria who have a great understanding of the other’s position.

Approaching the half hour mark, Alfie Paxman now on the right tries an ambitious cross that gets deflected for another Rams corner. Bridges defend this one well, quickly getting the ball forward and in the Rams box, where Leighton twists and turns, he’s just about to shoot but a timely intervention by Dan Johnson this time.

Thirty second, Bridges are growing in confidence and see gaps opening up for them, as Jalloh goes through, shoots forcing Hadler to dive low to save again.

Rams are struggling to get the ball up to talisman Joe Taylor, as Bridges are preventing the ball getting through to him. Thirty fourth, Rams best chance of the game as Jack A Paxman down the right crosses in for Taylor, who must have got a shout as he steps over the ball, allowing it to travel to West to shoot. The ball heading towards the Bridges goal is superbly cleared just in front of the goal line by Billy Irving.

Thirty eighth, as Rams looking a little more in control and seem to have got to grips with the conditions. Bioletti down the left passes back to Bode Anidugbe, he takes a touch to get the ball clear, shoots, blocked for Rams fourth corner. In from the left Anderson forced to punch skims off his glove out for another corner.

A deep corner in from the right headed back across goal by Craig Stone, on to the head of Taylor and from a yard out Bridges are not stopping Taylor from heading home. After all the Rams pressure they must be glad to have an advantage.

Rams continue to push forward knowing that Bridges will have the wind for the second half.  Taylor now fully in the game and receiving the ball from the midfield, out wide left, passes to Alfie Paxman to shoot, deflected again for a corner.

Ball comes across low this time from the corner, Bridges not expecting this approach leave Stone unmarked at the back and he taps home from close range for Rams second.

On another day Bridges could have been three up, but Rams have taken the advantage as they go in the happier at half time.

As the second half begins the wind appears to have dropped a little.  Bridges have an early free kick played into the Rams box by Brannon O’Neill, Hadler aware of the danger judges his leap well and collects.

The game again is back to a midfield battle as Taylor drops back as Rams get men behind the ball, the odd gust of wind still causing problems.

Fifty second, Bioletti down the left still out paces Dan Ferreria, the right back crosses, flicked on as West coming in from the right shoots, blocked by Harvey Woollard.

Bridges are building a little momentum down their right winning consecutive long throws but a push gifts the ball back to Rams, who are knocking It around with swift ground passing.

Bioletti put through after Jack S Paxman wins a ball in midfield.  A weighted pass, this time Ferreria is up to the ask and cleverly defends.

Bridges are by no means out of the game. A fifty seventh minute attack sees an unmarked Leighton going for a diving header, just wide of Hadler’s goal.

The hour mark sees another great run from Bioletti, he really has not stopped up and down the pitch, he plays the ball to Taylor’s feet at the edge of the penalty area. He’s unable to turn as the defender brings him down. Alfie Paxman fires in from the left forcing Anderson to make a good save.

Bridges are still trying down the Rams flanks but the final ball just lacking and the Rams defence are easily able to clear the threat.

Sixty fourth, Bridges win their first corner of the game as Jack A Paxman is forced to put the ball out under pressure. Rams, unlike Bridges, defend and clear the corner.

Seventy third, a Rams free kick in a good position, West and Alfie Paxman over the ball.  West shoots, the ball rebounds out to Alfie Paxman, he instantly strikes toward goal, only an excellent save from Anderson preventing it hitting the back of the net.

Rams make a few changes as Anidugbe is replaced by Lee Martin and Bioletti replaced by Jordan Green.

The changes mean that Alfie Paxman swaps back to the left wing with Green just back from injury on the right.

Eighty fourth, a brilliant ball over the Bridges defence finds Taylor just offside. From the Bridges free kick a ball played into midfield instantly switched to the right where Jalloh is unmarked and in on goal, he’s one on one with Hadler, he shoots and a fantastic save with his feet as Hadler keeps his sheet clean.

Rams make one last change, to waste more time West replaced by Medy Elito.

Just into injury time, a wild shot from Bridges towards Hadler’s goal, he makes a silly TV dive for the ball, the referee deems this to be time wasting and awards the only yellow card of the game.

A well-earned tough win for the Rams against a well organised young Bridges team, who have a lot of pace.

Attendance: 139

RFSA Player of the Match: Benny Bioletti

The Teams:

BRIDGES: 1Leo Anderson, 2Dan Ferreria, 4Harvey Woollard, 7Ibrahim Jalloh, 8Brannon O’Neill, 10Noel Leighton, 12Nabeel Ghannam, 14Kevin Rivera, 16Ridwan Euba, 18Billy Irving, 19Tressor Difika

Subs: 3Elliot Hanslow, 5Sean Agun, 6Bryan Villavicencio, 15Callum Donaghey, 13Naythan Bryson

RAMS: 1Tom Hadler, 3Jack Parter, 5Craig Stone, 6Bode Anidugbe, 7Benny Bioletti, 8Jack A Paxman, 9Joe Taylor, 11Alfie Paxman, 16Jack S Paxman, 17Mike West, 18Dan Johnson

Subs: 4Sinnkaye Christie, 10Jordan Green, 15Lee Martin, 13Archie Simmons, 14Medy Elito

Ramsgate next in Action:

Sat 27 Jan       H         Sheppey United         Isthmian South East   3pm

Sat 3 Feb         A          Hythe Town                 Isthmian South East    3pm

Sat 10 Feb       H         Merstham                   Isthmian South East   3pm

For away travel contact Steve Miller on 07508-364101