Pitchside: Ramsgate still hopeful of promotion via play-offs despite defeat to Bridges

Rams v Bridges Photo John Emmins

By pitchside reporter Andy Mason

 Ramsgate 1                   Three Bridges  2

Joe Taylor (58 pen)     Ibrahim Jalloh (26)

                                         Noel Leighton (30)

On a chilly grey day at the WW Martin Community stadium, we have two teams with guaranteed play-off places. However, to add a little interest to the game Ramsgate could still win the league and gain automatic promotion if they win and Cray Valley were to lose. Three Bridges need to win to retain fourth place and have a better play-off position.

Rams get us underway attacking the airport end, the game very open from the start, Bridges have an early corner, Craig Stone blocks and clears for the Rams.

The match is taking time to find any rhythm as neither side seem keen to get stuck in, although the Bridges do seem to be winning more second ball and are building momentum down the flanks. Rams trying a back three with wing backs again, this does allow space out wide.

Ninth, Joe Taylor has his first opportunity, as he receives the ball to feet just inside the area he quickly turns and shoots, Jasper Sheik in goal easily deals with the effort.

Rams are showing more going forward. Joe Turner gets to the byline, pulls the ball back and crosses for Benni Bioletti, his shot goes wide.

Photo John Emmins

With the end-to-end action Bridges move forward at pace, they get the ball through to Noel Leighton, he tries from range and Tom Hadler makes an excellent save tipping the ball over the crossbar. Bridges are having a good spell, great work down the right sees a cross field ball fired to Nabeel Ghannam, his shot though straight at Hadler for a comfortable save.

Bridges seem to be having a lot of success down the Rams right with Leighton having a couple of good chances blocked and saved. Rams seem to have already resigned their fete to the play-offs as they sit back allowing Bridges to play. Ghannam goes through again, a superb block by Matthew Warren saving for the Rams.

Twenty sixth, a wonderful move for Bridges down the right as Ghannam brakes through a challenge and plays a brilliant cross for Ibrahim Jalloh who’s perfectly timed run sees him un-challenged and he slots home the opening goal.

Rams really are not in the game as Leighton and Jalloh seem to be able to go through at will as the Bridges continue to win the midfield battle and get the ball through to their strike duo.

Only half an hour in and Hadler has most certainly been the busier of the keepers making some excellent saves as Bridges have opportunity after opportunity. Hadler makes another great save from Jalloh putting the ball out for a corner.  The ball fired in low and hard to the near post, Leighton moves swiftly shaking off his marker and flicks the ball into the back of the net giving Bridges a deserved two goal lead.

Rams are struggling in all areas, seemingly thinking more about the games to come rather than this match. The rare chances Rams are having are going high and wide as Taylor, Tijan Jadama and Alfie Paxman all have shots.

Bridges certainly look the more clinical of the sides as we approach half time, another move down the right sees Ghannam take the ball to the byline and cross back for Harvey Woolard, his shot just over the Rams goal.

Rams late out after the break, as Ben Smith must have had a few things to say and sort out. Though whatever was said obviously made no difference as Bridges tear through the Rams defence and Jalloh goes out wide, crosses for Leighton, terrific play by Warren breaks up the attack.

A shining light for the Rams as Jadama is put in by Joe Turner, goes through but fires over not troubling Sheik, who has had little to do. Bioletti seeing more ball on the right and gets a few good crosses in but unable to find a Rams striker.

Rams are looking to press forward a little more and Jadama earns a corner, played short for Medy Elito, he battles his way into the area, goes down under a challenge and the referee awards Rams a penalty.

Joe Taylor, the league’s leading scorer, puts the ball on the spot, blasting straight down the centre of the goal pulling Rams back into the game.

Rams resigned to play-offs, hearing that Cray are in control of their game, make a change, as Joe Taylor is substituted with Jack S Paxman coming on.

Bridges do not seem done as they attack again, a great through ball finds Ghannam in space with Leighton to his inside, he takes the shot with the goal at his mercy, he fires straight at Hadler.

As Rams try to get a grip on the game, a couple of brilliant saves by Sheik keep Bridges in the game.

Rams make a couple more substitutions with the games ahead in mind, Lee Martin and Tijan Jadama replaced by Jack Parter and Jack A Paxman.

As Rams look to go forward Warren loses the ball inside his own half, Bridges quickly play the ball up to Leighton, he opens his body, sets to shoot, beats Hadler only to see the ball rebound off the left hand upright.

Bridges are certainly closing Rams down quickly and stopping them from playing. They make a couple of changes with Ghannam being replaced by Adam Adam, then Jalloh being replaced by Elliot Hanslow and Tressor Difka being replace by Callum Donaghey, obviously with the play-offs in mind.

Rams still struggle to break down the Bridges defence, but they are trying as Bioletti crosses for Alfie Paxman, his glancing header going just wide as Rams try to get back. A second chance as Jack Parter hits a cracking shot forcing a wonderful save for Sheik.

Photo John Emmins

Rams seem to want the game, albeit a little late in the day, a long ball from Hadler across the pitch finds Alfie Paxman on the left, he cuts inside and shoots forcing Sheik into another brilliant save.

Bridges hold on and take the points, keeping fourth place, with Ramsgate second.

We now look forward to Tuesday evening when Ramsgate will host Chichester City in the play-off semi final, a 7.45pm kick off at the WW Martin Community stadium.

Attendance: 1464

RFSA player of the match: Joe Turner

The teams:

RAMS:  1Tom Hadler, 4Alex Brefo, 5Craig Stone, 7Benny Bioletti, 9Joe Taylor, 11Alfie Paxman, 12Matthew Attenborough-Warren, 14Medy Elito, 15Lee Martin, 19Joe Turner, 20Tijan Jadama

Subs: 3Jack Parter, 8Jack A Paxman, 10Jordan Green, 16Jack S Paxman, 18Sinnkaye Christie

BRIDGES: 1Jasper Sheik, 2Dan Ferreria, 4Harvey Woollard, 6Bryan Villavicencio, 7Ibrahim Jalloh, 8Brannon O’Neill, 10Noel Leighton, 12Nabeel Ghannam, 16Ridwan Euba, 18Billy Irving, 19Tressor Difika

Subs: 13Leo Anderson, 3Elliot Hanslow, 9Adam Adam, 15Callum Donaghey, 17James Bendall



  1. The so called greatest Ramsgate team ever, once again bottled winning the league!

    Stick to fudging money from kids and the Rashford Foundation!

  2. Oh no
    You clearly have not idea what your on about .
    Ramsgate haven’t bottled anything
    89 points wins the league every season it’s just cray valley were better with 95 points .
    Let me guess you’re a Margate supporter down in dumps after relegation. Get over it .

  3. Bottled it again tonight hahahahahaha

    Oh I know exactly what I’m on about and nope not a Margate supporter!

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