Read on below to see how Ramsgate overcame Lancing’s second-half pressure to make it four consecutive wins in the South East Isthmian League.
Good afternoon and welcome to Culver Road, Tom Cunningham here to take you through all of the action as relegation battling Lancing host promotion hopefuls Ramsgate in the South East Isthmian League.
On paper, there should only be one winner here, with Ramsgate (fourth) on a three-game winning run. Football is never that easy, however, and Lancing (17th) would love nothing more than to kickstart their season in front of the anticipating supporters.
Last time out, the hosts drew 2-2 against Burgess Hill in a fixture they really should have won, having been against 10 men for stages of the game. Meanwhile, Ramsgate travelled to East Grinstead, winning 2-0.
As we await team news, one thing to make a note of is the output of forward Joshua Ajayi this season. No player has scored more goals in the South East Isthmian League this season than the Ramsgate man, who has 10 to his name. He’s certainly one to keep an eye on…
HERE COME THE PLAYERS:
1’: And they’re off. Ramsgate get us underway here at Culver Road.
5’: five minutes in here, and if you asked a neutral with little knowledge of both sides which teams sits where in the table, they’d likely find the ability to give the correct answer. Ramsgate have been assuredly dominant thus far.
8’: GOAL! 0-1 (ASHLEY MILLER): THERE IT IS. It’s been coming, and just eight minutes in, Ramsgate have their goal. And, it must be said, although Ashley Miller is the man wheeling away in celebration, Joshua Ajayi deserves the majority of the credit. The winger carried the ball from his own half before crossing for the unmarked Miller to head home.
15’: The game has settled into a repetitive tempo here of Ramsgate possession. The visitors seems comfortable just waiting for their opportunity, keeping the ball and almost toying with the hosts in similar fashion to how Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City side mentally and physically drain sides.
22’: CHANCE! It should be two, and doesn’t TJ Jadama know it. The Ramsgate man is in one-on-one against Alieu Secka, and just needs to find the finish. All he can find, however, is an effort straight into the grateful grasp of the Lancing goalkeeper.
27’: This one is similar to that of a boxing match, in a way. And not the all-out-braw style or ferocious knockout style, but a type only the lovers of a pure technical ability can appreciate, where a fighter puts on a real show of class. They could knock their opponent out at any second, but are also aware of the need to prolong the entertainment. That’s exactly what Ramsgate have done in this first-half.
35’: PING! Wow, pick that one out. Callum Emptage has suddenly gone full Steven Gerrard, perhaps even Scouse accent and everything, as he finds Ajayi with a pin-point cross-field pass. The defender will actually be frustrated with the lack of assist received after such a pass.
42’: Not a lot happening here, in truth. It’s been a very professional display from Ramsgate, if not one which lacks a crucial second. Still plenty of time for that, however!
HT: LANCING 0-1 RAMSGATE
And that’s the half. Ramsgate have been dominant, despite only scoring the one goal. They’ve kept the hosts at arm’s length, and it has been the epitome of control. Manager Matt Longhurst will be keen to reiterate the need for a second, though, because a 1-0 lead is NEVER pleasant to preserve.
46’: Back underway here at Culver Road. There’s still time for a turnaround or, at the same time, a chance for the visitors to get their scoring boots on.
51’: GOAL 0-2 (ASHLEY MILLER): That didn’t take long, did it? In fact, Ramsgate and, subsequently, Miller have taken less time to score in the second-half than the eight minutes it took them in the first. Again, it’s a simple tap-in for Miller, who takes advantage of Secka’s inability to keep hold of an original long-range effort and taps the ball into the back of the net for his brace. It could get ugly from here…
56’: Was the second goal some kind of wake-up call for Lancing? All of a sudden, they seem to be gaining momentum, and maintaining attacks. One goal is all they need to really change the tide of this one…
61’: SAVE! Jacob Russel finally has a save to make, and makes easy work of it, tipping a long-range effort round the post for a Lancing corner.
62’: WHAT A SAVE! Test Russel, and he shall pass with flying colours. The goalkeeper saves not once, but TWICE from the corner. The first came from long-range, which forced him to tip into the path of Ismaila Diallo, who saw his strike on the rebound somehow saved. Superb work from the keeper.
68’: Since the double save, things have calmed down slightly, but Ramsgate are still being forced back in numbers in what is a real unexpected twist in this second-half. The game has completely flipped on its head.
75’: Lancing are pushing with all their might, but, with 15 minutes remaining, it looks unlikely to be enough. If they can grab a goal soon, then we’ll be in for a grandstand finish at Culver Road. Ramsgate will be desperate to hold on to make it four wins on the bounce.
82’: HE HAS TO SCORE! Miller should have his hat-trick. Ramsgate break, with little numbers to negotiate around within the home backline, and Miller has all kinds of space with just Secka to beat. Instead of simply finishing, however, the forward attempts a cheeky dink for a fine third. You’ll find better chips in the frozen section of Aldi.
88’: GOAL 1-2 (JAMES RHODES): Hello hello, here we go. Lancing are right back in it with just two minutes of normal time remaining. It’s James Rhodes with the goal, with the ball falling kindly for the Lancing man to scramble home in the area. Could they? Surely not!? Grab your popcorn because this could be the best piece of drama you’ve witnessed all year…
90: We will have four minutes of added time. Four minutes for Lancing to find an equaliser…
90+2: SQUARE IT! Can you tel Ajayi is on course for a Golden Boot? All the Ramsgate man has to do it square the ball on the counter for Miller, who is on a hat-trick. Instead, though, he attempts to go alone and is eventually dispossessed. He’ll be avoiding eye contact with his teammate for the rest of this one…
Man of the Match: Ashley Miller (Ramsgate)
FT: LANCING 1-2 RAMSGATE
Annnnnd breathe! What an ending that was. It wasn’t to be for Lancing, who fought valiantly against a top side in Ramsgate. The visitors’ winning run is now at four games, with promotion an increasingly realistic target. After falling to defeat, Lancing now sit 17th, two points ahead of 18th placed East Grinstead Town. Meanwhile, Ramsgate now sit just three points away from second place Ashford United.
Well that was closer than initially predicted, wasn’t it? As I sign off for the evening, I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s coverage.