Please credit article to Stephen McCartney - www.kentishfootball.co.uk
|Go Travel Kent League
|Stephen McCartney reports from Southwood Stadium|
Mo Takaloo 36
|Greenwich Borough||1||Steffan Ball 31|
Rams getting closer
RAMSGATE moved a step closer to securing the Go Travel Kent League crown after beating Greenwich Borough at Southwood Stadium.
They are now six points clear of second placed Herne Bay, who lost 6-2 to Sporting Bengal United at Winch's Field, with striker Daniel Gabriel netting three penalties in a four goal salvo.
The prolific strike partnership of Shaun Welford and Mo Takaloo scored the goals for the Rams but they should have been behind after eight minutes of this game.
Ben Rayner floated in a free kick from the right hand side, just a couple of yards from the penalty area, and Warren Schulz flicked a header into the far corner of his own net. However, the flag was raised for offside, which angered Greenwich boss John Kasapi.
"I felt very disappointed at 0-0 when they scored an own goal," he said. "Somehow someone at the far post was given offside, but he's nowhere near the ball and he's not interfering."
However, this scare was what the home side needed, as they created many chances in a good early spell.
Welford launched a long throw into the Greenwich penalty area, which was flicked on by Ollie Schulz and Ed Vahid was denied on the far post by a fine goal-line clearance by Borough skipper Lee Coburn.
Ollie Schulz then flashed a header agonisingly wide of the post following another rocket propelled throw from the former Dover Athletic striker.
Another chance came the Rams' way when Mo Takaloo nipped in front of Terry Trevillion to head Ed Vahid's cross into the grateful arms of visiting goalkeeper Michael Holder.
However, it was no surprise when Ramsgate took a 24th minute lead. Manager Jim Ward praised: "The first goal was as good a goal we've seen up here all year." Correct Jim!
Ollie Schulz played a quick ball from the middle of the park to Shane Suter on the left flank and his superb cross picked out Welford, who guided the header into the far corner of the Borough net.
It was that simple!
Greenwich, however, responded quickly and were on level terms seven minutes later. Nippy left winger, Lindsey Thomas, who played for VCD Athletic earlier in the season, burst into the Ramsgate penalty area and as Danny Twyman came rushing off his line he squared the ball to former Bromley striker Steffan Ball and he rifled the ball into the roof of an empty net from six yards.
Five minutes later Ramsgate scored what turned out to be the winning goal. Welford launched another rocket into the Borough box, Ollie Schulz flicked it on, which was headed out by Borough defender Richard Radbourne. Warren Schulz, however, played the ball into the penalty area and Takaloo tucked the ball away into the right corner of the net.
Ramsgate goalkeeper Twyman was glad to see a long range shot from Ball go the wrong side of the post, deciding not to dive on a rock hard, end of season playing surface.
Both sides had half chances early in the second half, through Ollie Schulz and Borough's Radbourne and Thomas.
Greenwich, however, were denied an equaliser in the 66th minute. Steffan Ball played in Ben Rayner, who latched onto the low pass, but with only Twyman to beat, the Ramsgate goalkeeper made a fine block.
At the other end, Robbie Summers' corner was headed towards goal by Welford, but straight at Holder.
Steffan Ball should have done better from his 30-yard free kick with 13 minutes left. Charging up to the ball following a long run up, his shot blazed high over the bar.
Ramsgate finished the game with two chances to net a third goal. A long throw from Simon Pettit was met by a Welford header and Holder did well to turn the ball around the post.
Takaloo should have scored from the last kick of the game but blazed over when it seemed easier to score.
"We're a bit closer," said a delighted Rams boss Jim Ward, speaking in the boardroom after the game. "We are six points clear with five games to go. We've got to play them (Herne Bay) mind."
Ward is looking forward to their trip to Reachfields on Tuesday night, although Hythe also collected three points, beating Beckenham Town 3-1.
"Tuesday night's massive, we go down to Hythe and Herne Bay travel to Thamesmead Town," Ward said.
"All we know is we go to Hythe on Tuesday night and get three points it makes it difficult for Herne Bay.
"I am just delighted for the lads, we were nervous but we scored two good goals today."
Kasapi admitted he was disappointed with the result. "We are just a couple of players short to be pushing Ramsgate," he said.
"We've played Ramsgate four times this year and we've drawn them once and lost three times by the odd goal.
"I just feel we can compete with them as we're as good as them but they get us at set pieces because they are such a big team.
"On our side we've got better footballers - I think we will be a force next season."
Talking about goalscorer Steffan Ball, Kasapi added: "He's been here for six games and scored 5 goals and he's done well for us.
"We just need another player to play up front with him.
"Normally we've got Peter Garland, who unfortunately couldn't play today due to a knee stain, but the last game he played he scored four against Tunbridge Wells.
"We missed Peter, he is our talisman in a way, he's played a bit, he can pass it and hold it up for us. He's a big loss.
"We had to reshuffle, we've come a long way and disappointed in a way we didn't get a draw."
Ramsgate: Danny Twyman, Ed Vahid, Michael Cessar, Jamie Winch, Ollie Schulz (Robbie Summers 60), Ben Laslet (Simon Pettit 53), Shane Suter (John Mighty 67), Warren Schulz, Shaun Welford, Mo Takalobigashi (Capt), Stuart Vahid. Subs: Graham Taylor, Jurgen Wild
Greenwich Borough: Michael Holder, Terry Trevillion, Danny Tipple, James Horton, Lee Coburn (Capt), Richard Radbourne, Nicky Speer (Anthony Bridgeman 76), Jean Michele Capone (Lloyd Wallace 76), Steffan Ball, Ben Rayner, Lindsey Thomas. Sub: Adam Onasanya