|FA Vase (Carlsberg)
Second Round Replay
|Stephen McCartney reports from Harrow Meadow|
|Ramsgate||2||Ollie Schulz 32
Graham Taylor 90
Greenwich impress despite Vase exit
GREENWICH BOROUGH may be rooted to the bottom of the Go Travel Kent League table but on tonight's impressive showing they should be climbing up the table shortly.
After the bad press associated with their FA Cup exploits earlier in the season now fully behind them, new manager John Kasapi, assisted by Keith D'Urso - brother of Premiership referee Andy - the Harrow Meadow outfit made second in the table Kent League rivals Ramsgate fight all the way for a place in the third round of the FA Vase tonight.
The Rams took the lead after 32 minutes when central defender Ollie Schulz powered home a header, which dropped into the net, following Aaron Robinson's corner kick.
Greenwich, with a lively front line of Franklin Dixon - who failed to make any impact at Ryman League Division One side Cray Wanderers earlier in the season - and the excellent John Mighty, whose pace caused the visitors a headache all night - the longer the game went on with only one goal separating the two sides, at both ends of the table, Greenwich grew in confidence.
They had ample chances to force extra time but squandered them in the final ten minutes. Akim Falola somehow missed from close range after Mighty's low centre found him unmarked at the far post.
Danny Hunt saw his low shot palmed agonisingly wide of the foot of the left post by Ramsgate goalkeeper Danny Twyman but the miss of the night fell to Hunt after 57 minutes when he took the ball past the visiting goalkeeper and with the goal at his mercy, smashed the ball wide of the post.
Ramsgate - deserved winners, it must be said - wrapped up the victory in time added on.
Substitute Graham Taylor, who saw goalkeeper Michael Holder off his line, lobbed him from fully 35-yards, the ball dropping into the middle of the net to seal victory and earn the Southwood outfit a neat sum of £1,000 in prize money after 90 minutes work.
It was worth the wait. The kick off was delayed by fifteen minutes as the home club were forced to call in an electrician. One bulb out of sixteen didn't come on and referee Mr Neil West insisted it must be fixed before the game could go ahead.
Rams manager Jim Ward, however, paid tribute to the South Londoners.
He said: "A very difficult place to come to. You must show tons and tons of character when you come here because we knew they are a completely changed side from the one we played in the middle of October.
"They proved it tonight, fair play to them. They battled for every ball but our lads have come here, kept a clean sheet, and I am ever so chuffed.
"I am just pleased, and pleased for the boys.
"We've scored two great goals.
"Graham Taylor is probably my second leading goalscorer, and he's come off the bench, he hustles and bustles and he knows how to score a goal. I am pleased for the lad, and pleased for them all.
"Greenwich Borough were superb," praised the former Maidstone United manager
"I know their chairman very well and he has come here, made a few changes. They've had to rebuild again after their FA Cup exploits and yet, they will not finish down the bottom half of the league.
"They are allright. If they hang onto Steve McKenzie and John Mighty, and all them sort of players.
"I knew they are not a Kent League bottom of the table outfit, and you could see that tonight, so I am really pleased to win."
Borough manager John Kasapi, revealed the club have only a short space of time left on their lease at Harrow Meadow, but admitted the future will be brighter if they can perform the way they did tonight, more often.
"We are building up a side now," he said.
"I think we are lacking a little bit up front, still other than that, I am quite happy with the midfield and the back four.
"Hopefully, on the pitch we will improve and move up the table.
"I am optimistic we will start winning matches soon if our performances are like tonight's.
"Off the pitch, I think there are plans for us to either stay at Harrow Meadow or move to a better facility, hopefully in the local area.
"I think the lease runs out on this ground in the next year or so, so we will either renew that or be moving somewhere.
"But our chairman has promised us we will still be around."
On Saturday, Greenwich face Kent County League side Stansfield Oxford & Bermondsey Club in the Kent Senior Trophy, a game Kasapi expects his side to bounce back after their FA Vase exit tonight.
"We need to lift ourselves and make sure we get a result," he said.
"If we put in performances like that against Ramsgate tonight, who are second in the league, where we more than matched them, we will certainly be looking to bounce back on Saturday.
"We can hold our heads up but it doesn't help when you've gone out when we feel we should have got a result."
Greenwich Borough: Michael Holder, Lee Coburn, Danny Tipple, Steve McKenzie (Capt), Laurie Mansfield (Marvin Elliot 76), James Horton, John Mighty, Ben Rayner, Akim Falola, Danny Hunt, Franklin Dixon (Danny Mathieu 71), Sean Sancho
Ramsgate: Danny Twyman, Edd Vahid, Michael Cassar, Liam Morris, Ben Haslett, Shane Suter (Peter Burke 83), Warren Schultz, Aaron Robinson, Mo Takalobigashi, Stuart Vahid (Graham Taylor 76). Subs: Dan Dawson, Andy Hadden, Kieran Morris
Referee: Mr Neil West