Thursday 01st September 2005

A good work out in the sun


Saturday 16th
July 2005
Pre-Season Friendly Stephen McCartney reports from Southwood Stadium
Ramsgate 2 David Cory 71
Shaun Welford 73
Erith & Belvedere 0  

Ramsgate warmed up to their debut Ryman League division one campaign with a 2-0 victory over Kent Leaguers Erith & Belvedere at an improved Southwood Stadium today, writes Stephen McCartney.

This was both club's opening pre-season friendly and it was played in hot temperatures.

The Rams won the game thanks to two goals in the space of two devastating minutes.

David Cory - one of six summer signings made by Rams' boss Jim Ward - opened the scoring in the 71st minute and two minutes later, striker Shaun Welford doubled the score.

Cory and Dean Hill have signed from Southern Leaguers Sittingbourne, with other new signings being Steffan Ball (Dulwich Hamlet), Michael Yianni (Hythe Town), Mark Munday (Folkestone Invicta) and Richard Sinden (Herne Bay), all of whom played their part.

Erith & Belvedere, however, were missing eight first team players and manager Mick Acland.  Their assistant, Wayne Baldacchino took charge of team affairs.

They fielded two squads, changing players at the interval, and this ploy gave Baldacchino a good insight on who will be able to compete in the Kent League this season.

And 34-year-old former Bromley, Horsham and Deres' striker, Steve White returned to action in the second half after two years out of the game.

Warren Schulz had the best chance to break the deadlock for the home side after 12 minutes but his shot - after Steffan Ball spun away from his marker - went agonisingly wide of the far post.

And later Shaun Brown's cross from the left, had Deres' goalkeeper Ricky Hall backpeddling but he was pleased to see the ball drop over the crossbar.

The visitors' best chance came ten minutes before the interval when striker Darren Adams saw goalkeeper Jurgen Wild off his line, and instinctively reigned in a shot, but the goalkeeper recovered in time to make the save.

Both sides had a chance just before the interval, with Adams' fierce 25-yard drive sailing over the bar, and at the other end, Warren Schulz tested Hall from distance.

The Rams' manager ran the rule over every one of his 19-man squad, and to be fair, it was challenging keeping up with his substitutions as his players plucked up any shirt available, instead of keeping to the numbers on the team sheet.

But within three minutes of the second half, Yianni's cross from the left was met by a looping header from Sinden, but Deres' substitute goalkeeper Richard Masters plucked the ball out of the air.

Then following Munday's corner, Ollie Schulz came up from his central defensive duties to plant a header straight at a well positioned goalkeeper.

The visitors twice went close just past the hour mark with Dave Fisher's shot being blocked by half-time substitute, Danny Twyman but White blasted the rebound over.

But Ramsgate took a 71st minute lead when Masters poorly punched out Ollie Schulz punted free kick, from midfield into the Deres' penalty box, when it seemed easier for the young goalkeeper to grasp the ball.

And Cory, out on the right flank, punished him for the mistake, sending in a shot, which sailed over the bemused goalkeeper and into the net.

Masters was picking the ball out of his net just two minutes later, when Sinden stabbed the ball past him.

Baldacchino told after the game his thoughts on the game.

"To be honest I would break it into two as we had a different eleven in each half," he said.

"I felt the first half was probably more productive from the positive point of view, more quality involved from individuals.

"We made eleven changes at half time, and I felt possibly the quality went, we had a couple of younger lads involved in the second half, so possibly the big day got to them, if you like.

"Generally though, more positives than negatives out of the 90 minutes.

"Some individuals that we weren't sure about have impressed us today and the other thing we've established is we've got three or four out there today that possibly shouldn't be playing at this level just yet, so we can now pass them back to the reserves.

"But considering we had seven or eight of our probable first team squad members missing, overall a good day's work in my opinion."

And Rams' boss Jim Ward added: "Difficult pre-season game.  As far as we're concerned we tried a new formation today, which the lads weren't used to, and yes it was a hard work out.

"Some of the lads actually trained in the morning so they got a double whammy.

"We just take what it is, we worked on a few things, all the new lads played, which was pleasing and one of them got a goal.

"I'm very happy with the whole squad. We are looking very strong in certain areas, can maybe strengthen the squad a little bit but I think that's what I've got.

"I had two missing today, both the Vahid boys were on holiday, but no, we've got what we've got, I think.

"We've got lots of things to work on like set pieces and all that but we've still got five weeks before we start."

Ramsgate: Jurgen Wild (Danny Twyman 46), Andy Hadden, Dean Hill, Liam Morris, Ollie Schulz, Mark Munday, Shaun Brown, Warren Schulz, Michael Yianni, Steffan Ball, Simon Pettit.

Subs (used at various times during game): Michael Cassar, Graham Taylor, Shaun Welford, David Cory, Richard Sinden, Shaun Sutter, Ben Laslett

Erith & Belvedere:
First Half: Ricky Hall, Tom Maycock, Terry Hawkey (Clinton Hodge 30), Gary Cook, Barry Gibson, Jamie Lawrence, Paul McCarthy, Peter Afolayan, Danny Parmenter, Dan Jeffries, Darren Adams.  

Second Half:  Richard Masters, Ricky Hardie, Dean Saunders, Gary Cook (Terry Hawkey 71), Craig Hales, Barry Gibson (Lee Bradford 63), Mike Fletcher, Clinton Hodge, Chris Devita, Dave Fisher, Steve White

Referee:   Richard Joss
Assistants: Colin Ansell & Phil Bing