Arundel 0-4 Ramsgate - It's good having the Cup, not only for money but also for the prestige of being involved but the league is the bread and butter and we need to start putting wins back on the league table, says Ramsgate's assistant Tony Cornwell
Arundel 0 – 4 Ramsgate
|Location||Mill Road, Arundel, West Sussex BN18 9PA|
ARUNDEL 0-4 RAMSGATE
The Emirates FA Cup First Qualifying Round Replay
Tuesday 10 September 2019
Stephen McCartney reports from Mill Road
RAMSGATE assistant manager Tony Cornwell says he wants his side to start winning league games after successfully navigating their way past plucky Arundel in this FA Cup First Qualifying Round Replay.
Simon Hull’s side came away from Southwood Stadium with a goal-less draw on Saturday when the two level gap was not evident but Nick Davis’ side showed their class by picking up the potential banana skin and dropping it into the dustbin with a comfortable 4-0 victory in picturesque Arundel.
Arundel dropped from third to fifth in the Southern Combination League First Division after Saturday’s games, having won all three of their league games and they beat Banstead Athletic (2-0) and Shoreham (1-0) to reach this stage of the competition.
Ramsgate, meanwhile, remain second-from-bottom in the Isthmian League South East Division, having picked up one point from their first three outings and beat Southern Combination Premier Division side Steyning Town Community 4-1 in the Preliminary Round.
It took Ramsgate 27 minutes to break the Mullet’s resilience when striker Miles Cornwell headed in his first goal of the season, before Stephen Smith – who played at centre-half during the first game – moved back into his more natural position as striker and scored a hat-trick to take his goalscoring tally for the season to seven goals.
“I think Saturday, we underperformed. We didn’t play the way we were anticipating,” admitted Cornwell.
“The conditions weren’t easy with the wind and the pitch was a little bit hard and bobbly but we should’ve played better than we did on Saturday but today I thought we showed the class and the technical ability of where we should be at this level.
“Even though they’re two league’s lower this was their Cup Final in a way and to be fair to travel all this way (238 mile round trip) on a Tuesday night, it’s some distance for some of the lads from Ramsgate who have travelled all the way down.
“I thought we put on a decent display tonight. We did have words after Saturday’s game and said things needed to be improved upon and they’ve all taken that on board tonight.”
Playing underneath Arundel Castle, Hull’s side had won all four of their games at Mill Road. You can call this ground a fortress, literally.
Ramsgate were without Ollie Gray (ankle), Jack Morrell (groin) and Tom Chapman (wrist).
Ramsgate started the game on the front foot, which is what a higher league side should do to a side that created three shots on target during 180 minutes of football.
The Rams zipped the ball over the pitch with one-touch passing as Daniel Carrington played the ball out to Jack Paxman, who played the ball inside to Stephen Smith, whose first time touch played in Ashley Miller, whose low shot was blocked by the keepers legs before he drilled the rebound over the top of the near post after only 195 seconds play.
“I thought their keeper made three decent first half saves in the first 15-20 minutes of play and deservedly we should’ve gone 1-0 up but the keeper, I felt, pulled off two exceptionally good saves,” said Cornwell.
Ramsgate called goalkeeper Dan Stevens into making a low save as Rory Smith curled his shot towards the bottom far corner from 25-yards, forcing the keeper to dive low to his right to push the ball behind for the first of nine corners.
Rory Smith swung in the resulting corner from the left towards the far post for centre-half Liam Friend to come up from the back to send his downward header bouncing past the right-hand upright.
Despite Ramsgate’s early pressure, a horrendous pass from Ramsgate central midfielder Jonathan Steele almost gifted Arundel a ninth minute lead.
The 33-year-old had a poor game as he often gave the ball away in the middle of the park, but his low 30-yard backward pass was intercepted by Arundel winger Ashley Hawkes, who strode forward and tried to slide the ball into the bottom right-hand corner, but Ramsgate goalkeeper Will Godmon rushed out and spread himself and managed to tip the ball around the post.
“Superb save from Will. We’ve got a class goalkeeper and we needed him there because they score there after all the pressure we’ve had and we go 1-0 down, we know we’re in for a big fight! The keeper’s pulled off a good save, a world-class save,” said Cornwell.
Steele almost made amends when he went close to scoring in the 14th minute.
Miller whipped in a cross from the left, which was cleared by Arundel centre-half Jordan Dudas and Steele whacked a right-footed volley towards the top far corner from 35-yards, which only just dipped over.
But there was a five minute spell when Steele lost the battle in the middle of the park, as Arundel had a decent spell, without troubling Godmon in the Ramsgate goal.
Cornwell admitted to be feeling relieved when Ramsgate deservedly broke the tension by opening the scoring, with 26 minutes and 34 seconds on the clock.
Winning a throw-in by the corner flag, Paxman launched a trademark long throw into the box, the keeper stayed on his line and Stephen Smith flicked the ball on at the near post and the ball sailed across the face of goal for Miles Cornwell to head into the near corner from inside the six-yard box.
“It took us a little time to get the first goal but I thought once we got the goal I thought we would go on and score more,” said Cornwell.
“We used Smudger as a centre-half on Saturday and he’s an out-and-out centre-forward. He can do a job at centre-half and he’s on form, he’s scored seven goals now and I thought he was man-of-the-match for us tonight.
“The long throw is a weapon. Jack Paxman and Aaron Lamont have both got long throws and Matty Robinson, the lad who played left-back, has got a decent one too, so we do work on those bits and pieces and Smudge is a handful in the air. We’re just looking to get third man runs, second man runs off his flick-ons.
“Relieved? It was a relief when the ball hit the net!”
Ramsgate then doubled their lead, following their second corner of the night, the goal coming with 35 minutes and 20 seconds on the clock.
Ramsgate left-back Matthew Robinson swung in a corner from the right, once again Stevens stayed on his line and Stephen Smith glanced his near post header across the keeper to find the far corner.
“Again, another set-play. Matty Robinson has got tremendous delivery with his left-peg. His fired it across and it’s something that we work on in training, a near-post corner and Sumdge has flicked it in.”
Arundel keeper Stevens doesn’t like coming for set-pieces at his near-post area and Ramsgate took full advantage of this weakness here tonight.
“We highlighted things, the keeper made some good saves on Saturday. He’s a big lad, dealing with some of the near post areas, we targeted tonight and decided we would try to beat him on the near post and a few occasions it’s worked, it’s come off.”
Arundel often doubled up with left-back Daniel Gibb and pacey winger Eli Amoo trying to thwart Paxman in his attempts to roam forward to reach the bottom channel.
Arundel striker Callum Chambers – who was sent off late in the game on Saturday for two-yellows – suffered a frustrating evening up front on his own as Amoo and Hawkes didn’t provide the service up to him as Ramsgate’s back four were rarely troubled.
“At half-time, we basically said to them to manage the game. We won the first half, I thought possession wise and in general play and had a two-goal advantage. It was really killing the game off with a third and making sure we kept a clean-sheet. We felt the tie would be over with the third goal,” said Cornwell.
Ramsgate also started the second half on the front foot and it took them only 17 seconds to create their first opening.
Arundel’s right-back Scott Callaghan lost the ball to Miller, who drove down the left and played the ball into Stephen Smith, who curled a first time shot across the keeper to try to find the bottom far corner from the edge of the box, which was comfortably caught by Stevens.
“We started off the second half like the first. We were creating opportunities, off Smith’s flick-ons and other times off decent passing retention and I thought it was good movement from the front four, if you like, which meant we were creating more opportunities.
“At 2-0 down they had to come out a little bit to try to get themselves back into the game, which we said would open up and give us further opportunities.”
Ramsgate centre-half Tom Wynter clipped a fine diagonal pass out to Steele on the left and he whipped in a cross which was met by Rory Smith’s far post downward header, which bounced wide of the right-hand post from six-yards out.
Dominant Ramsgate took only 37 seconds to create their next chance when Robinson floated in a cross from the left, which sailed over Nathan Foster’s head and Stephen Smith took a touch before dragging his low shot just past the foot of the far post.
Ramsgate deservedly scored their third goal of the night, which was timed at nine minutes and 41 seconds.
Liam Friend launched a long ball out of defence, Rory Smith danced his way past a heavy sliding challenge from tough-tackling centre-half Dudas and hung in a cross, which was sublimely controlled by Stephen Smith’s chest before cracking a volley across the keeper to find the far corner.
“Superb goal! I thought that was the goal of the night,” said Cornwell.
“Decent move up to the play where Rory’s put the ball through, a lovely pass, good chest control and he’s absolutely thrashed the ball into the back of the net, a superb finish!”
Arundel didn’t have the quality to fight their way back into the game but their FA Cup run has banked the West Sussex club a welcomed £6,640 in prize money, not forgetting the gate receipts from four games.
Rory Smith dragged a shot across the keeper and just past the far post just past the hour-mark as the introduction of Aaron Lamont for Steele gave Ramsgate much more quality in the middle of the park.
Ramsgate dominated for the rest of the game and should have increased their lead during a one-sided contest.
“I think we then really, really dominated possession. They were struggling to get their foot on the ball, we kept the ball really comfortably,” added Cornwell.
A bad back pass from Foster let in Stephen Smith, who took too much time on the ball inside the box and allowed Stevens to rush off his line and smother the ball and the home side got men back to ensure the ball went behind for a corner.
Ramsgate did switch off from a throw-in in the 69th minute when Callaghan threw the ball to Hawkes, who got in behind Robinson but overhit the cross and by the time substitute winger Gwil Flint Roberts retrieved the ball, he produced a poor cross and it went behind for a goal-kick.
Ramsgate completed the scoring through Stephen Smith’s hat-trick, timed at 26 minutes and 44 seconds.
Robinson released Miller charging down the left and he played the ball inside to Cornwell, who put it on a plate for Stephen Smith, who put centre-half Foster on his backside, before rolling the ball into the bottom right-hand corner from six-yards.
Cornwell added: “Smith’s there to apply the finishing touches but to be fair I think there was some good interchange play down our left-hand side involving young Matty Robinson. It’s only his second game for us at left-back.
“Jack Morrell – who is on loan from Gillingham – has been injured with a groin injury and Matty’s come in and done superbly well.”
Lamont picked out a quality through ball to put Miller through on goal, timing his run to perfection but a saving last-man tackle from Dudas ensured Stevens wasn’t tested.
Classy Lamont then released Stephen Smith charging down the right channel and he cut the ball back for Rory Smith, who hit a first time shot which was caught by Stevens at ankle height beside the right-hand post with 10 minutes remaining.
Lamont showed desire on the other side of the pitch to win the ball before cutting the ball onto his right-foot and curling his shot across the keeper and around the far post from 25-yards.
This was a professional job from Ramsgate and Stevens pulled off a great save inside the final three minutes.
Rory Smith broke down the right and cut the ball back for Daniel Carrington, who turned inside the box and the busy Stevens stuck out his long left leg to deny Ramsgate a fifth.
Cornwell admitted: “We were creating the chances and if you want to be clinical on the night perhaps it should’ve been six or seven instead of four. If you’re really taking it to the limit there, we should’ve scored two or three more goals.”
Stephen Smith steered a low shot rolling straight into Stevens hands for a comfortable save before the keeper used a strong right hand to keep out Miller’s drilled right-footed shot which was destined for the left-hand corner.
Arundel’s second shot on target came at the death when space opened up in front of substitute right-winger Harry Callaghan, who drove a left-footed drive towards the bottom far corner from 25-yards, forcing Godmon to dive to his right to grab hold of the ball.
“I think we were trying to push for another opportunity to score and they counter-attacked,” explained Cornwell.
“In a game of 90 minutes there are going to be two or three. I think they had three chances all game and when you look at it we probably had 30 shots on.”
Miller tackled Matthew Noble and raced forward before laying the ball on the outside to Rory Smith, who dragged his shot across the keeper and shaving the foot of the far post with an angled drive.
Ramsgate must start picking up points to climb the Isthmian League South East Division table and welcome Guernsey to Southwood Stadium on Saturday 14 September (13:00) and then Herne Bay visit next Tuesday 17 September (19:45).
Guernsey are in eleventh-place in the table, having collected five points from four games, while Herne Bay sit three places lower, having collected four points from as many games.
“We were on a hiding to nothing at home. We haven’t struck form at home and that’s something that we’re desperately trying to work on for us and the supporters,” said Cornwell.
“Away from home we’ve been a little bit much freer on our passing and our performances have been better. That’s something that we’ve been working on.
“We’ve had to have a few changes due to injuries and personnel and we are hoping to get them back and get the squad up to full strength again.
“It’s an early kick-off, which is unusual for us but it’s a game that we need to win. We need to start our league form going. One point from nine isn’t what we’re expecting or where we want to be, so we need to pick up three points against Guernsey on Saturday and get our season going in the league.”
Ramsgate have so far banked £7,390 in prize money, not including the gate receipts from three outings and travel to sixth-placed Essex Senior League side Hadley in The FA Cup Second Qualifying Round on Saturday 21 September.
“It’s good having the Cup, not only for the money but also the prestige of being involved in the tournament but the league is the bread and butter and we need to start putting wins back on the league table,” said Cornwell.
“Again on paper, I think Hadley are one step lower in Step Five, so on paper you say that’s a good draw for us. Any trip, again, we’re probably performing better away than we are at home at the moment so we’re pretty pleased with it. We know nothing about the team if I’m totally honest with you. We will have them watched and learn something before the game. We’re looking forward to another tie.”
Davis and Cornwell would have been under tremendous pressure had they exited The FA Cup here tonight - but a professional performance saw them through and the same kind of performance is now needed against Tony Vance’s men.
“There’s pressure on all games, I think, with the start we’ve made. You may say we’re underperforming, possibly that is the case but with a new team it does take a little bit of time to gel and I think that’s starting to happen in the changing room and on the pitch now.”
Arundel: Dan Stevens, Scott Callaghan, Daniel Gibb, Matthew Noble, Nathan Foster, Jordan Dudas, Ashley Hawkes (Stephen Sedgley 78), Toby McCauley, Callum Chalmers (Harry Callaghan 66), Liam Brady (Gwil Flint Roberts 59), Eli Amoo.
Subs: Ben Eames, Joe Allan, Brad Dean, Jack Collins
Booked: Callum Chalmers 41, Toby McCauley 43
Ramsgate: Will Godmon, Jack Paxman, Matthew Robinson, Jonathan Steele (Aaron Lamont 60), Liam Friend, Tom Wynter, Ashley Miller, Daniel Carrington, Stephen Smith, Miles Cornwell (Kane Rowland 73), Rory Smith.
Subs: Wesley Hennessey, Harry Day
Goals: Miles Cornwell 27, Stephen Smith 36, 55, 72
Referee: Mr Robert Ablitt (Fareham, Hampshire)
Assistants: Mr Nick Blogg (Horsham, West Sussex) & Mr Dave Barnard (Horsham, West Sussex)