Chatham Town 5-2 Ramsgate - I'm concerned about us where we go from here, admits Ramsgate joint-boss Jim Ward

Monday 10th October 2016
Chatham Town 5 – 2 Ramsgate
Location Maidstone Road Sports Ground, Bournville Avenue, Chatham, Kent ME4 6LR
Kickoff 10/10/2016 19:45

Ryman League Division One South
Monday 10th October 2016
Stephen McCartney reports from Maidstone Road

CHATHAM TOWN manager Darren Anslow praised his late arriving players for winning their second league game of the season to climb out of the relegation zone with a shock win over a poor Ramsgate.


The Chats are now fourth-from-bottom in the Ryman League Division One South table on 9 points from 13 games following this 5-2 win over a Ramsgate side that are rooted in 13th place with 13 points from 12 games.

The crowd of 149 suffered by watching two poor sides regularly hitting the ball into the night sky and hitting the channels and when Chatham Town kept the ball on the deck they were rewarded with two first half goals.

Winger Joshua Jackson and striker Luke Medley gave Chatham Town a deserved 2-0 lead at the interval, to lift the spirits of their long-suffering fans.

But Ramsgate made a tactical switch at the break and were rewarded by scoring a couple of goals inside the opening seven minutes, courtesy of advancing full-backs Jack Penny and Jake McKenzie.

But Medley tucked in his sixth goal of the season to regain Chatham Town’s lead, the home side adding two late free-kicks from Jackson and substitute Tom Youngs from the edge of the box.

“It’s a big win considering the circumstances we’ve been through today,” said Anslow after taking four games to win his first game since taking over from Tony Beckingham, who lasted 14 games.

“Our goalkeeper (Henry Newcombe) got pulled by Gillingham at 12:30, our reserve team keeper was injured so we literally had three hours to try to sign a keeper. We had to get to him (Alex Hyde), get him signed, get the forms registered with the League by 3:30 otherwise one of the boys would have been in goal so that was the first headache for today.

“Then there was a massive pile-up on the A2, which led to six changes, I think, in the starting line-up, but you know what it’s like, sometimes your backs are against the wall and a little bit of adversity, it goes a different way, doesn’t it?

“I just told them we’re not going to turn up to every game five minutes before kick-off! I’m really happy to be fair. I think it’s been coming a little bit.”

Ramsgate joint-manager Jim Ward conducted an on-the-pitch inquest with his management team while his players warmed down as far away as they could.

Ward admitted having a young side is the reason why his side are not where they should be in the league table and that they are missing their influential players, including Tom Chapman, Joe Kane, Ian Pulman and Luke Wheatley.

“Well, my thoughts on tonight is what it’s been like for a wee while like,” said the Scotsman.

“We’re a young side, it was evident tonight. They’ve got a lot of experienced players in their side.  I’m not telling you it was only the young lads that let me down tonight but there was too many young lads in there.  We’re trying to develop a side here with the resources that we’ve got and we’re having to chuck young lads in too early.

“Definitely ones of the future but at the moment we don’t need ones for the future, we need ones for the minute!

“I know every manager says it, we haven’t got the biggest squad in the world.  This Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday-Tuesday (playing two games a week) has killed us. We’ve had six people watching tonight, six big, strong players that we need to help when you’re able to play these young lads one at a time rather than trying to play three, four or five at a time.

“How many under 21s were out there? Alfie Paxman and Jack Penny, they’re all under 21s.  I’m not moaning about it, I’m not. It’s just the way it is. We’ve got to develop these lads and we’re low on nights like this. We’ve just got to make sure we don’t have too many of them.”

The game did kick-off on time and Chatham Town striker Medley went on a 20-yard run before drilling his right-footed shot sailing over the Ramsgate crossbar from 30-yards inside the opening four minutes.

Chatham Town’s central midfielder Owen Price hit a right-footed free-kick straight down the throat of visiting keeper Luke Watkins from 35-yards.

“Easy save for them weren’t it, but you’ve got to shoot to score, as you saw later on,” said Anslow.

When asked about that effort on his goal, Ward replied: “To be fair, they looked like a confident team.  They’re down at the bottom end of the table. To be honest with you I’m not concerned about them.  I’m not concerned about them, I’m concerned about us, where we go from here.”

With the ball constantly in the air, Chatham Town’s best play was when the ball was played on the deck.

“They took the game to us and both the goals we gifted both the goals,” admitted Ward.

“We gave the ball away in midfield twice. We are a passing side, we do like to get the ball down and pass it, but both times we presented them with the ball and twice they’ve gone through and scored.”

They issued a warning when left-back Abdul Lyoubi (a product of Dulwich Hamlet’s youth ranks) released Ryan Flack down the left but his low cross was cleared away.

Chatham Town deserved their lead, timed at 23 minutes and 42 seconds, and it wasn’t the first time in the game that Ramsgate gave the ball away.

Ross Morley shrugged off the attentions of Ramsgate midfielder Oliver Gray inside the Ramsgate half and played a nice diagonal ball to Jackson, on the right-hand side.  The winger controlled the ball and his right-footed angled drive from 16-yards nestled into the bottom far corner of the net.

Anslow said: “Good finish, good finish. He’s got a bit about him, Josh, can score a goal, he can cause people problems. Ross has seen the pass, done an overload on the right-hand side. Yes, it was a good goal, a well-worked goal.”

Ward added: “Good goal for them to score, bad goal for us.  Again, we’ve given the ball away, but they’re on the front foot and he did shrug Ollie off.  He crossed a decent ball but a bad goal to give away. That opportunity shouldn’t have arisen.”

Chatham Town gave their relegation dog-fight a shot in the arm by doubling their lead in the 31st minute.

Josh Bray won the ball in the middle of the park and played a sublime through ball straight through the heart of Ramsgate’s defence to put Medley through on goal.  His pace easily took him past George Crimmen and Kane Smith and he slotted the ball into the bottom right-hand corner when he only had keeper Watkins to beat.

“Again, I think we pressed them, especially the first 30 minutes, we pressed them really well. We were winning the ball back up quite high and it was allowing us to get Luke in behind the back four. Yes, it worked,” said Anslow.

Ward added: “Exactly the same situation. We gave the ball away in midfield, the boy nicked it, put Medley through and goal.  My keeper’s got a touch, he was unlucky. It hit the inside of the post and went in.

“They had players like Medley up front, a good player. I’ve tried to sign him in the past.”

Ramsgate offered nothing at the other end of the pitch and Ward blasted the non-appearance (attacking wise) of Ashley Miller, who is on loan from Ryman Premier League side Folkestone Invicta.

Ward said: “I’ll never take players on loan again!  I don’t like loan players, they don’t come and play for us so we changed it at half-time.  We took Ashley Miller off.  I went through a couple of years without taking any loan players and now through circumstances we had to take him.”

Anslow was pleased with the way the first half was going for his struggling side.

He said: “We were quite comfortable, I thought we were quite comfortable. We’ve been like that in a few games. We’ve done it in a few games where we’ve been in control in the first half and sort of let it slip a little bit later on.”

When asked about his thoughts at the break, the Chatham Town manager replied: “Decision making really, just make the right decisions, keep what you’re doing. I thought we got a bit scrappy in the last 10 minutes of the half. I think the whole game got a little bit scrappy. It started off really, really quickly and we pressed really high.  I felt the last 10 minutes maybe we dropped off the pace slightly and maybe our decision making wasn’t as good as it was for the first half-an-hour so really it was basically a chat to make the right decisions, play the right balls in the right areas and keep doing what you did to get 2-0 up really.”

Ward replied: “Everyone all around the ground knew what was said at half-time -  I’m surprised you didn’t hear over there!

“We told them in no uncertain manner, you’ve got to do things. We’ve got to do things better than what they’ve done, but more energetic be more everything.  They responded and the first 20 minutes of the second half we dominated, got  two goals and had a couple of other chances and they broke away and scored!”

Ward’s words during the interval had the desired effect as his charges pulled a goal back after only 26 seconds.

Ward hauled Miller off and put Niall Salisbury in his place, slotting in at left-back, while Penny moved in front of him – and scored from the right-hand side of the pitch.

Luke Girt played a sublime ball in between Lyoubi and Liam Hickey to put Penny through on goal and his drive nestled into the bottom corner.

Ward said: “We changed that. Good goal, a superb goal. A great ball from Luke Girt, Penny’s got that, another 19-year-old. He can play left-back, left-hand side of midfield. He’s got a great left-foot. When he scored, he’ll get a b********g for that, being in the wrong place!”

Anslow added: “Twenty-six seconds! We say keep it nice and tight for 25 minutes, not 25 seconds!

“Fair play to them, they’ve come out there 2-0 down, they could’ve packed up and gone home. They came out and fair play, they had a go and they scored early on.”

Chatham Town were to be denied by a smart save from Watkins, who used his legs to prevent Jackson scoring following a solo run.

Anslow added: “Great run, inside, outside, he twisted them a little bit.  He’s decent, it’s a decent save, again Josh was causing them problems.”

But Ramsgate turned the game on its head by scoring the equalising goal, only seven minutes and 54 seconds into the half.

Alfie Paxman’s hooked pass from the right-hand side of midfield put McKenzie through on goal and he clinically slotted the ball past the advancing Hyde.

Ward said: “It was a good free-flowing move.  We’ve been doing that a lot this season, going forward we’re quite decent.  McKenzie’s a threat from full-back and young Alfie Paxman, his another 18-year-old.  He shouldn’t be playing all these games, it’s not fair on the lad.”

Anslow said: “We spoke to Liam, we spoke about decision making at half-time. Liam had a chance to clear it early, didn’t, went back to the keeper.  You’re asking for problems sometimes but again fair play to them, they’ve had a go and two-all.”

When asked how he was feeling as his side’s lead disintegrated, Anslow replied: “Not again! That’s three times we’ve given away a two-goal lead.  With the way the game worked tonight and turning up late, four or five of the boys that we’re starting were on the bench so actually they were quite positive substitutions to make to affect the game where they would’ve started.  There were some good players to come on.”

At this point it appeared that Ramsgate would go on and win the game, such is Chatham’s current fragile state of mind being second-from-bottom in the table and losing their last six games.

Salisbury advanced down the left to put over a cross, which came out to Crimmen, who smacked his volley high over the Chatham crossbar.

Paxman launched a long throw from the right towards the near post but Crimmen came up from the back to send his free header wide.

Chatham Town went close when Medley cut into the box from the left-hand side to curl his shot around the far post just before the hour-mark.

Ramsgate’s high tempo start to the second half died down, a fact that Jim Ward noticed from the bench by shouting out “the tempo’s gone again, pick it up again!”

Chatham Town sensed this and they hit Ramsgate on the break, taking the lead in the 63rd minute.

Lyoubi played the ball inside to Bray, who played a diagonal pass to winger Jackson, the man-of-the-match.

He saw Salisbury slip and played in right-back Harvey Brand on the overlap and he produced a good cross towards the near post. Medley nipped in front of Smith to flick his shot across the keeper into the corner.

“I thought it was the best goal of the game,” hailed Anslow.

“The move is what we’ve worked on. Josh, in fairness, to Josh, holds onto it a little bit long. He slips Harvey in, it’s a great ball in and a great finish from Meds.”

Ward added: “Bad goal to give away that one especially we were on the front foot.  We got caught down our left-hand side, they over-ran us down this side and Luke Medley does what he does, got in front of the centre half and tucked it away.”

Watkins was forced into making a low save to his left to deny Morley finding the far corner with a right-footed angled drive from 20-yards in the 66th minute.

Anslow said: “Good shot from Ross. He’s found his shooting boots the last few weeks. He’s scored a couple of goals. For a player of his ability and the areas he gets into, he never pulls the trigger often enough, but it’s something he’s started doing lately and he’s not got a bad strike.”

Not one Ramsgate player can come out of this game with any credit and Morley’s driven free-kick crashed against the Ramsgate wall and the ball came out to Price who swept his shot bouncing into Watkins hands for a comfortable save from 25-yards.

Chatham Town then scored from their next couple of attempts, direct free-kicks from a central position.

Jackson capped off his impressive night by drilling his left-footed free-kick into the roof of the net (via Watkins’ right-hand) from 19-yards to score Chatham’s fourth goal in the 76th minute.

“I’ve been screaming to him all season to take the free-kicks on the edge of the box because he strikes a lovely ball,” said Anslow.

“He’s only a young boy and he gets pushed off it and someone else grabs it.  We had one earlier but someone else grabbed the ball off him.  I don’t know if you saw us, we were screaming at him. He put it down and just smashed it. I don’t think any keeper would’ve saved it really.”

Ward said: “That’s bad defending. We should’ve had a better wall. Ollie Gray fouled him, he thought he got the whole of the ball, that’s what the lads were saying.  The wall wasn’t good enough for me. The fourth and fifth goal, both of them were poor goals.”

Chatham Town wrapped up their largest victory of the season with a fifth goal in the final nine minutes.

Substitute Youngs (who was earlier booked for diving) stepped up and stroked his left-footed free-kick over the wall and into the right-hand corner, despite Watkins diving to his left and helping the ball in.

Anslow said: “Tom’s a new signing. I like Tom. He’s got pace, his work rate even in the 32 minutes he was on was phenomenal. He was closing down the back four on his own. Do you know what, I thought Josh was going to hit it. He’s lined it up for Josh to hit it and they’ve thrown a little dummy in and it’s Tom’s first goal for the club, hopefully the first of many.”

Ward replied: “Luke Watkins’ made a few good saves and by then we’ve taken three players off and put more kids on!

“He hasn’t had a bad night by goalkeeper but he’s let five in but he hasn’t had a bad night.  The wall should’ve been better!”

Chatham’s last minute signing, goalkeeper Hyde was called into making his only save of the game in the final seven minutes.

Paxman floated in a cross form the right towards the near post and substitute Billy Lewins’ flicked shot was saved by Hyde, diving to his right.

Ward said:”Good save and then they cleared it off the line. We came here expecting to get something tonight, we didn’t. It’s a bad night.”

Anslow said: “I think that tells a story. The two goals and one save in open play, so I thought we were quite dominant, probably isn’t a fair word because they were in the game. I felt we were slightly on top even at two-all.”

Macauley Murray delivered the resulting corner, but Girt sent his near post header over, before Paxman showed strength to power his way up field only to drag his shot across goal and harmlessly past the far post.

Tonight’s game also marked the return of former Chatham Town manager Kevin Watson, who was in the home club’s technical area alongside Anslow and George Howard.

“He’s ex-manager, we’ve known each other a long time. We’re not big on titles. He knows about the club and he knows the league.  I don’t think you can ever have enough good people around you at a club to see football the same way so it makes sense for him to help out when he can.”

Chatham Town travel to Ryman League Division One South leaders Dorking Wanderers on Saturday.

“I know them really well. I don’t work (for their Academy) now but I was there for a little while so I know them really well,” said Anslow.

“Listen, it’s one of those games what do we have to lose? That’s the way I’ve got to look at it! I’ve spoken to a couple of managers in the league and they all tell me they’re the best team they’ve seen. We’ve got nothing to lose so we’ll go there and enjoy the game and the pressure is really on them.”

Ramsgate welcome the side immediately above them in the table at Southwood Stadium on Saturday.

“South Park are a big, strong side aren’t they, from all the reports we got. They’re big, strong, physical and I hope we get a couple players back by Saturday,” said Ward.

“I can’t take anything away from my kids and I won’t, I won’t! We’ve known what it is. The future’s good at Ramsgate. The future’s really good. We just have to get through this spell.

“Thirteenth? Not enough! It’s not where we want to be.  We want to be challenging. We finished 12th last year, our target this year is to beat 12th – with a different set of players that we had last year.

“Hopefully we’ll have some of the players back – we need them back!

“Tonight we expected to get something. I’m disappointed with the boys. Me and Danny (Ward) have got a bit of head scratching tonight, especially after getting back into it. That was disappointing.  I thought we were going to win the game after getting back into it.”

Chatham Town: Alex Hyde, Harvey Brand, Abdul Lyoubi, Owen Price, Ejiro Okosieme, Liam Hickey, Ross Morley, Josh Bray (Junior Kaffo 64), Luke Medley (Jerald Abogaye 80), Ryan Flack (Tom Youngs 58), Joshua Jackson.
Subs: Lee Radford, Patrick Lee

Goals: Joshua Jackson 24, 76, Luke Medley 31, 63, Tom Youngs 81

Booked: Tom Youngs 78


Ramsgate: Luke Watkins, Jake McKenzie, Jack Penny, George Crimmen, Kane Smith (Billy Lewins 74), Luke Girt, Oliver Gray, Macauley Murray (Oliver Roberts 86), Aaron Millbank, Ashley Miller (Niall Salisbury 46), Alfie Paxman.
Subs: Wayne Wilson, Lewis Stevens-Toomey

Goals: Jack Penny 46, Jake McKenzie 53

Booked: Niall Salisbury 80

Attendance: 149
Referee: Mr Jack Packman (Margate)
Assistants: Mr Marcin Indyk (Maidstone) & Mr Adam Steele (Canterbury)

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