Ramsgate 3-1 Hanworth Villa - The important thing is our names in the hat for the next round, says Ramsgate boss Lloyd Blackman

Saturday 19th August 2017
Ramsgate 3 – 1 Hanworth Villa
Location Southwood Stadium, Prices Avenue, Ramsgate, Kent CT11 0AN
Kickoff 19/08/2017 15:00

The Emirates FA Cup Preliminary Round
Saturday 19th August 2017
Stephen McCartney reports from Southwood Stadium

RAMSGATE head coach Lloyd Blackman says it’s important for his club to be in the hat for the next round of The FA Cup.

The Rams avoided an upset by inflicting the first defeat of the new season on Rufus Brevett’s side, who arrived at Southwood Stadium on the back of a 5-0 home win over Bedfont & Feltham in the Extra Preliminary Round.

BANANA SKIN AVOIDED: Ramsgate's Tom Chapman scores the third goal as they defeated unbeaten side Hanworth Villa in The FA Cup today.
Photo: Ramsgate FC

Hanworth Villa went into this game in the top six in the Combined Counties League Premier Division after drawing Walton & Hersham 1-1 and beating North Greenford United 3-0.

Ramsgate went into this Preliminary Round tie sitting in 15th place in the Bostik South, having opened with a 3-1 home defeat to Phoenix Sports before bouncing back to win 2-1 at Faversham Town in midweek.

It was evident from very early on that Hanworth Villa would park the bus to frustrate Ramsgate for as long as possible.

The Villains played with three central defenders, with two wing-backs who stayed back rather than advanced, two in midfield, one man in behind the front two, and they lacked any quality in the first half.

Ramsgate took 43 minutes to break the deadlock when highly-rated Alfie Paxman, 19, slotted home his second goal of the season.

Hanworth Villa were a better side during the second half and a mistake let them in with lone striker Cyril O’Cansey scoring his second goal of the campaign.

The game seemed destined to be settled by a replay in west London on Tuesday night, but man-of-the-match, right wing-back Jake MacKenzie, 23, had other ideas, arrowing a sublime shot into the top corner before playing his part in a three-man move, which Tom Chapman finished off, who like MacKenzie opened his account for the new season.

“Just happy to be in the next round, ball in the hat as they say,” said Blackman afterwards.

“It weren’t a great performance, they weren’t a bad side. They did have something that was very unpredictable about them. At times they could’ve led to some problems but I thought we managed the situation the best way we could and the important thing is our names in the hat for the next round.”

Hanworth Villa nearly made it a dream start when a big kick from their goalkeeper Michael Eacott was hit on a snap-shot from Tom Neale, which flashed just past the foot of the right-hand post from 30-yards after only 69 seconds.

Blackman said: “The wind was blowing, I don’t know what it looked like from the stand. The wind was blowing from one direction to the other and I thought it was going to play quite a big part in that first half and it proved to be.  Once the second half came, the wind died down.

“The keeper’s caught us with a long ball and it’s popped into him, a good snap shot and he struck it well and fortunately for us it’s went the other side of the post but early warning signs.”

Eacott was forced into making a diving save to prevent Ramsgate left-back Jack Penny from scoring with a left-footed drive from 35-yards, which the keeper spilt.

Blackman said: “He gets himself in some real good advanced positions Jack, a speculative effort from 35-yards but he forced the keeper into a save.  It pops up off the goalkeeper and maybe later in the game we might’ve been a little bit more aware of following up, it was a good effort.”

Ramsgate went close when Paxman swung in a free-kick from the right and Luke Wheatley made space just inside the penalty area to glance his free header, which bounced past the far post.

Adam Woolcott swept the ball out wide to MacKenzie, who whipped in a great low cross, which Eacott did well to block with his legs, just before Woolcott could pounce at the near post.

Hanworth Villa targeted Penny as they got in behind on a couple of occasions but final quality on the by-line let them down as the ball often ran out of play.

Blackman said: “We identified the fact they were going to play wing-backs, we had to make sure our full-backs then went off and engaged and a couple of times he (Penny) got caught out.  But he’s a young lad and he’s still learning and once that happened they were putting balls in down into the channel, I think we identified that pretty early on, especially second half at half-time and made sure that wasn’t much of a problem early on.”

Hanworth committed their seventh foul of the game in the 22nd minute and nearly paid the price as Woolcott got his right-footed free-kick over the four-man wall some 25-yards out, which forced Eacott to dive to his right to tip the ball behind for a corner.

“It was a good save. He gets it up and gets it up and down well and forced the goalkeeper into a good save. It was a real good effort,” added Blackman.

Despite Ramsgate’s dominance, Hanworth Villa almost grabbed the lead halfway through the half.

They built down the left as O’Cansey strode down the channel, played the ball inside to Jack Mills, who set-up Jack Buckle.  His shot was charged down and looped narrowly over the crossbar as Watkins dived to his left.

Blackman said: “You can’t plan for those type of situations. You get out to block a shot or you get out to block a header and all off a sudden the ball flips up in the air and you’re in the lap of the gods whether or not (it goes in).  Fortunately for us it went, not harmlessly over, but it wasn’t an issue.”

Chapman’s driving run saw him over-hit a crossfield pass which was retrieved by Paxman on the left and he played the ball inside to Woolcott, whose first touch was superb but he curled his right-footed shot over the crossbar from 25-yards.

Woolcott played the ball inside to Wheatley, who clipped the ball out to Chapman on the right, he cut inside and curled his left-footed shot around the far post from similar range.

Paxman’s driving run had Hanworth Villa on the back foot and he played the ball inside to Woolcott, but his shot from the edge of the box in a central position lacked the desired finish and Eacott easily picked up the ball as it rolled straight at him.

“He got himself in a good area and tested the goalkeeper but he’s good from outside the box in those areas so he’s probably disappointed with himself,” added the former Brentford striker.

Hanworth Villa’s resilience was finally smashed when Ramsgate took a deserved lead with 42 minutes and 52 seconds on the clock.

Wheatley clipped the ball over Hanworth right-back Chris Ogunlana to release Penny in the left-channel and he crossed low within the area of uncertainty for an unmarked Paxman to slot his shot past Eacott from eight-yards.

“We knew they were going to be a side that were going to come here and look for a smash-and-grab,” highlighted Blackman.

“Then once we get good possession, all off a sudden we were moving the ball and we were patient and we’ve spotted an opportunity and it was a great ball by Wheats, who kept it on there.

“But Pax is Pax, he gets in some good areas, great position and he’s there for a tap in but it was the build-up and the development before that, that was the most pleasing part.  They kept the ball and was patient, they sucked them in and it was a good move.”

Watkins was called into action on the stroke of half-time, however, diving to his left and holding Neale’s left-footed free-kick from 30-yards, which he got up and over the Ramsgate wall and was dipping towards the bottom corner.

“It was similar to the Woolcott effort really. I think he’ll be disappointed if the goalkeeper doesn’t let it in. It’s still a good save because he got himself nicely over and held onto it very well,” said Blackman.

Despite scoring a couple of minutes before the interval, Blackman revealed his Ramsgate players felt “deflated.”

“I felt we looked a bit deflated. I don’t know if it was the fact that they came here to stifle us and slow the game down and we couldn’t get into a rhythm.

“The mindsets were good. We just couldn’t quite get to grips how we increased our intensity really.

“Although they didn’t have any threats, it was a combination of what we have been doing, how we did the horrible side of the game. Once we’ve done that our quality in the final third was going to scare the life out of most teams.”

Brevett, 47, the former queens Park Rangers and West Ham United defender had to be spoken to by referee Peter Wilson as he thought Ramsgate combative target-man Matthew Adams should have picked up a second yellow card for a scissor kick that went wrong and kicked Adam Baigent instead as the Ramsgate man tried to score from Woolcott’s corner from the left.

While the referee was in conversation with Brevett, Adams sneaked off and was replaced by Tom Hickman, who slotted into a holding midfield role and Paxman and Chapman went up top, as both full-backs turned into wing-backs.

“I said to him at half-time, we’re going to give you 15 (minutes). He’s done a tremendous job there, a great, great guy, he knows his limits and what he does, he does really well but we had to be sensible. He got booked earlier on so when that one bounced you could see it was just an honest attempt to try to hook the ball in and the guy stuck his foot in and thankfully the ref dealt with that very well.  You could see it wasn’t intentional. It was pretty much a coming together. I had to get him off and change it round otherwise I think the ref, that was his final, final chance.”

Hanworth Villa equalised in the 57th minute, which was a gift from Ramsgate and surprising as they caught the home side on the break.

Neale collected the ball just over the halfway line on the left and he hit a long diagonal over towards O’Cansey, who was the away side’s only attacking threat.

Central defender George Crimmen didn’t deal with the ball and goalkeeper Watkins raced out of his penalty area, failed to head the ball towards safety and O’Cansey accepted the gift, slotting the ball into the bottom corner of an empty net, the goal timed at 11 minutes and 26 seconds.

Blackman said: “It was disappointing.  We’ve got into a situation, all they were relying on was route-one and then my disappointment was that George Crimmen was there to deal with the situation.  It doesn’t need to be a situation that Luke Watkins needs to come out so it could’ve been put into Row Z by Crimmen and then all off a sudden we’re in a much more better position.

“But you’ve asked a player to come out and take charge of the situation, which Luke felt he had. Maybe a bit unfortunate it’s ricochet back of him but generally a situation like that, I prefer a centre half to smash it into Row Z.”

This heralded a good spell from Hanworth Villa and Athan Smith-Joseph cut onto his left-foot and his curler forced Watkins to hold onto the ball, while stretching low to his right just before the hour-mark.

“I wouldn’t say we rode our luck, we are telling these young players there are times in games it doesn’t matter who you’re playing, Faversham last Tuesday and take the game today, you can’t always be on the front foot,” added Blackman.

“It’s how you deal with those little periods of diversity. It’s how you get together and make sure you combat it the best we can so there was a little five minutes period but once we got to grips of things and rode the storm as they say, we got ourselves back on the front foot.”

But despite being on the front foot, Hanworth Villa didn’t have the nous to give Ramsgate an anxious time for the rest of the game.

Ramsgate captain Wheatley urged his team-mates “to lift it” as he powered a bullet header comfortably wide of the near post after meeting Paxman’s deep corner from the right as the game entered the final 17 minutes.

Those words of encouragement was the inspiration that MacKenzie needed to help his club avoid slipping up on a potential banana skin.

Blackman changed tactics and pushed Penny and MacKenzie forward as wing-backs with Paxman and Chapman playing as strikers after Adams was substituted nine minutes into the half.

Penny advanced forward and played a crossfield pass from left-to-right to MacKenzie, who was inside the right channel when he collected the ball.

He cut across his man, one woman in the stand shouted out “what are you doing?,’ and then watched MacKenzie cut onto his left-foot to arrow a sublime shot into the top left-hand corner from 25-yards, with the goal timed at 29 minutes and 47 seconds.

“The kids got great ability.  I spoke to him on Wednesday and I said being unpredictable and the quality he plays, but I said if you get yourself chances, it happened at Faversham two or three times, when he cuts onto his left foot and I’ve seen him in training hit balls with his left-foot and it’s better than my right foot.

“I said get an opportunity then let it go and absolutely let it go and he can outside and he can go inside. As an attacking full-back he’s very, very good.  I think the balls still in the stanchion because I don’t think it hit the net, it rattled in the stanchion.

“It was a class finish. It gives the kid confidence. He went out there and listened to what I said and he’s rifled one top corner.

“We rode the storm and then all off a sudden Macca popped up with that sort of goal. It sort of lifted everyone and it was pleasing.”

Ramsgate sealed their passage with a killer third goal, which was timed at 33 minutes and 43 seconds.

MacKenzie played a major role in the move as he breezed past a couple of defenders on the right to cut into the penalty area. He cut the ball back to Paxman, who shaped to shoot before laying the ball inside to Chapman, to stroke into the back of the net from six-yards at the far post.

“It was good to have that situation where the attacking threats that we have get into areas in the final third and are dangerous. Last year we lacked a little bit of composure,” admitted Blackman.

“Great work from Macca, ball into Paxman and to open up his body like he did when everyone looked like it was the right thing to shoot, to open up his body and pick out for Chapman, it was a great finish and it worked really well.”

Ramsgate will be included in Monday’s First qualifying Round Draw and Blackman knows what The FA Cup means to non-league football clubs, especially after banking £1,925 in prize money today.

“As a coach or a manager you don’t think about that bit but at the back of your head you know that’s what you’re playing for and I’m sure it will keep the board and the club happy but we’ve played the game, not the occasion out there,” said Blackman.

“Our names in the hat, I’m happy to be in the hat and whoever we get then we’ll go there full of confidence and give it our best shot.

“You’ve seen quite a few non-league clubs, I know they’re at the higher levels up the pyramid, but there’s always that little bit of hope. I’ve had great occasions in this competition and there’s nothing like the romance and nothing like a great FA Cup run and if we can produce that for the fans and for the club and earn them a few pounds in the coffers as well on the way through then great. It will be a great experience for the players.”

Ramsgate are back in action on Tuesday night when Greenwich Borough come to Southwood Stadium for a Kent Reliance Senior Cup First Round tie.

Gary Alexander’s side also eased past lower league opposition today in The FA Cup by beating Three Bridges 4-1.

“We go Tuesday now, Greenwich Borough in the Kent Senior Cup and that will be our focus,” said Blackman.

“We’ve been unlucky and unfortunate with players being unavailable and injured but they’re slowing coming back over this period and it will be good to maybe rest a couple of players. We’ve got a good squad, good young players and they’ll be given an opportunity on Tuesday.”

Ramsgate:  Luke Watkins, Jake MacKenzie, Jack Penny, Ollie Gray, Luke Wheatley, George Crimmen, Tom Chapman (Tijan Jadama 90), Adam Woolcott, Matthew Adams (Tom Hickman 54), Alfie Paxman.
Subs: Jacob Mensah, Matthew Causer, Danny Lawrence, Jordan Bartlett, James King

Goals:  Alfie Paxman 43, Jake MacKenzie 75, Tom Chapman 79

Booked: Matthew Adams 25

Hanworth Villa: Michael Eacott, Chris Ogunlana (Steve Loveridge 65), Daniel Milborrow, Adam Baigent, Jermaine Queenborough, Tom Dilloway, Athan Smith-Joseph, Jack Mills, Cyril O’Cansey, Tom Neale, Jack Buckle (Francis Darko 82).
Subs: Alfie White, Luke Muldowney, Felix Ohorlu, Tristan Thomas

Goal: Cyril O’Cansey 57

Booked:  Francis Darko 86, Tom Neale 87

Attendance: 183
Referee: Mr Peter Wilson (Chelmsford, Essex)
Assistants: Mr Kane Woods (Benfleet, Essex) & Mr Dumitru-Gheorghe Vasile (Chelmsford, Essex)

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