Sevenoaks Town 1-3 Ramsgate - They gave me a lot of heart and energy and I can't be more proud of them, says Ramsgate head coach Lloyd Blackman

Tuesday 11th September 2018
Sevenoaks Town 1 – 3 Ramsgate
Location Greatness Park, Mill Lane, Seal Road, Sevenoaks, Kent TN14 5BX
Kickoff 11/09/2018 19:45

The Emirates FA Cup First Qualifying Round Replay
Tuesday 11 September 2018
Stephen McCartney reports from Greatness Park

RAMSGATE head coach Lloyd Blackman says the prize money from The FA Cup will help the club tremendously.

The Rams have banked £8,890 in total after beating Chatham Town (2-1) and Sevenoaks Town at the second attempt, while The Oaks have banked £5,140 after beating Lordswood (6-1) and Bedfont Sports (1-0) as their run was ended in the Second Qualifying Round by their Bostik South East Division rivals.

Ramsgate dominated the opening exchanges and raced into a two-goal lead inside the opening 26 minutes through left-winger Jack Penny finding the top bins with a quality curler and left-back George Crimmen.

Sevenoaks Town centre-half Jack Miles gave his side a lifeline on the half-hour mark by scoring with a half-volley, which went in via the underside of the crossbar, but Ramsgate sealed a trip to Gosport Borough on 22 September when striker Aaron Millbank scored his fourth goal of the season courtesy of a looping header early in the second half.

“Pleasing result. It’s never easy coming away from home is it?” said Blackman during the post-match press conference.

“They’re a big, strong physical side.  I thought we dealt with them really well and generally I thought the way we started the first half and got ourselves 2-0 up and then I thought from then on it was a fairly even match after that but once we got ourselves 2-0 up, it was a pleasing start.”

Sevenoaks Town boss Micky Collins said: “We gave ourselves a mountain to climb!  Do you know what? You’ve just got to give them credit.

“We should’ve won the tie on Saturday and we didn’t.  Tonight they came back out and first 20 minutes and deservedly went 2-0 in the lead and do you know what, that’s just been the story of our season so far!

“We need to deal with it better and we haven’t and all off a sudden we’re 2-0 down and they showed great spirit to try to come back but we got done with a third one, which is really poor defending and it’s a mountain them.

“Credit to our guys, they tried their best and they gave it everything they could to try to get back in and probably on chances created we should’ve maybe got something out of it but you can’t start games of football like that and credit to them, they came here and done that to us. It wasn’t just us not being good, they done a really good job.”

Sevenoaks Town went into the game without any points from their opening three league outings and third from bottom in the table, but having won three cup games.

Ramsgate were in eleventh-place in the table with three points from four league games and were held to a 1-1 draw at Southwood Stadium in Saturday’s game.

Sevenoaks Town created the first opening when Billy Bennett released left-wing-back Greg Benbow down the left and he hung over a cross towards the far post for big targetman Kenny Pogue, who looped his header into Luke Watkins gloves for a comfortable catch.

“I think he probably should’ve headed it down for Frank and I think he tried to get it back down that way but it just didn’t work,” admitted Collins.

“I think if he headed it down we might’ve had another effort. It was good Benbow getting in a lot down the left, which was great for us.”

Blackman said: “The big man Kenny hangs on the back post and that’s why we’ve been playing George Crimmen on the left-hand side so Crimmen’s got up and challenged with him and managed to affect him enough so he couldn’t get the header on target, so that’s exactly why we put him there.”

Ramsgate were dominating midfield for most of the first half and Bennett lost the ball to Penny, who played the ball into Millbank’s feet and his flick pass went out to Tom Chapman, who swept a first time shot bouncing comfortably into Ben Bridle-Card’s hands from outside the penalty area.

Ramsgate lost midfielder Tijan Jadama to an early injury.

“TJ has been struggling with a back injury,” revealed Blackman.

“Speaking to him over the weekend, he said he was fine.  I think I’ve jumped to conclusions there so I’ve got to apologise to TJ because I thought he was just soldering himself through but I think he’s taken a whack on it so I’ll speak to TJ and make sure the kid’s alright. It was a reoccurring issue that he had, I believe a couple of weeks ago. He went up and landed awkwardly so it just keeps niggling and coming back so hopefully the kid will be alright.”

Ramsgate deservedly took the lead with 12 minutes and 20 seconds on the clock through a sublime finish from Penny.

Millbank played the ball into Chapman in the centre and he played a diagonal pass out to Penny on the left. He cut inside and curled a sublime right-footed shot around the keeper into the top far corner of the net from 25-yards out.

Blackman said: “Fantastic finish! He’s had two or three in the last couple of games and he catches them so sweet, this one was on his non-favoured right-foot but he’s got so much ability, it’s all just believing himself and having a bit of confidence and when he shaped it I was right behind it and it was going absolutely postage stamp.

“It was a great strike. I’m really pleased for the kid because he’s quite a quiet lad and he sticks a goal like that away on a tie like this. That was something special for him.”

Blackman added: “Our play in the first 15 minutes was decent. We overloaded the midfield a little bit. They did very well in that department on Saturday so we made sure that we overloaded the midfield and made sure we were more aggressive in transition and I thought that was a game plan that worked really well.”

Collins said: “It was a good goal, it was a good goal! Can you stop it at source? Can you stop the shot coming in? He’s shifted it onto his right foot and he’s bent it in the top corner, it’s in the stanchion!  You can’t stop that! That’s a great goal. Disappointing on our part but do you know what? Sometimes you have to take your hat off and say it’s a good goal!”

Collins added: “I just don’t think we came out. We were slow coming out and they were lively and they were quick on us and they stopped us playing and done a job.  That’s the difference in levels. At the moment we’re just giving ourselves mountains to climb all the time!”

Ramsgate’s pressing caused Sevenoaks Town into making sloppy mistakes and they fully deserved their two-goal lead when it arrived with 25 minutes and 7 seconds on the clock.

Jake McIntyre, who plays on the left of a three-man Sevenoaks defence, fouled Rory Smith as he tried to cut inside him and referee Ryan Whitaker blew for a free-kick on the very corner of the penalty area on the right-hand side.

Centre-half Jacob Mensah drilled in the resulting free-kick with his left-foot and Crimmen got a part of his body to the ball to direct it into the bottom right-hand corner at the near post of a crowded penalty area.

“I was sitting 60-70 yards away, it kind of went in an unorthodox method so I don’t know if we managed to get a bit lucky there,” admitted Blackman.

“I don’t know what’s it come off, I haven’t spoken to Crimmen about it.  There wasn’t too many complains, I know a few boys were appealing in hope rather than anything else.

“Listen, you put yourselves in those position, we work a lot on set-pieces and we’ve managed to create ourselves an opportunity and he’s taken it very well so I’m very pleased.”

Collins added: “I thought it was a silly foul to give away.  I’ve watched the video back and the guy is going nowhere and there’s two men in there to deal with it and we’ve given a stupid foul away in a very dangerous area. It’s another good delivery and the guy’s got something on it and all off a sudden it’s us again defensively we’ve been frail.”

Sevenoaks Town were poor for the opening 30 minutes and they accepted a lifeline with 29 minutes and 26 seconds on the clock, following their first of eight corners of the night.

McIntyre raised both hands in the air before floating over a left-footed corner in from the left.  Pogue used his strength to nod the ball back across goal and Ramsgate failed to clear their lines and Miles turned to hit a right-footed half-volley in off the underside of the crossbar from 20-yards.

Collins said: “Yes early on, they dominated midfield, early on I thought, first 20 minutes.  I thought they done well and rotated very well and we never got to grips with it and it was probably 25 minutes in maybe a bit longer and then we dealt with it and we sorted it then. We started to get on the ball and play our football and then all off a sudden we get ourselves back in the game.

“It was a good goal. We’ve worked it in there and it’s a good finish from him and at 2-1 you’re thinking can we go on and get an equaliser and take it in at half-time level.

“I thought we dominated it a little bit then, we started to get on top and we started moving the ball around and we got ourselves in some situations.”

Blackman added: “I didn’t want us to drop deep. Once we changed the midfield, TJ Had to come off and Sam Lawford wasn’t a familiar position as was Tom Chapman in there.

“We were in a situation what was a lot of energy but once they were able to turn the ball out a little bit, we gave them a bit too much respect and they created an opportunity from it and scored from it so I was disappointed not to come in 2-0 but generally considering the changes that we had to make, you’re always going to give away an opportunity or two.

“It was a good finish. We were just disappointed. We work a lot on set-pieces and it was the second phase of the corner so I’m not necessarily the first header that comes in, it’s how we deal with it next but the lad has managed to get himself on the half-turn and prod it on a half-volley.

“I was disappointed that we didn’t deal with that better but generally the guy caught it absolutely sweet so fair play.”

The goal lifted Sevenoaks’ spirits and they should have grabbed an equaliser just 121 seconds after pulling a goal back.

Benbow raced down the left wing and delivered a low cross which was flicked on by Frankie Sawyer’s feet at the near post and the ball flashed across the face of goal and only Pogue will know why he lashed his first time right-footed drive over the crossbar from six-yards out.

Collins said: “A great chance that we’ve created for Kenny and we’ve crossed it and it’s an open goal and he’s put it over. That’s the moments in games that turn games. If we scored that and made it two-all we have come in at half-time level. It may have been a different story but do you know what? When it’s not going for you, it's not and that’s how it is at the moment. That’s what happens.  If it falls to one of theirs does he put it away? That’s football.

“We’ve got to look at the positive. The positive is we’ve created the chance, we created a lot of chances tonight, you’ve just got to be clinical and we haven’t been!”

Blackman said: “I think Frankie missed out with the outside of his foot. It was a good chance for Kenny and he’ll be disappointed he didn’t hit the target!

“I thought Crimmen did very well to at least obstruct him and put some sort of challenge in.

“From that situation we were 2-0 up and it was a case of all the changes that we made getting into half-time and then be able to sort things out because they were a few boys that were in positions and it was difficult for them so from that side they gave me a lot of heart and energy and I couldn’t be more proud of them.”

Blackman was very vocal within his technical area while Collins and his assistant manager John Wilfort had a puzzled look about them as they discussed their side’s first half performance.

“I had a moan at half-time because I wasn’t happy with the first 20 minutes,” said Collins.

“I don’t think we dealt with them at all. I don’t think any of us stepped up to assess the situation. We’d just went round like headless chickens for a little bit. They’re 2-0 in the lead.  The one thing I did say I was positive with the fact that we came back to get it to 2-1 and looked to have a go up until half-time to try to rectify it and get us back on track.”

Blackman added: “We worked on a few tactical things. We did realise we were open and there were situations we will find ourselves in and it was a case of being disciplined and tight.  We had to change it tactically again so we changed our formation around at half-time so we had to counter-attack.

“Sevenoaks had to change their style as well, which probably made it more suitable for us and then it was a case of being more disciplined and that’s what I told the boys at half-time and I thought they delivered that.”

Sevenoaks Town started the second half on the front foot for a short period of time before Ramsgate wrapped up the game.

Penny’s left-footed free-kick from 35-yards sailed high over the Sevenoaks crossbar before sealing the victory with six minutes and 29 seconds on the clock following set-piece.

Crimmen launched a long throw into the Sevenoaks penalty area and Millbank looped a near-post header over the keeper and the ball dropped in underneath the crossbar. It was as simple as that!

Blackman said: “You put yourselves in those situations.  I thought Millbank won 90% of his headers today and he’s got the glance on but he’s putting it into an area and see it drop in at the far post, I’m very pleased.  Ok, he puts himself in an area, it’s not fluke. He’s aiming for that far post. Is he fortunate it’s dropped in the net? Yes, but he got himself in that position to get some rewards from it.”

Collins knows he needs to sort out his naïve defence.

“That’s poor defending, again, that’s it! We’ve got a guy standing on the near post, he’s not got anybody in front of him. Millbank’s got a free header.  Alright he’s looped it back but maybe look at the keeper, maybe could he have done better? But we’ve got to put a screen in there. At this level you’ve got to and we can call it naïve defending, it’s poor! It’s just not good enough.  There’s things we’ve got to look at and address.”

Ramsgate then created a couple more chances before the hour-mark. 

Smith’s diagonal pass released Penny in space and his driven shot from a couple of yards inside the penalty area just cleared the crossbar, before substitute right-winger Harry Stannard arrowed his run towards the edge of the box and his left-footed drive forced Bridle-Card to make a smart low save to his right to prevent the ball nestling inside the bottom left-hand corner.

“It was a good move. We worked hard on that overload in the centre of midfield to be able to create opportunities for Rory to pick up second balls and in transition we wanted to be more aggressive which we were and Rory has got a great strike on him.  Unfortunately, this time, he was unable to hit the target,” said Blackman, who then reflected on Stannard’s performance.

“I thought Harry made a really positive impact when he came on. We’ve been working and speaking to H a lot over the last couple of weeks. He’s got great ability and we’re just working him into the situation that we want to work.  Sometimes it’s a bit foreign for him but the kid is giving me everything and you can see the quality that he has when he chops inside and manages to get the shot off and I thought he did really well when he came on.”

Collins said on Stannard’s chance, “We’re going for it then at 3-1. We’re a bit gung-ho and a bit top heavy and you’re going to get caught on the break but do you know what, fair play to us second half. I can’t argue with our effort. I thought we had an absolute go at it. If we got the second one who knows but it just wasn’t to be tonight.”

Sevenoaks Town then pressed and missed glorious chances to get themselves back into the game.

McIntyre launched a long ball over the top from a left-back position and Watkins raced off his line to clear poorly and quiet right-wing-back Alec Fiddes hit a first time shot over the top of the left-hand post from 30-yards.

“It’s a difficult chance but maybe if he has a touch and then it goes in, it’s one of those, games change on pivotal moments at times,” said Collins.

“We’re killing ourselves at the moment.  Take nothing away from them, in my opinion, just for the first half of the game they well deserved it and I wish them all the best in the next round and that’s the story of our season so far and we need to pick ourselves up.”

Fiddes and Benbow then linked up and Sawyer went close with a right-footed shot on the turn, which flashed just past the foot of the near post from 12-yards.

Ramsgate opted to defend with two banks of four with Smith playing behind Millbank and the away side tried to hit Sevenoaks on the counter-attack.

“We wanted to make sure that Rory drops into the hole,” explained Blackman.  “It was effectively two banks of four and we’ve worked a lot over the last week or two, more intensely dealing with our back four. They didn’t create an awful lot from that situation so that was pleasing.”

Collins was pleased that his side got through Ramsgate’s shape.

“I thought we did it, I thought we got in behind them. I thought the two wingers got in, we got crosses in.”

Millbank dropped deep and clipped a ball sailing over McIntyre’s head and Stannard cut into the box and drove his shot just past the foot of the near post from a tight angle as McIntyre tried to chase him.

“It was working on the counter-attack situation. Millbank, again, wins a header and Harry’s gambled. It was a 50-50 or a half-chance opportunity because the defender was chasing him down but we worked a situation well from something that we spoke about at half-time,” said the Rams chief.

Stannard released Penny, whose shot was charged down by Rob Saunders on the edge of the penalty area, the ball looped up and was caught by Bridle-Card.

Sevenoaks threw bodies forward during the final 15 minutes and Sevenoaks Town missed another glorious chance.

Miles played the ball out to substitute right-wing-back Sam Crabb, who charged down the right flank and whipped in a low cross, which was dummied by Pogue at the near post and Sawyer lashed his first time drive over the crossbar from 10-yards.

Sevenoaks Town continued to dominate towards the end of the game.

They produced a sweeping move including Miles and Osman Proni but Fiddes drove his shot past the post from 15-yards.

Collins threw on Luke Coleman and he was thwarted on three occasions by highly-rated Ramsgate stopper Watkins.

Fiddes swung in the home side’s seventh corner of the night and McIntyre rose to flick on his header and two powerfully drilled low shots from Coleman were brilliantly blocked by Watkins low down to his left at his near post.

Collins said: “Luke got on the ball and it’s something that wasn’t happening and it just wasn’t working for us.  I thought just by bringing him on he might get on the ball and make something happen and we did and created two or three chances out of it.”

“What you saw there was every single player jumping in front of the ball.  It’s an FA Cup tie. They haven’t got their rewards over the last month or two,” admitted Blackman.

“The boys have run their legs off and they’ve given me everything and I can’t ask for any more.  When it happens like that on a day like today it makes it feel, it was really pleasing to see.”

And inside injury time, Coleman’s first time swept shot on the turn from inside the D was pushed over the crossbar by Watkins.

The FA have increased the prize money in The FA Cup this season which is a welcomed boost for non-league club’s.

“At the end of the day, it’s a win.  I look at it, obviously it’s not three points but a wins a win so that’s what I take from it,” said Blackman.

“The fact that we’ve come here to a difficult side, a difficult place, it’s a 3G pitch over here, we’re not used to it like Sevenoaks are and the fact for large periods of the game our game plan was spot on.

“Really for me and for the clubs point of view we all know the extra finances are available in The FA Cup, that’s obviously going to help a club like ours tremendously.  From our point of view it’s a case of build some confidence, momentum and a run and keep that going.”

Gosport Borough came away from Sittingbourne with a 1-0 win in the last round of The FA Cup and play one level higher than Ramsgate – in tenth-place in the Evo-Stik Southern Premier Division South with nine points on the board from six games.

“That’s the only one I know off that they beat Sittingbourne so we’ll get them looked at, we’ll do our work as best we can, the small club that we are,” said Blackman, whose side host Tommy Warrilow’s Thamesmead Town on Saturday.

“I know it’s a bit of a trek over there but that’s what The FA Cup is about.  It’s going to be a great occasion and we’re going to go over there and prepare the best we can and give it our best shot.

“They’re going to be favourites, they’re at home, they’re a league above us but it's The FA Cup and we’ll give it our best shot!”

Sevenoaks who welcome newly-promoted side Haywards Heath Town here on Saturday, felt they should have gone through on the Kent coast at the weekend.

Collins said: “We stayed in the game for a long period, we got a goal went 1-0 up and then conceded second half and it’s our own mistake and we should’ve gone through and we haven’t.  We’ve allowed them back in and they took their opportunity (tonight) and they deserved it.

“We can beat ourselves up all night but we weren’t good enough to get the result. Defensively, we’ve not been good enough tonight.”

Sevenoaks Town:  Ben Bridle-Card, Alec Fiddes, Greg Benbow, Rob Saunders, Jake McIntyre, Jack Miles, Danny Cumber, Osman Proni, Kenny Pogue (Luke Coleman 79), Frankie Sawyer, Billy Bennett (Sam Crabb 54).
Subs: Andreas Felipe Losada-Toban, Ryan Fowler, Tom Ripley

Goal:  Jack Miles 30

Booked: Jake McIntyre 25, Rob Saunders 60

Ramsgate:  Luke Watkins, Jake MacKenzie, George Crimmen, Charlie Dickens, Luke Wheatley, Jacob Mensah, Tom Chapman (George Batney 90), Tijan Jadama (Sam Lawford 7, Harry Stannard 46)), Aaron Millbank, Rory Smith, Jack Penny.
Subs: Jake Munday, Ethan Madden, Kyron Lightfoot, Matthew Bone

Goals:  Jack Penny 13, George Crimmen 26, Aaron Millbank 52

Attendance: 172
Referee: Mr Ryan Whitaker (Bexleyheath)
Assistants: Mr Jak Hill (Folkestone) & Mr Ryan Chantrill-Smith (Margate)