Monday 15th March 2004

Ramsgate left in the dark

The Go Travel Kent League Premier Division fixture between Ramsgate and Maidstone United on Tuesday night, has been cancelled owing to difficulties with the floodlights at Southwood, writes Stephen McCartney.

The two floodlight units that are out of commission are at the halfway line and so are not supplemented by the additional floodlights located behind the goals.

Replacement units are expected to be delivered some time this week, however, with the current unavailability of a suitable high-reach crane Ramsgate saw no alternative other to cancel their game against the Stones.

The game is expected to be played some time next month.

Back on the pitch, in the absence of Ramsgate's new manager, former Maidstone boss, Jim Ward, Mark Harrop took charge of the Ramsgate side, whose recent form suggested their trip to Sevenoaks Town would be a fruitless one.

However, as it often the case when a new man takes control, a resurgent Ramsgate started strongly for the first ten minutes, causing the home defence numerous problems with Shane Suters penetrating runs on the left wing.

Somewhat against the run of play Sevenoaks took the lead through Wood on 20 minutes, but the Rams were level within five minutes through Mo Takaloo.

On 40 minutes Takaloo unleashed a thunderbolt from the edge of the Sevenoaks penalty area to give Ramsgate a deserved 2-1 lead.

The second half began with the Rams continuing their domination, and it was no surprise that their lead was extended further on 62 minutes.  Takaloo completing his hat trick after some excellent work from Aaron Robinson.

Ramsgate relaxed a little allowing Sevenoaks a bit too much space and Lee Pilcher in the Ramsgate goal had to make a number of saves from one to ones to stop a Sevenoaks comeback.

On 80 minutes the goal of the match from Simon Pettit as he curled a right footed shot past the bemused Sevenoaks goalkeeper from fully 30 yards.

With Ramsgate winning 4-1 the Southwood outfit showed what they are capable of, and although it is too late in the season they hope to climb into the top half of the table.

Their next game, is a trip to off-form Slade Green on Saturday.

It was also a good day for Ramsgate's reserves as they gained three much needed points at Southwood on Saturday, with a 4-2 victory over Ashford Town reserves to help climb away from the relegation zone in the Go Travel Kent League Division One table.

Ramsgate's reserves started brightly but, after only a few minutes, a goal against the run of play saw Ashford take an early lead.

The Rams kept their shape and, despite losing captain Ryan Harker in the 15th minute when a strong challenge left him with a dislocated shoulder, as the game continued so did Ramsgate's dominance.

However, it was not until the 25th minute that the Rams levelled the score, when Louis Crow slotted in a cross from under sixteen player Ben Kerslake.

Ramsgate kept the pressure up, resulting in two headed goals from Graham Taylor - one in the 41st minute from a Kerslake free kick and the other two minutes before the break from a corner from under sixteen player Nathan Jefferys.

With a 3-1 lead Ramsgate started the second half in similar fashion to how they finished the first until the 60th minute when Ashford found one of their number dismissed for shoving Hayden Suter after play had been stopped.

Being reduced to ten men seemed to galvanise the visitors and their share of the possession grew.  They received their reward in the 78th minute after a free kick reached a tightly packed Ramsgate penalty area and, after striking the post with the first attempt, Ashford managed to get the rebound beyond the reach of goalkeeper Danny Twyman.

Ramsgate still had the majority of the play, however, and continued to pressure Ashford, with a fourth goal coming in the closing minutes of the game when Louis Crow again put the finish on a Kerslake cross.

Ramsgate reserve team manager, Lee Strutt, who has taken seven points from a possible ten since he took over running the second string at Southwood, confirmed: "I'm very impressed with the team's recent improvements, and feel that the blend of youth and experience is working well and will enhance the development and future of the club."

(Special thanks to Martin Able and Stephen Redford for their reports)