Thursday 23rd October 2003

Elliott sinks Dartford

Ramsgate 2-1 Dartford
Under 18 John Ullman Cup Second Round
Thursday 23 October 2003
by John Vahid, Ramsgate FC

The Under 18s' second home cup match in four days saw Ramsgate edge home 2-1 against a very useful Dartford team, which included many reserve players from Tommy Sampson's Dr Martens League side.

As under dogs Ramsgate were under constant pressure for the first fifteen minutes, and it was no surprise when Dartford were awarded a free kick some twenty metres from goal. The free kick to the far post cost Ramsgate dearly when headed into the net unmarked.

From this point on Ramsgate began to rally, with industrious midfielders Stuart Elliot, Matt Adams and captain Billy Grainger taking command of the centre of the park.  With 35 minutes on the clock recent signing Stuart Elliott latched onto a long ball from 'keeper Lee Pilcher just inside the Dartford half, and his half volley sailed high and over the astonished Dartford 'keeper. This was one of the best goals seen at Southwood this season and brought the scores level, where they remained for the rest of the half.

In the second half Ramsgate had the wind at their back and fought hard to keep on top of their skillfull and more experienced opponents. Chances were few and far between as both defences stood firm.  Unfortunately Ramsgate went down to ten men when left sided Andrew Hadden was shown the red card for an off the ball incident.

To Ramsgate's credit, and the will to win the game before the onset of extra time and the dreaded "golden goal", an Oliver Donohoe run down the right with minutes remaining caused utter confusion between Dartford's left-back and 'keeper. The defender's back pass looped over the advancing keeper and trickled into the empty net for a 2-1 lead. With only minutes remaining, and after such a hard fought contest, this goal was as good as a "golden goal".  After the match the Ramsgate Manager concluded, "This was the finest win so far this season, against an extremely strong and experienced Dartford side. What team spirit, the lads gave it their all."

In the next round of the John Ullman Cup Ramsgate will entertain either Croydon Athletic or Fisher Athletic, who have yet to arrange their 2nd Round fixture.  The Under 18s will be back in League action at Southwood for the next two Sundays, against Ashford Town (26th October) and Milton Athletic (2nd November), both 11 o'clock kickoff's.
Ramsgate:    Lee Pilcher; James Grainger; Andrew Hadden; Keiran Morris; Emlyn Taylor; Matt Adams; Oliver Donohoe; Billy Grainger (Capt); Billy Summers; Stuart Elliot (Ross Howells 67 minutes); Danny Wisker.  
Subs not used: Tim McAthur; Kenny Pratt.