night’s encounter between Ramsgate and Hastings United had all the
prospects of a lively tie, with both sides having won all but one of their
League games to date, writes Arran Ayres.
However, what might not have been expected though, was the Rams’
opponents finishing with 10 men on the pitch for the fifth game in a row
after Shaun Loft was sent off, and Hastings United manager Neville
Southall also receiving his marching orders from the technical area.
not surprisingly, the game started at a very lively pace. However,
it was the Rams who took the initiative early on. Shaun Welford won a
corner, which was swung in by Michael Cassar and the United defence failed
to pick up Ollie Schulz's late run into the penalty area, allowing him to
crash home an unchallenged near post header.
The Rams continued to work hard, with some very good passing play, and
strong runs forward from Welford, Steffan Ball and Stuart Vahid.
Hastings also produced some good attacking play, although solid work by
the Ramsgate defence, backed up by a strong performance by Danny Twyman,
dealt with everything the visitors threw at them.
Wes Lopez looked lively for Hastings on the wing, but the hosts dealt with
all his crosses.
In the 26th minute Hastings skipper Sean Ray managed to put Jon
Wallis through, but Edd Vahid intercepted and cleared for the Rams.
In the 35th minute Danny Ellis stopped an uncharacteristic misskick
from Twyman, which he threaded through to Sam Adams whose shot on goal was
pushed wide by Twyman for a corner after it skipped up off the pitch.
As the half progressed the Rams began to dominate more, and on 38 minutes
a long throw from Simon Pettit provided Ball with another excellent
The cracks were beginning to show in the visitors’ defence, and Peter
Mortley managed to talk himself into referee Gary Johnson’s book, after
being given fair warning.
In the closing minutes of the half Ramsgate appeared sure to get a second
goal, with Stuart Vahid’s cross finding Welford, who chested the ball
down and passed to Ball, whose shot was well saved by Jon Sullivan.
Within a minute Ball repaid the compliment, when he intercepted
Hastings’ clearance and clipped the ball over the defender into
Welford’s path, but his shot was blocked.
Another Pettit long throw in the 45th minute found Mark Munday
unmarked in the area, his header beating Sullivan but going just wide of
second half, however, continued in similar vein, and within two minutes a
Ramsgate corner reached Ball at the far post, whose overhead kick dropped
behind the goal.
Nick Fogden joined Mortley in Johnson’s book for dissent early in the
second period, as United began to show signs of increasing frustration.
Rams’ Stuart Vahid joined them for a foul on Lopez, which led to another
United free kick and Ray went close to an equaliser when he glanced Jon
Wallis' cross wide.
Shortly after Hastings made two changes in as many minutes, with Shaun
Loft replacing Ellis and then Chris Honey replacing Jimmy Elford.
Hastings won a free kick from 35 yards, but this was again solidly
defended, with Ollie Schulz heading clear.
Four minutes later the Rams were awarded a free kick to the right on the
halfway line, from which Ollie Schulz found Ball, whose header enabled
Welford to fire home a volley that left Sullivan no chance, giving the
Rams their 2nd goal.
A minute later and the home side made their first change, with Liam Morris
replacing hardworking Stuart Vahid. The Rams continued to press, with Ball
heading just over, and occasional counters by Hastings, although the
visitors had an excellent chance to get one back in the 75th
minute when a cross from Honey on the right hand side of the area fell to
Lopez at the far post, and only a tremendous reaction save by Twyman
preserved his clean sheet for a little longer.
Two minutes later a second substitution by the Rams saw Michael Yianni
replace Welford, and in the 81st minute a possible penalty to
the hosts was turned down when Sullivan rushed out and sending Warren
Schulz flying - with the crowd screaming for the penalty the referee
believed he was in a better position to judge and decided the ‘keeper
had got the ball.
As the end of normal time approached, Hastings started to lose their cool,
with Loft kicking out at Liam Morris laying on the ground in front of the
referee, who gave him the benefit of doubt with a caution.
Approximately a minute later Loft again challenged Morris with his boot
high and studs up, receiving a second caution and dismissal.
Manager Neville Southall added to United’s woes as he decided to
remonstrate with referee Johnson with some colourful language, which left
Johnson no option but to send him to the stand, although he refused to
give the referee his name.
Ben White was also cautioned for dissent. Play restarted and moved into
stoppage time, when a clearance by Sullivan in the 92nd minute
was flicked on by Honey to Wallis, who rounded the defence to clip the
ball over Twyman and into the net.
Hastings nearly grabbed a point with the final chance falling to them when
Ade Olorunda’s desperate header looped over the crossbar in the 97th
Saturday (24th) the Rams have a home tie against Southall in
the second qualifying round of the FA Cup, kicking off at 3pm.