Thursday 01st September 2005

Rams continue impressive early season form

Tuesday 20th
September 2005
Ryman League
Division One
Arran Ayres reports from Southwood Stadium
Ramsgate 2 O. Schulz
Hastings United 1 Wallis 90

Tuesday 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.

So, 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 opportunity.

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 the post.

The 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 minute.

On Saturday (24th) the Rams have a home tie against Southall in the second qualifying round of the FA Cup, kicking off at 3pm.


Ramsgate: D Twyman, E Vahid, M Cassar, S Pettit, O Schulz, B Laslett, M Munday, W Schulz, S Welford (M Yianni 77), S Ball (D Cory 90), S Vahid (L Morris 63). Subs: S Suter and J Gregory.

Referee:    Gary Johnson
Assistants: Nolan Wilde & Paul Andrews