Ward hails his "pub team
McCartney reports from
Steffan Ball 87
climbed up one place into fifth in the Ryman League Division One table
with a 3-0 victory in front of Ashford Town's highest league turn out of
the season at The Homelands today, writes Stephen McCartney.
Ashford, meanwhile, drop one spot and have only Newport IOW and Corinthian-Casuals below them in the table, having played more games than their rivals.
All three sides have collected 14 points but Ashford's worrying statistic show they have not scored in eleven games this season, have kept only one clean sheet - although big Dave Wietecha, 31, has added some experience in goal - and they must find a prolific striker to convert their chances.
Someone like Shaun Welford or Steffan Ball will do
nicely. Welford's two goals today takes his tally to eleven for the
season, and substitute Ball has scored one more.
And at the other end, Michael Yianni squared the
ball for Edd Vahid, whose shot went straight at Wietecha from the edge of
the box on the right hand side.
Simon Pettit's ball over the top was latched onto
by Welford but his angled drive from the right was acrobatically plucked
out of the air by the former Bromley and Folkestone Invicta shot stopper.
But the Rams opened the scoring five minutes before the break when skipper Mark Munday's through ball was latched onto by Welford and with only the goalkeeper to beat, slotted home from 16-yards.
Ashford, meanwhile, almost equalised early in the
second half in controversial circumstances when Solomon Henry's shot
rolled to Twyman as play was allowed to continue although Suter was left
in a heap further up the field.
Henry picked up the ball in midfield on the left, nut-megged Liam Morris and raced towards goal. The 22-year-old stroked the ball to top scorer (six goals) Joby Thorogood, and although he got his shot on target, Twyman turned the ball around the post.
Then a minute later, he should have scored, when
he received the ball from Emmanuel Sackey but with his second touch, shot
straight at the goalkeeper.
Ramsgate substitute Steffan Ball was denied by a
breathtaking goal-line clearance from Ashford stalwart Ross, but two goals
in a devastating four-minute spell secured the win.
And as the jubilant Rams players celebrated their
win, a chorus of "We're just a pub team in Thanet", could be
heard coming from the visitors dressing room, but manager Jim Ward is
happy with that tag.
Ward, who was without the Schulz brothers, Ollie
and Warren, Dean Hill and Ben Laslett, takes his side to Croydon Athletic
on Tuesday night, expecting another tough time against Brian Sparrow's men
"I think they are the best team we've played against this year. I know they've lost their manager (Hayden Bird) and all that and sometimes it's good, sometimes it's bad but we're ok. It was a big three points for us today."
Ashford, meanwhile, are in a precarious position
and have only 23 games to climb away from the drop zone or they could be
playing Kent League football next season.
He admitted Jamie Smith's sending off was a
crucial moment in this Kent derby.
"As soon as we conceded the extra player our
heads went down a little bit and to be fair 3-0 completely flattered
"In fact the whole team have been excellent
the last four games (where they've picked up just two points). We
just haven't got what we deserved."
|Ashford Town: Dave Wietecha, Jamie
Smith, Ian Ross (Capt), Tom Adlington, Mark Banks, Richard Boorman,
Emmanuel Sackey, Gary Clarke, Joby Thorogood, Shaun Bradshaw, Solomon
Henry. Subs: Steve Humphrey, Anthony Pace, Kenny Karrett-Elliott,
Denver Birmingham, Sean Glover (GK)
Sent off: Jamie Smith 73
Ramsgate: Danny Twyman, Edd Vahid, James Gregory, Liam Morris, Mark Munday (Capt), Simon Pettit, Micahel Yianni (Lee Minshull 68), Sam Denly (Steffan Ball 62), Shaun Welford, David Cory, Shane Suter (Stuart Vahid 56). Subs: Michael Cassar, Jurgen Wild (GK)
Referee: Mr Rob Smith (Croydon)
Assistants: Mr James Garrett & Mr Alan Marshall