|Go Travel Kent League
|Stephen McCartney reports from Culverden Stadium
Steve Ward 83
|Ollie Schulz 70
Wells' Ram raid to victory
TEN-MAN Tunbridge Wells inflicted Ramsgate's first Go Travel Kent League defeat of the season with a hard-fought, smash and grab victory at Culverden Stadium on Saturday, writes Stephen McCartney.
Kevin Metcalf's battling side climb up to ninth place in the table, are unbeaten in eight league games and are now level on points with the Rams with twelve.
Although eight Ramsgate players arrived at the ground with only five minutes to spare before kick off, they made a storming start going close three times in the opening eleven minutes.
Shots reigned in at the Tunbridge Wells goal from outside the penalty area from Schulz (twice) and Stuart Vahid, without troubling goalkeeper Matt Bromby.
This clash against two very talented sides boiled over in the 15th minute. Visiting striker Mo Takalobighashi went in diagonally on Wells' full-back Martin Anderson on the right-hand side of the pitch close to the home dug out.
Both players squared up to each other as play continued and the pair were joined by visiting player Downer.
Referee John D'Arcy, who had a very poor game, trying to grab the attention instead of the two talented sides, spoke to his assistant before calling over both captain's to restore calm.
Moments later, the same assistant waved for the referee's attention and Downer was finally booked.
Ramsgate forced two free kicks on the edge of the Wells penalty area in the space of a minute. Their best chance came from Shane Souter's left footed strike, which blazed high over Bromby's crossbar.
Wells were unable to play their attacking football against a physically stronger and older side in the first 25 minutes and their chances were dented in the 33rd minute when Daniel Barham was sent off for his second bookable offence.
The player, who was sent off by the same referee in the 1-1 draw at Sevenoaks Town in August, was given his marching orders for catching Ollie Schulz, who ran out of his penalty area with the ball after collecting Paul Hallett's corner kick, and was caught from behind by the Wells number ten.
It took Wells 39 minutes to create their first chance of the game. Steve Ward's precise free kick on the right hand side found Anderson at the far post and his six-yard header went agonisingly wide of the post.
At the other end, Bromby did well to save Stuart Vahid's header at the second attempt with Edd Vahid and Takalobighashi ready to pounce on the ball.
The home side's goal lead a very charmed life throughout the first half but they went in at the break on level terms.
Wells made a change during the break with Dean Walker replacing debutant Harry Hrehorow, and the shaven-headed substitute almost broke the deadlock within two minutes but his shot was saved at the near post by Smyth.
Tunbridge Wells, however, stunned their visitors by taking the lead in the 58th minute from the penalty spot.
Seventeen-year-old fast right-sided midfielder Steve Ward raced into the Rams' penalty area on the break and was sandwiched by two defenders and was brought down by Edd Vahid.
After a short delay, putting the moving ball back on the spot, Anderson sent Smyth the wrong way from the resulting penalty.
Ramsgate, however, scored a deserved equaliser with twenty minutes remaining. Stuart Vahid's low 12-yard shot was turned around the post by Bromby and from Ben Laslett's corner kick, Ollie Schulz touched the ball home, despite the efforts of the home team to clear the ball off the line.
Thinking the ball didn't cross the line, Wells' Lee Porter, ran towards and screamed at the assistant referee and was cautioned by a fussy referee.
The visitors, who had more of the possession throughout the game, found a home side that were willing to protect their goal at all costs during the game and after another Laslett corner kick, Shaun Brown flashed the ball from the far post across the face of goal.
Chances came and went for Ramsgate with Edd Vahid trying his luck from 30-yards out but his shot flew over the bar and Bromby clung onto the ball as the visitors had two stabs at goal in a scramble following Brown's corner.
Wells, grabbed the three points with the winning goal seven minutes from time, punishing Ramsgate on the counter attack.
Porter's through ball was received by Ward some 30 yards from goal and the teenager was in an onside position and raced towards goal. The Rams' goalkeeper came rushing out, but the teenager took the ball past him and from a difficult angle, six yards out, coolly fired into the bottom far corner of the net.
Shell-shocked Ramsgate couldn't find a way past Bromby and Michael Cassar clipped the top of the crossbar direct from the corner flag before Skinner, with three Ramsgate defenders swarming round him, tried his luck from 25-yards with his attempt going over.
Ramsgate manager Jim Ward, who made a swift exit from the ground, wasn't at all happy with the referee's performance.
"I'd like to read the assessor's report. The referee was certainly the star of the show. He was the biggest player on the pitch today but it's not all down to the referee.
"We gave away what was a soft penalty and a goal we felt was offside.
"We bossed the game there's no doubt about that, our goalkeeper had next to nothing to do.
"I know their goalkeeper didn't make too many saves but we had all the play and I am very disappointed to get beat 2-1.
"Without a doubt the better side lost today."
Delighted Tunbridge Wells manager Kevin Metcalf added: "It was a workmanlike performance, down to ten men, which I thought was very harsh, but it just shows how far Tunbridge Wells have come in a short spell of time.
was smash and grab. We changed the shape of the team at half-time, we got
very narrow with the team and we tried to frustrate them really.
"Ramsgate are a good side, but we dug in and sometimes you have to dig in and battle to get the three points."
Metcalf is looking to finish the table in the top six and praised seventeen-year-old midfielder Steve Ward.
"Steve is a smashing lad but we are trying to keep his feet on the ground and every week we are mentioning him.
"The club are, and we will keep him here," Metcalf insisted.
"The club is going forward and it just shows Tunbridge Wells are really looking forward to going places.
"We've set our stall out with the youngsters and anything within the top six we will be happy."
Tunbridge Wells are on the road for their next two games. Next Saturday, 6th November, they play Lordswood at North Dane Way, Walderslade, Chatham in the first round of the Premier Division Cup before making the trip to Deal Town in the Go Travel Kent League on Tuesday 9th November.
VCD Athletic are the next visitors to Culverden Stadium on Saturday 13th November in the league before the Wells entertain Erith Town in the first round of the FA Vase seven days later.
|Tunbridge Wells: Matt Bromby, Martin Anderson, Ben Hilden, Simon Joynes (Capt), Kevin Skinner, Paul Hallett (Bradley Mortimer 79), Steve Ward, Lee Porter, Steve Smith (Keith Shabba 90), Daniel Barham (sent off 33), Harry Hrehorow (Dean Walker 46). Subs: Phil Perkins, Alex Rich
|Ramsgate: Gavin Smyth, Edd Vahid, P. Downer, Liam Morris, Ollie Schulz, Ben Laslett, Shane Souter (Michael Cassar 60), Warren Schulz, Mo Takalobighashi (D. Davidson 60), Stuart Vahid (Capt), Shaun Brown. Subs: Aaron Robinson, Graham Taylor,