Saturday Headlines - Rams beat last season's runners up
A wonderful strike by Ollie Schulz, and a classy finish from club captain Mark Munday, ensured Ramsgate started their life in the Ryman Premier League with three points in the bag.
It was a good team performance by Ramsgate, who started well thanks to an impressive Shane Suter, who caused Heybridge Swifts’ defenders problems with his pace and crosses (although Shaun Welford and Warren Schulz failed to convert any).
Welford also caused the Swifts many problems, his strength and pace seeing him burst through the defence on several occasions, and keeping goalie Danny Gay busy in the visitors' goal.
On 31 minutes an excellent run by right back Edd Vahid linked up with Michael Yianni for a 1-2 on the edge of the Heybridge area.
Vahid then released the ball to Suter on the left wing, who whipped in a lovely cross to Warren Schulz, but the midfielder's header went just wide of the post.
Ramsgate took the lead four minutes before the interval thanks to a powerful 20 yard volley from Ollie Schulz.
The move started from Suter's short corner pass to Edd Vahid, who then crossed into the crowded box, with the ball being knocked out to Schulz just outside the area, whose thunderous shot left 'keeper Gay rooted to the spot.
Ramsgate continued their good form in the second half, with Welford's long throw’s causing as many problems for Heybridge as his incisive runs.
The Rams doubled their lead in the 79th minute, when Yianni's cross found Welford in the box, who laid it off for veteran Munday who coolly slotted it past the 'keeper.
The Swifts appeared to raise their game in the final ten minutes but the Rams' soaked up the pressure without too many problems, with Will Graham and 'keeper Chris May looking very much at home in the efficient defensive unit.
After the match Jim Ward told www. :"First game of the season and we played against the team that came second last year, we kept them down and my 'keeper certainly didn't have sweat on his back - I think they only had one shot on goal and that was from a back pass.
“I'm really delighted, you know, especially for the team. The defensive qualities were superb, but we don't just defend there we defend all over the park.
“And the two strikes by Ollie and Mark Munday, great goals, superb goals you know, but I want to know what Munday was doing in their penalty area. It's just a great way to start the season, against quality opposition."
Ward, who before the game targeted eight points from their opening four games, travel to AFC Wimbledon (Tuesday) and Bromley (Saturday) before welcoming Tonbridge Angels to Southwood Stadium on Bank Holiday Monday.
Folkestone Invicta’s season got off to a disappointing start as they went down 1-0 at home to Harrow Borough in a poor game in front of 306 fans at the Buzzlines Stadium.
Elliot Onochie scored the only goal of the game for the visitors with an 83rd minute penalty straight down the middle after he himself had gone down under challenge from Kevin Watson and referee Lee Venamore pointed to the spot following a pass from Danny Leech.
The goal sparked Invicta into life and Harrow goalkeeper Kieran Jimmy did well to get across and keep out a Mark Saunders header after 88 minutes following a Stuart Myall corner on the right.
And a 90th minute Watson free kick from the left flashed agonisingly across the Harrow goal, with substitute Walid Matata just unable to get a match-saving touch.
Substitute Ben Sly then shot over during stoppage time when Lee Shearer got a touch to Martin Chandler’s ball forward.
But Harrow had the ball in the net again only for Kwasi Frempong’s strike to be ruled out for offside after home goalkeeper Tony Kessell had saved from substitute Ellis Remy who had been put through by fellow substitute Danny McGonigle.
Both sides had earlier had ‘goals’ chalked off as Harrow were denied by another offside flag in the 24th minute when Kessell saved from Albert Adomah after Onochie had done well to shrug off Shearer.
And Invicta had the ball in the net after 69 minutes, only for the referee to blow for a foul on goalkeeper Jimmy.
Sporting their new kit, Invicta had sprung a surprise in their starting line up as Joe Neilson came into the starting line three days after his 20th birthday in place of the unavailable Matt Carruthers and ahead of Matata.
The home side started positively enough as Myall was brought down right on the left hand side of the box as early as the third minute and Saunders headed wide when Myall played the ball in from the right hand side a minute later.
At the other end, James Bent couldn’t get the ball under control when Gary Meakin’s fell to him at the far post after five minutes and James Everitt had to make a saving tackle to deny Onochie in the box three minutes later as Harrow won a succession of corners.
Micheal Everit fired wide when the ball fell to Neilson on the edge of the penalty area towards the end of a first half of few clear cut chances.
The elder Everitt brother shot over from a central position on the edge of the penalty area after 52 minutes, but Onochie missed a good chance to put Harrow ahead a minute later when he broke down the left hand side of the Invicta box but shot horribly wide.
Invicta carried a greater attacking threat following the introduction of Matata and the striker soon had a shot blocked close to the line by Harrow captain Wayne Walters after 65 minutes when Shearer’s ball forward fell to fellow centre half Adam Flanagan on the right hand side of the box.
There were bookings for Invicta substitute Chandler (late kick at Walters after 85 minutes) and for Harrow captain Walters (bringing Matata down on the left flank after 72 minutes) and goalkeeper Jimmy (time wasting after 90 minutes).
Harrow were late arriving at the ground having been caught up in traffic problems, but their late winner gave them just the winning start that Invicta themselves had been pinning their hopes on.
For Invicta it marked a third successive opening day defeat since joining the Ryman Premier League.
Not the way defender Watson would have wanted to mark his 50th starting appearance for the club.Folkestone Invicta: Kessell, J. Everitt (Sly 84), Norman (Chandler 80), Flanagan, Shearer, Watson, M. Everitt, Myall, Jones, Saunders, Neilson (Matata 63). Subs: Friend, Mann.
Harrow Borough: Jimmy, Williams, Idemudia, Walters, Browne, Frempong (Okikiolu 90), Bent (McGonigle 80), Meakin, Onochie, Leech, Adomah (Remy 63). Subs: Constant, Karamoko.
Godalming Town had a terrible journey to Bourne Park owing to the coastbound carriageway of the M2 being closed and their day didn't get any better as Sittingbourne proceeded to put three goals past them, hit the woodwork twice and miss a penalty.
The Surrey side started quite brightly and had the first chance of the game on 6 minutes when James Blason was presented with a chance but blasted his shot wide.
They went on to rue that miss as three minutes later Andy Doerr, signed from Kent League side Lordswood, won the ball in midfield and found Kieran Marsh.
Marsh passed the ball wide to Jon Neal who crossed it to the far post and under pressure from Lee Hockey, Glen Stanley put the ball in his own net to put the Brickies a goal up.
That was unfortunately Hockey's last contribution of the day as he picked up an injury and Tristan Knowles replaced him.
Mitchell Sherwood was looking particularly sharp and on 17 minutes he set off on a surging run, it looked as though he had missed his chance to put in a telling ball but he did just that and found Doerr who showed just what a great acquisition he is by slipping the ball under the advancing Godalming goalkeeper Andy Parkinson to put the Brickies two up.
On 24 minutes Jon Neal held the ball up well and made space for a shot which sailed over the Godalming bar. From the goal kick Joe Chandiram broke clear and let fly with a great shot but the masterful Steve Williams made a magnificent diving save to keep the lead intact.
A great move involving Knowles, Marsh, Neal and Doerr ended in a Marsh shot that the keeper held well.
Sittingbourne almost had a scare on 35 minutes when Shaun Lydon got round the Brickies defence but he sent his shot wide.
The second half well and truly belonged to Sittingbourne and the frustration of it all boiled over at times and three Godalming players ended up with yellow (well lime green actually!) cards.
Sittingbourne almost extended their lead in spectacular fashion on 61 minutes when a Tristan Knowles "shot" looped over Parkinson but struck the bar.
It was all Sittingbourne now and Michael "Buster" Smissen who had replaced Doerr sent in a cross which Neal back headed goalwards but Parkinson made a good reactive save.
Smissen was causing problems and on 74 minutes he fired narrowly over. A minute later the lively Neal hit the far post with a cracking shot, the ball bounced out to Smissen who let fly but again Parkinson saved Godalming by tipping the effort round a post.
On 90 minutes Sittingbourne won a free kick to the right of the Godalming area, Ricky Spiller's effort was headed out by the Godalming defence but only as far as the lurking Neal who crashed it straight back past Parkinson in one movement for the third goal.
It could have been four when in injury time Stanley tried to go through the back of Neal in the penalty area and in the process not only injured himself but gave away a penalty.
Neal took the kick himself but his effort struck the left hand upright and bounced away to safety but it didn't really matter as all three points were not only won but won well.
Sittingbourne: Williams, Spiller, Dowley, Ainsworth, Campbell, Marsh, Hockey (Knowles 12), Gooding, Doerr (Smissen 62), Neal, Sherwood (Belcher 82), Subs: Singh, Eldon.
With defenders Andy Boyle and Rob Goodger both unavailable, Steve Best once again dropped back to central defence with Adam Douglas (now back from Sittingbourne) coming into Chatham Town’s midfield for their Ryman League Division One South debut against Croydon Athletic.
Chatham Town boss Phil Miles’ other new summer signings, John Whitehouse and Ian Pulman both made their competitive debuts at Maidstone Road in front of 177 fans.
Croydon Athletic were a bit of an unknown quantity having made a number of recent changes to their squad, however they were first to settle as former Bromley and Margate striker Adolph Amaoko forced a good block from Whitehouse in the second minute.
Darren Smith had Chats first attempt with a 25 yarder which the visitors keeper had to grab at the second attempt, with Luke Harvey looking to pounce on the rebound.
But Athletic took the lead after 23 minutes when a cross from former Cray Wanderers’ and Bromley winger Mark Hammond was headed home at the far post by the unmarked Tyrone Myton.
However, Chatham were level within four minutes. A ball into the box from Tom Binks was neatly laid back by Darren Smith for Luke Harvey to power home from a tight angle.
Harvey went close again just before the break as he broke clear but pulled the shot wide of the far post.
Chats lost Ross Finn at half time after he had been on the receiving end of a bad tackle shortly before the interval. The challenge rightly earned Croydon's Gareth Graham a yellow card.
The second half, however, was a tighter affair. Rob Denness and Harvey kept the visitors defence occupied in the middle whilst Pulman and Mark Brooks made some useful runs out wide.
Just after the hour, Denness was unlucky to hear the whistle go for a free kick, in his favour, after he had somehow stayed on his feet to beat two defenders to run clear.
Croydon Athletic came closest to stealing the points near the end when a looping cross was caught in the wind and ended up hitting the Chatham crossbar.
Chatham now travel to Corinthian Casuals on Tuesday and Godalming on Saturday, before entertaining local rivals Maidstone United on Bank Holiday Monday.
The FA Cup dream for Kent League rivals Hythe Town and Lordswood continues as this draw means both sides will replay at North Dane Way on Tuesday night.
The game was only four minutes old when Hythe took the lead. A long ball down the middle wasn't cut out by the visiting defence and Damien Abel coolly slotted home past Gavin Hopper to the delight of the Hythe fans in the crowd of 147 at Reachfields Stadium.
Paul Fisk's side were running the show and they almost increased their lead when Roy Guiver headed a free-kick just over the bar.
But they deservedly doubled their lead after 25 minutes when another through ball for Abel saw him brought down by Hopper inside the box.
Jason Brazier stepped up to score from the resulting penalty, slotting into the bottom right hand corner.
The second half started with Lordswood aiming to retain some pride and avoid being knocked out of the FA Cup at the extra preliminary round stage.
Gary East latched onto a long ball into the Hythe Town penalty area early in the second half but no penalty was awarded after his shirt was tugged.
But Lordswood pulled a goal back in the 62nd minute when Sean Hetterley's pass found Nick Smith, who back heeled the ball back to Hetterley who was fouled inside the box.
Up stepped Smith and he found the bottom right hand corner from the penalty spot.
Former Tunbridge Wells player Danny Barham raced into the Lordswood penalty, beating two defenders, but fired wide from ten yards.
Lordswood, however, equalised through Smith's second goal of the game with just seven minutes remaining.
Adam Ling retrieved a lost cause and knocked the ball back into the area for Smith, whose control was immaculate and turned to fire the Medway side level.
Hythe almost snatched a dramatic late winner - against the run of play - but Dan Fisk's 20-yard effort was tipped over by the former Chatham Town goalkeeper.
The replay at North Dane Way on Tuesday night, kick's off at 7:45pm, with the winner playing host to VT FC in the preliminary round on 2nd September.
Beckenham Town had a comfortable 6-2 win at Tunbridge Wells courtesy of superb hat trick’s from Carew and Cable. After storming into 5-1 lead by half time Becks took their foot of the gas and looked jaded in the second period in this Kent League encounter at Culverden Down.
The defeat leaves Martin Farnie’s side at the foot of the Kent League table having lost their opening three games.
Beckenham Town wasted no time in getting into the game with Smith combining well with Carew, while at the other end the home side wasted several chances.
It looked like Beckenham would open the scoring when the impressive Lawson hit the bar with a curling shot after 10 minutes.
Debutant keeper Lewington made a fine save from a Wells free-kick and only a minute later some strong running by Carew who never gave up latched onto a back-pass then beat two defenders before slipping the ball into the net from a very tight angle.
More chances followed as the home side cleared one-off-the-line. A quickly taken free-kick by Smith put the ball into the path of Carew who ghosted through to slot home for Beckenham Town’s well deserved second. Ross Cable opened his account with a solo effort turning sharp to place his shot beyond the diving keeper.
An unnecessary free kick on the edge of Becks’ penalty area provided Tunbridge Wells a way back into the game through Wayne Balmer after half an hour as Wells fought hard to compete.
The visitors then put the match beyond Wells as the head of Carew, who, clinched a hat trick inside 35 minutes met Lawson’s telling cross.
A series of neat interchanges between Cable and McDonnell provided another opening but the attack was thwarted by the Tunbridge Wells’ defence. Almost on the stroke of half time Cable received as pass just inside the area and he dropped his shoulder and spun round to lash his shot into the roof of the net.
The first half was pretty much one-way traffic. And both sets of supporters wondered how many goals would be served up in the second period.
Becks nearly made it six from the kick off as Carew spotted the keeper off his line and his shot from the centre spot was tipped over the bar by the retreating keeper.
It was a scrappy opening to the half as the home side took the initiative and threw everything at Town who managed to weather the storm well and continued to press forward, often leaving themselves open to the counter attack.
As the half wore on it was clear that Beckenham had lost their shine and a static Town defence let in Joe Fuller to score from close range after 75 minutes.
Wells to their credit never gave up and showed confidence on the ball put faltered in the last third of the pitch.
There were several bookings in the match and McDollell was showed a straight red for retaliation against an ugly challenge, the perpetrator was only given only a yellow.
Cables’ final contribution to the game was Beckenham’s sixth goal – one that he
had worked tirelessly for, he chested the ball down and unleashed an unstoppable shot into the net with two minutes remaining.
At the end of the match the 6-2 score line didn't flatter Beckenham. They created more than enough chances to increase the score line and mixed up their game with some neat one and two touch passing football on the way.
The six goals were well taken but their overall performance faded as the match went on.
Beckenham Town boss Jason Huntley admitted: ” I was disappointed with our show in the second half; we have got to get our motivated going as we looked as if we were just going through the motions. It will be back to the training ground during the week for us”.
Beckenham entertain Deal Town next Saturday, kick off 3.00pm and make the short trip to The Arena for the derby match against Croydon on Bank Holiday Monday in a morning kick off at 11.am.
Match reports from Aaran Ayres (Ramsgate), Richard Murrill (Folkestone Invicta), Peter Pitts (Sittingbourne), Neil Sanders (Chatham Town), Darrell Harman (Lordswood) and Ian Muir (Beckenham Town).
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