With the Rams’ showing such varying form so far this season, it would take an optimist to predict that they would take anything from this match – their longest journey and, on paper at least, their toughest, as well as a mounting injury list – a veritable Perfect Storm for the Rams to weather. However, despite this, and going two down in the first half, it was the Rams who had the last laugh as they gallantly fought back to secure a point at Nyewood Lane.
Even without departed leading goalscorer Jason Prior, the hosts made swift work of pushing in front as James Crane neatly slotted the ball into the net to give the league leaders a goal advantage after just six minutes. Despite this initial deficit Ramsgate, who had reverted to a more traditional 4-4-2 formation with Joe Taylor partnering Ian Pulman in attack, matched Bognor through most of the first half. With several recent changes to the reds’ personnel they started to mould together and with Danny Twyman back on form in goal, making some fine saves and commanding his area throughout the game, this proved the foundation on which to build. Ramsgate defended and battled well against a team who average nearly three goals a game, and could have equalised as they pushed into the match as it progressed, and Dean Grant was unfortunate to see his looped shot hit the post and be scrambled away by the Rocks’ defence. It seemed that their hard work in the first half would prove for nothing when, just a minute before the interval, debutant striker Ashley Robinson doubled the lead when he fired home from ten yards.
Bognor however hadn’t reckoned on Ramsgate’s resilience when faced with what now seemed a massive task and, undeterred, they appeared for the second half with a determination to show what they could do against the league’s top team. Only four minutes into the second half Ben Laslett, who has now started scoring on a regular basis, fired in from long range to give the travelling supporters something tangible to add to the solid first half performance. That wasn’t to be the end of it though as the match continued at a battling pace and both teams slugged it out with equal opportunities to have added to their respective tallies. With particular note going to the ever dependable Laslett, and Simon Pettit showing he can still mix it with the best, it was only fair that the Rams got their reward for a hard afternoon’s work. Leaving it to the death it was Joe Taylor who, on returning to his favoured striker’s role, surely had something to prove, and having run every inch of the pitch took a low cross and guided it into the Bognor net with little time left on the clock. The joy was clear for all to see on Taylor’s face and that was shared, not only by his jubilant teammates, but by the loyal travelling support who á la Man City turned their backs on the pitch and did a ‘Poznan’ bouncing celebration to end the afternoon in style. With a home tie against Merstham, who currently sit one place above the Rams, on Saturday 14th, the Southwood faithful will be hoping to see the ball bouncing in the net a few times as hopefully a new found belief and celebration come to Ramsgate
Rams: Danny Twyman, Gareth Corhill, Peter Wedgeworth (Lukman Mojeed 83), Luke Wheatley, Liam Quinn (c), Ben Laslett, Dean Grant (Michael Yianni 83), Joe Taylor, Ian Pulman, Simon Pettit (James Gregory 83), Steve O’Brien. Unused Subs: Tom Chapman, Pascal Ebigbo.
Ram of the Match v Burgess Hill?
Total Voters: 12