Ramsgate's East Kent derby against Ashford was the first one at Southwood for 13 seasons, and although a close encounter at Homelands a couple of months back saw the hosts win by a single goal, tonight the Rams were out for maximum points.
Ramsgate had most of the play in the 1st half and created several good chances, but Ashford skipper Pat Kingswell and 'keeper Aaron Lee-Wharton managed to keep efforts from Tom Chapman, Alfie Paxman and Rory Smith out - the best effort of the half saw Smith fire past the 'keeper (pictured) but the ball shaved the outside of the right hand post. At the other end Stuart Zanone was denied at point blank range by Luke Watkins' superb reactions, while the centre forward went 1-on-1 again shortly before the interval but his shot across the goal went well clear of the far post.
In the second half Ashford started to look more dangerous, and created a few chances as the play went end to end, but the deadlock was broken in the 65th minute when a 25 yard volley from Smith finally beat Lee-Wharton and go inside the upright. From then on the Rams ramped up the pressure, and nine minutes later and Chapman added a second, again from outside the area but the pace being too much for the 'keeper to reach, while Paxman rounded things off with a third in the 88th minute.
Three points and a clean sheet were just what the Rams deserved, and with Cray Wanderers still in the FA Trophy they are without a game on Saturday - next up a visit to Crayford on Tuesday night to face VCD Athletic.
Rams: Luke Watkins, Joe Kane, Jake Mackenzie, George Crimmen, Jacob Mensah, TJ Jadama (Jordan Bartlett), Tom Chapman, Adam Woollcott, Rory Smith, Danny Lawrence, Alfie Paxman. Unused subs: Jack Penny, Adam Turton, Will Hadler, Lewis Mitchell.
Updated 13:40 - 11 Jan 2018 by Edward Lucas