Bridges 3 Rams 1
Rams fail to deal with squally conditions
Very squally conditions greeted us at Jubilee Field with a strong wind, rain and a very wet playing surface.
We started with Three Bridges playing into the wind, and it was certainly the Bridges that adapted to the conditions creating fast attacking play all over the pitch and looking very dangerous coming forward with in-form Connor French leading the line. A 14th minute brilliant low save by Watkins in the Rams’ goal from a corner was really just the start of the action. An 18th minute break from the Rams, who were defending deeply, saw a ball laid off to Tom Chapman but he dwelled on the ball and the Bridges defender managed to take the ball out for a corner.
Three Bridges were extremely quick on the break and the Rams’ midfield and defence struggled to keep pace. The 21st minute saw the Rams press forward with good inter play between the front three, but again just as Chapman was about to shoot the Bridges defender came in to steel the ball and setup another Bridges attack. 33rd minute and the Rams’ first shot on target was from an audacious Crimmen free kick on the edge of the centre circle, but again a Bridges defender managed to deflect the ball out for another Ramsgate corner, easily defended by the Bridges.
In the 37th minute it was the first goal for the Bridges - a corner from the Bridges’ left was allowed to bounce in the box and land at the feet of French who didn't need a second invitation to smash the ball home. Rams rallied a little and created but again leaving themselves exposed at the back a thunderous shot from long range rattled the Ramsgate crossbar. A minute before the interval we see the Rams’ next shot on target from another free kick strike from Crimmen, forcing the Bridges keeper into action making an excellent save clawing the ball away diving high to his right. Into time added on Rams awarded another free kick this time however Crimmen does not catch it properly and the ball drops into the keepers arms.
Whatever was said in the dressing room by Lloyd was obviously completely forgotten, and in the 47th min the Rams go 2 down a great finish from Akanbi. The Rams playing with the wind did not appear able to adjust to the conditions. We see a double substitution in the 55th min with Crimmen & Gray going off for Sanders & Lawford. The changes did not seem to change the tactics or create anything different for the Rams.
The 66th minute saw French go through and toy with Watkins in the Rams goal and eventually slot home the Bridges third and his second. The Rams defence were all at sixes & sevens by now with some last ditch defending as the Bridges pressed at pace and ran the Rams ragged. A 77th wonderful strike from French thinking he was on for his hat-trick was only denied by great work in the Rams goal by Watkins who by now must have been feeling that he was the only player at the back. In the 78th Bridges hit the bar again with even Watkins beaten this time.
The 85th saw a comical well taken consolation goal as the ball rebounded to an unmarked Lawford who slotted home with aplomb to make the scoreline respectable but not necessarily deserved.
Match stats (first half in brackets)
Three Bridges Ramsgate
Shots headers 18 (9) 8 (5)
On target 10 (4) 5 (4)
Fouls conceded 16 (6) 8 (5)
Offsides 5 (4) 3 (3)
Corners 7 (4) 4 (4)
Yellow cards 4 (4) 1 (1)
Man of the match Bridges 5 Olu Oluwatimilehin
Ramsgate: Luke Watkins, Jake Mackenzie, George Crimmen (Connor Sanders 54’), Jacob Mensah, Luke Wheatley, Ollie Gray (Sam Lawford 55’), Tom Chapman, Tijan Jadama, Aaron Millbank, Rory Smith, Jack Penny. Unused subs: Charlie Dickens, Damon Todd, Matt Bone