Match Report: Ramsgate 4 - 1 Whitstable Town
Both sides went close with opening exchanges, for Whitstable a 4th minute corner was struck against the far post, and for the Rams a 9th minute shot by Aaron Milbank from 25 yds was blasted over. The Rams kept up the pressure and on 17 Millbank went close again, while 2 minutes later a cross from Charlie Dickens looked to have put Sam Lawford in but ‘keeper Dan Eason just got there first. In the 23rd minute a poor clearance from the Rams on the left actually fell into the centre of the pitch just outside the Rams’ area and to a Whitstable striker, who laid it across to Stuart West at the far post and with just the ‘keeper Luke Watkins to beat made certain of a first half lead for Whitstable. The Rams kept chasing, with some good forward balls from Dickens, and Rory Smith, Tom Chapman and Millbank all kept Dan Eason particularly busy in the visitors’ goal, with Ramsgate almost equalising on a number of occasions. Perhaps the closest of these came on 37 when a Whitstable clearance was charged down by Smith and appeared to have gone over the ‘keeper, but a frantically back-pedalling Eason managed to snatch the ball from the air at full stretch.
After the interval the Rams equalised within 2 minutes when Tom Chapman worked the ball in from the right wing for Rory Smith to slot past Eason (pictured with Smith on the ground looking on as his shot passes Eason). Eleven minutes later and an almost identical build-up led to Smith placing Chapman’s ball past Eason for the Rams to take the lead. On 71 Whitstable countered but despite going 1-on-1 with Watkins the ball was put wide of the post. Only two minutes later Millbank was brought down and the resulting freekick was tucked away by Smith for his hat-trick, while 5 minutes later Smith had done the hard work but his header landed on the roof of the net. On 81 Smith beat the offside trap and slotted the ball to Millbank who completed the scoring, although Chapman nearly got a 5th when his 87th minute effort went just wide.
Ramsgate: Luke Watkins, Jake Mackenzie, Jack Penny, Jacob Mensah, Luke Wheatley, TJ Jadama, Tom Chapman (Harry Stannard 88’), Charlie Dickens, Aaron Millbank, Rory Smith (Billy Munday 90’), Sam Lawford (Kyron Lightfoot 83’). Unused subs: Ethan Madden, George Crimmen.
Whitstable: Dan Eason, John Walker, Josh Burchell, Stuart West, Rob Gillman, Teddy Nelson, Jordan Wright, James Morrish, Tom Walmsley (Charlie Smith 76’), Brett Ince (Nathan Hardwick 76’), Chris Saunders (Jai McKinlay 78’). Unused subs: Kyran Connolly, Tom Bryant.