Match Report: Ramsgate FC 1-2 Chichester City
Ramsgate Football Club suffered an opening day defeat on Saturday afternoon to newly promoted side Chichester City.
Ollie Gray opened the scoring for The Rams within 10 minutes and Nick Davis’ side took that marginal lead into the break.
However, the visitors equalised in the 64th minute thanks to Matthew Axell, and that same man converted from the penalty spot in the dying moments of the game to cement a narrow 2-1 victory this afternoon.
Aaron Lamont went close to scoring in the first minute of the game. The midfielder charged forward from midfield and unleashed an effort on goal from 25-yards. His effort was inches wide.
Everybody inside the ground thought Steve Smith had given Ramsgate the lead in the 6th minute. The Rams striker had the ball in the back of the net after lobbing Chichester keeper Steven Mowthorpe, but the goal was disallowed after Smith had been deemed to foul the defender he was tussling with.
Just a couple of minutes later, Ramsgate took the lead for real this time. Following some excellent build up play between Steve Smith and Tom Chapman, the latter found himself in a dangerous position inside the box.
The winger selflessly squared it to Kane Rowland in a better position inside the box, but the forward slipped on the ball, and out of nowhere Ollie Gray latched on to the loose ball and fired home with his weaker left-foot.
Towards the end of the half, Chichester began to grow into the match and looked like equalising. Matthew Axell went agonisingly close with a headed effort inside the box in the 40th minute - his header whiskering past the post to the relief of Ramsgate fans.
HT: Ramsgate FC 1-0 Chichester City
Ramsgate nearly doubled the deficit immediately into the second half. Lamont put a wonderful ball over the top to Steve Smith, who did extremely well to shrug off the defender and get a hold of the ball. Smith then put it on a plate for Chapman inside the box unmarked, but his attempt on goal frustratingly went over the bar.
In the 64th minute, Matthew Axell made amends for his miss late into the first half by equalising for the visitors. The goal had been coming.
In a fresh bid to take back control of the game and in search for a winner, Nick Davis brought on William Johnson-Cole and Rory Smith.
Johnson-Cole was influential after coming on, making direct runs, taking on defenders and forcing mistakes.
A prime example of that was in the 79th minute. After beating his man on the left-wing, the forward whipped a dangerous ball into the box, and after the defender failed to clear his lines, Steve Smith and Chapman very nearly penalised Chichester for a defensive error. Thankfully for the visitors, keeper Mowthorpe was alert to the situation and rushed off his line to distract the pair, and the ball went off for a corner.
In a bizarre moment of misfortune, The Rams were caught out at the back with a defence splitting pass, and Chichester sub Kaleem Haitham found himself through on goal. In a desperate bid to keep the scores level, Godmon rushed off his line and fouled the striker in an attempt to snatch the ball out of his path, receiving a booking in the process.
Matthew Axell slotted home from the spot with a well taken penalty, cementing a narrow 2-1 victory to make sure Chichester began life in the Isthmian League in spectacular fashion.
A disappointing opening weekend for Ramsgate, but we go again next Saturday in our FA Cup Preliminary Round match up against Steyning Town Community FC.
FT: Ramsgate FC 1-2 Chichester City
Starting XI: Godmon, Gray (GOAL 8' OFF 55’), Wynter, Friend, Morrell, Carrington, Lamont, Chapman, Rowland (OFF 72’), Miller (OFF 65’), S.Smith
Subs: Cornwell, R.Smith (ON 72’), Monger (ON 55’), Johnson-Cole (ON 65’), Saunders
Ram of the Match: Aaron Lamont