MATCH REPORT: Ramsgate Stumble to 3-0 Defeat Away to League Leaders Hastings United
Ramsgate FC fell to a 3-0 defeat away to Hastings United on Saturday afternoon in the Isthmian League.
Daniel Ajakaiye’s solo effort and Ben Pope’s brace proved to be the difference for the home side.
The defeat means Ramsgate remain in 19th position in the league table as East Grinstead and Three Bridges also suffered defeats.
Matt Longhurst made three changes to the side that faced VCD Athletic last week as Will Thomas, Phil Starkey and James Turner all came into the side. They replaced Farzad Haidary, Bode Anidugbe and the injured Tom Coyne.
Charlie Meade took up a place on the Rams bench whilst Tom Chapman remained sidelined with a wrist injury suffered four months ago.
STARTING XI: Burns, M.Turner, Starkey, Thomas, Saunders (OFF 20’), Bangura (OFF 45’), Gray, Bancroft, J.Turner (OFF 67’), Miller, Rowland
SUBS: Treadwell (ON 45’), Haidary, Bode (ON 20’), Meade, Mitford (ON 67’)
Ramsgate didn’t start too badly and firmed down a decent spell of possession to begin with, making it difficult for Hastings to get a grip on the game early on.
However, one defensive error from The Rams cost them a goal. A mix up in possession between Saunders and Starkey allowed Daniel Ajakaiye to snatch the ball in a dangerous position. The forward charged down the wing and played a one-two with Jack Dixon on the edge of the box before losing M.Turner and finishing past Charlie Burns to give his side the lead.
From that point onwards, the match became more difficult for Longhurst’s side as Hastings mounted the pressure on following their breakthrough.
Rowland had Ramsgate’s first good opportunity of the match at the half hour mark, heading an effort over the bar, representing a lack of creativity in the final third.
Ben Pope had a deflected shot comfortably saved and then Rams keeper Charlie Burns pulled off a terrific stop to keep out Ajakaiye from grabbing his second of the match. His hard work was let down by another defensive error in midfield as Bangura’s back pass made it’s way to the onwards rushing Pope, and he finished spectacularly into the top right corner from 25-yards to capitalise on the error on the verge of half-time.
Ramsgate’s second half got off to the worst possible start, conceding a penalty in the opening five minutes. Ben Pope stepped up to convert from the spot, firing the home side into a 3-0 lead.
Craig Stone was sent off at the hour mark after getting a second yellow card, and that presented The Rams with an opportunity to potentially get themselves back into the match.
As you would expect, Ramsgate maintained possession for the rest of the half, but that didn’t encourage many good chances to score. The full-backs and wingers regularly loaded the box with crosses and set piece deliveries but nothing would come of it.
Substitute Tyrell Mitford worked Hastings keeper Louis Rogers the most with a great free-kick from 25-yards, which he tipped wide, and then Rowland forced the keeper into a major error, charging at Rogers as he took his time clearing the ball, which struck Rowland and bounced towards goal but the keeper was able to recover and keep his clean sheet in tact.
RAM OF THE MATCH: Ashley Miller