Sittingbourne 0 Ramsgate 1 (Smith 87 mins), Tony Rickson Reports.
Saturday 29th September 2018
Bostik South East League
Sittingbourne: Patrick Lee, Chris Webber, Reiss Crimmen, Dan Parkinson (Harrison Hatful, 81 min), Lex Allan, Ben Fitchett (Yellow card), Ira Jackson, Lewis Chambers, Bola Dawodu (Yellow card), Tommie Fagg (Yellow card, Red card), Tom Loynes (Nathan Elder, 73 min). Subs not used: Josh Dorling, Joe Denny, Harry Brooks.
Ramsgate: Luke Watkins, Jake McKenzie, George Crimmen, Jacob Mensah, Luke Wheatley, Billy Munday, Tom Chapman, Charlie Dickens, Harry Stannard (Jack Penny, 81 min), Rory Smith (Yellow card), Kyron Lightfoot (Yellow card) (Jake Munday, 61 min). Subs not used: Liam Dickson, Matthew Bone, Samuel Lawford.
Referee: Alexander Emery. Assistants: Aaron Conn, Robert Columb.
Attendance: 171Ben Fitchett (Yellow card), Ira Jackson, Lewis Chambers, Bola Dawodu (Yellow card), Tommie Fagg (Yellow card, Red card), Tom Loynes (Nathan Elder, 73 min). Subs not used: Josh Dorling, Joe Denny, Harry Brooks.
Photographs by Ken Medwyn:
‘We’re not there yet, we’re not the finished article’ – that was what manager Aslan Odev was keen to point out after Sittingbourne’s impressive recent wins over Whyteleafe and Guernsey.
Unfortunately for him, he was proved dead right as they struggled to impose themselves on Kentish rivals Ramsgate and eventually conceded all three points to a late winner.
It wasn’t as if Sittingbourne played badly, they just weren’t quite good enough when it mattered, and one tiny second of madness probably cost them the game.
That came in the 67th minute when Tommie Fagg over-reacted to a Ramsgate player’s indiscipline and couldn’t really expect anything other than a red card.
He looked suitably mortified, but he’s the second Sittingbourne player to be sent off this season at home and you can’t afford subsequent suspensions when your squad’s tight on numbers.
Kent derbies are proving difficult this season, as the Brickies have now lost to Cray, Thamesmead and Ramsgate, and perhaps it’s because opponents know what’s coming at them when they play a team from comparatively nearby.
On a beautiful late summer afternoon, Sittingbourne made two changes from the team that drew at Ashford in midweek, Ira Jackson (back from
suspension) and Reiss Crimmen returning at the expense of Izzy Adebayo and Josh Dorling.
It was an even first half but Sittingbourne got on top towards the end of it and had a couple of shouts for penalties as well as some golden chances to score.
Lex Allan had already had a half-chance that came off his thigh, Jackson fired a powerful shot from an angle that the keeper held, Tom Loynes almost squeezed a chance home from Bola Dawodu’s headed pass, and he should really have been awarded a penalty as he was unceremoniously shoved over when going for the ball. Couldn’t see any possible reason why a foul wasn’t given.
The best chance of all went to Dawodu in the last minute of the half but his shot beat the keeper only for ex-Sittingbourne favourite George Crimmen – brother of Reiss – to cover well and clear it off the line.
Ramsgate defended well in the second half and looked as if they would be happy with a point as Allan went close, Chris Webber and Dan Parkinson hit shots over, and the keeper saved from Jackson.
Some excellent corners were fired into the area, but despite a lot of hard work obviously being put into movement at set pieces by the Sittingbourne players, none of them paid off.
Ramsgate were relying on counter-attacks and Fagg, already booked for a previous challenge, tried to stop one such break. The Ramsgate player kicked out towards him, and Fagg raised his arms in retaliation, paying the ultimate price of getting sent off for his petulance.
The momentum of the game swung away from 10-men Sittingbourne a bit and keeper Patrick Lee had to make an excellent flying save to keep out a close range header, and there were a couple of mad scrambles in the home goalmouth before the ball was scooped clear.
From looking for their first draw of the season, Ramsgate were encouraged to go for the win and they got it in the 87th minute. Dawodu, back helping the defence, gave away a free-kick and picked up a yellow card for a foul 25 yards out. Instead of lifting in another high ball, which had been immaculately dealt with by Allan and Ben Fitchett all game, the visitors played it in low towards the near post and two Ramsgate players were given enough space and time to turn with the ball and create the chance for Smith to finish off.
Defensively, it was a poor goal to give away, and all in all it was an afternoon to forget for Sittingbourne – such a disappointment after some good performances and establishing a hard-earned place among the promotion contenders near the top of the league.
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