Whitstable Town 1 v Ramsgate 2

Town give ‘Rams’ a tilt at the title..
Whitstable Town 1 v Ramsgate 2
Tuesday 18th March 2003 ‘Go Travel’ Kent Premier League
Andy Constable scorer of Town’s only goal that gave the hope late in the game:
First half: Matt Toms: ”We lost the match in the first 45 minutes, I told the lads at half time, just because you beat Deal doesn’t mean that you can just stroll through the next game as if you have a divine right to win, footballs not like that.”
Within four minutes Whitstable’s Ade Burroughs striding into the visitors area struck the near post upright with a fierce shot, Town looking sharp in the opening spell. But it was not to last, Ramsgate knocked in a soft goal with almost their first attack of the game, Mark Seager and keeper Mark Lane playing the ‘after you Claude’ routine when neither made much attempt to beat Matt Goodman who headed the visitors into an early lead.

Whitstable Town 1 v Ramsgate 2
18th March 2003 ‘Go Travel’ Kent Premier League

First half: Matt Toms: ”We lost the match in the first 45 minutes, I told the lads at half time, just because you beat Deal doesn’t mean that you can just stroll through the next game as if you have a divine right to win, footballs not like that.”Within four minutes Whitstable’s Ade Burroughs striding into the visitors area struck the near post upright with a fierce shot, Town looking sharp in the opening spell. But it was not to last, Ramsgate knocked in a soft goal with almost their first attack of the game, Mark Seager and keeper Mark Lane playing the ‘after you Claude’ routine when neither made much attempt to beat Matt Goodman who headed the visitors into an early lead.
At one nil up Peter Hook’s young side started to knock the ball around with a growing assurance, whilst Town stuttered and were pressed back into their own half for long spells. Any good work they did create was wasted by poor delivery of the final ball from the flanks, either over-hit or too short and the Rams snuffed out any real threat to build an attack.
The hard working John Utterson laid on a glorious chance for Andy Constable who struck his firm shot high over the bar when he should have least tested keeper Danny Twyman. A good interchange of play on Town’s right flank gave Billy McCarthy the space to flight a ball to the far post, missed by Twyman the ball struck the far top corner of his goal and was bundled out of play by Shaun Suter with more arm that body. This was the first of three clear cut penalty decisions that referee Paul Brown missed, the other two late in the second half were so blatant that the crowd laughed when he failed to give them.
On reflection of their first half showing alone; Town deserved nothing from the game. Their woe further compounded by a corner that should have been awarded a goal kick, only half cleared as far the young Arron Robinson. The niippy wingback belted the ball from 30 yards, it flicked off the fingertips of Town’s keeper Lane then struck the underside of the crossbar and nearly burst the net on 41 minutes. A truly super goal.
Half Time: Whitstable 0 v Ramsgate 2
Matt Toms: “The title is in the hands of Maidstone now, they play Ramsgate twice and that will jusy about decide who finishes where, we lost ground today and I am far from happy”
Whitstable must have received a right verbal bashing within the confines of the dressing room, they stated as brightly at the beginning of the second half as they had the first. Manager Tom’s enforced change at the start of the match with Seager at the heart of defence in the absence of Mark Warne, meant he was playing Danny Bennett instead of Seager in the hole behind Utterson, Constable to the left, McCarthy right. But the balance of the team did not look right, to often Utterson and Bennett were in the same position looking for the same ball and Town were too bunched up in midfield.
Whilst Tom’s counterpart; Peter Hook’s young side by comparison played the ball wide and at pace, looking a completely different outfit to one turned over by Town twice in the league and cup already this season. The momentum swung back to the visitors, Mark Lane lucky when Robison’s whipped in corner was fumbled but cleared by his defence. What followed was a testing time for the home side as a succession of corners which Town seemed incapable of clearing away from their area except to belt it out for yet another corner, the visitors looking odds on to add to their tally. Andy Kier coming to Lane’s rescue with a goal line clearance with Whitstable’s keeper stranded.
But Town would not give in and much to the dismay of their management after their first half showing; belatedly put some excellent moves together culminating in Danny Twyman saving magnificently from a John Utterson overheads kick. The shot had ‘goal’ stamped on every segment of the ball until Twyman finger tipped it over his crossbar.
Driven on by their midfield of Tony Ritrovato and Dave Smith Whitstable really had the bit between their teeth, raising their effort and tempo to match Ramsgate’s as the clock ticked down, it culminated in Andy Constable grabbing a goal out of nothing in the 80th minute after Twyman failed to judge a bouncing McCarthy cross. The ball looped over his head, Constable gleefully prodding the ball into the net with his knee. Substitutes Arron Knight & Jack Tanner came on to keep Town ticking over and there was still enough time for one more act of drama.
The crowd rightly applauding the visiting keeper after a truly outstanding save from Mark Seager. McCarthy and Seager worked the short free kick routine to perfection; Seager caught the ball full force to bring the best of keeper Twyman, not surprisingly greeted at the final whistle by an ecstatic manager and team-mates. Their were a few more scrambled chances, the couple of penalty shouts but at the end of the day Town lost the game before the 2nd half had begun, maybe in the dressing room before the first whistle had even been blown.
Complacency just about summed up it up; then true fighting spirit; but in theory they gave themselves too much to do and too little time to pull the game around.

Full Time: Whitstable 1 v Ramsgate 2
Whitstable Town: Lane, Skinner, Burroughs, Keir, Seager, D Smith, Ritrovato, McCarthy, Bennett, Constable, Utterson,
Subs: Kay, Haslett, Tanner, Knight,
Report for the Web Site: © Tony Rouse