Ramsgate 2-0 Chatham Town
Ramsgate played their first game of 2023 at a packed WW Martin Community Stadium in yet another top of the table clash following on from a December where they had already overcome title rivals Ashford and Whitehawk.
Manager Steve Lovell named an unchanged side to the one victorious over Hythe on Boxing Day while Theo Osinfolarin returned to the bench following a hamstring injury.
Ramsgate got the game under way but it was Chatham who had the early pressure getting some joy down the Rams right as a couple of crosses were delivered in but lacking the quality to find an attacker in the box.
Rams first chance was created when Aboagye found space on the right, beat his man and crossed for Rowland who headed over the bar.
On 20 minutes Rowland had the games first shot on target but it was easy for ex Margate stopper Ben Bridle-Card to deal with.
27 minutes in and the effervescent Paxman intercepted the ball in midfield and glided through two players only to be taken out 25 yards from goal and present Ramsgate with a free kick in a dangerous position. Wood stepped up and hit right footed with power, the ball dipped but agonisingly over the crossbar.
33 minutes and excellent work from Wood set Miller away, he cut inside but couldn’t get a shot away however he managed to find Rowland who in turn crossed for Jadama to head at goal but it was easily collected by the keeper.
Heading into half time and Chatham had their first shot on target as Domafryle took aim but it was comfortable for Bexon.
Ramsgate came out for the second half shooting towards the majority of their fans and were straight on the attack as Aboagye again marauding down the right, cut inside and hit an effort on his weaker left foot just over the bar.
Chatham weren’t without threat though as veteran Bodkin sprinted down the left and put in a delightful ball that was acrobatically volleyed wide by Oloyede.
Bodkin was the danger again moments later producing another delightful cross but this time it was headed over the bar.
58th minute and a golden chance for the home side as Paxman shot from the edge of the area, Bridle-Card made a tremendous save but the ball rebounded to Jadama just a few yards out but under pressure and leaning back TJ was unable to convert.
The game had more of a cup tie feel now and Ramsgate conceded a free kick on the edge of the area but wide left. It was taken by Chatham talisman Evans but he went for extreme power and the ball fizzed well wide.
69 minutes and the breakthrough for Ramsgate. A ball delivered into the box, Rowland wins first contact and Ben Fitchett is on hand to blast the ball home from a yard to make it 1-0.
Chatham knew they had to go for it now and were committing men forward and Ramsgate had set the trap to hit them on the break as the ball fell to Miller, he burst past his man and cut inside beating another defender and then another but with Rowland well placed to his right he chose the wrong option of going alone and the chance was gone.
Bodkin again was the creator in chief for The Chats as his wicked delivery found a striker just yards out but he headed the ball into the ground instead of at goal and it bounced over the bar.
Into the last minute and the tireless Aboagye thrust down the right and bundled his way past his marker, he looked up and put a perfect ball in for top scorer Miller to rise and head home to seal the victory 2-0.
A deserved win for The Rams in front of a season’s best attendance of over 1200 as we go six points clear of Chatham at the top of the table.
Player of the Match- Jerald Aboagye