ESSEX & SUFFOLK BORDER FOOTBALL LEAGUE
RAMSEY MILL FC: 5. DEDHAM OLD BOYS FC RESERVES: 6.
Date: Saturday 24th March 2018. Venue: The Royal Oak, Harwich.
Saturday afternoon gave me a last chance to watch the last of the new Club teams, this being Ramsey Mill FC, who joined the ESBFL for this season, they play at The Royal Oak, Harwich and to date have had a decent first season in Division Three. Today’s opponents were Dedham Old Boys FC Reserves who joined the ESBFL at the start of last season and they too have had a decent season perhaps aided in this match by two first teamers.
Stuart Hannam was the appointed match official for this Division Three, mid-table clash and generally with the players behaving themselves he had a quiet and efficient game with little controversy, no cautions, but plenty of goals to award.
Ramsey gained a corner in the first minute, when Farthing forced the ball off Parker with Bell heading clear to Stratton whose shot flew straight to keeper, Bentley, a long throw-in from Williams forced keeper Goodwin to call, then attempt to catch the ball which he dropped allowing Vitelli to lob towards Peat whose over-head attempt bounced fractionally wide. A trademark run by Vitelli running in from the left side into the middle forced Stratton to defend and concede a corner which King defended under pressure from Williams who forced the throw-in. Ruffles found Williams and Vitelli joined in forcing Collins to concede another corner. Hooton took the corner with King attempting to head clear again but fortunately his keeper Goodwin, reacted swiftly to parry the ball wide. A long free-kick from deep in his own half by Dawson almost found the head of John, Dedham failed to heed that warning as when the next free-kick from Dawson reached Farthing inside the six-yard box and when he miss-kicked the ball there was DANIEL JOHN to poke the ball home. Dedham quickly gained a corner taken by Brown with Bell just failing to get a clear header on target but Rowhedge broke down the left side through Stratton and when he cut inside his cross was met by John, keeper Bentley made a fine save but LLOYD WEBB was on hand to steer the ball into the empty net, that’s two goals inside the first fifteen minutes.
Once again Dedham progressed up the field through Brown, whose cross was met by Williams whose glancing header struck the left hand post with Hooton just failing to reach the loose ball from the rebound and King was injured when Williams appeared to accidentally stand on his foot when retreating at a goal-kick. Williams for Dedham looked the more likely to trouble the home defence with his timely runs through the last line, however, that killer pass was not forthcoming with defenders Dawson and King sweeping up when required. Another corner from Hooton found Bell but his left footed shot was parried by another reflex save from Goodwin who then advanced outside his penalty area to foul Williams with defenders covering behind him. Hooton took the free-kick but Goodwin again reacted with a punched clearance conceding a corner, once again Ramsey failed to effectively clear these high in-swinging corner kicks which might be their undoing if this persists. A long, no messing, clearance from John sent Webb away against defender Bell but his attempted lob was caught by keeper, Bentley advancing to the edge of the penalty area.
On the half hour mark Ramsey increased, their lead, Stratton chased the ball forward moving into midfield to set up TOM SIMPSON who chipped the ball over the hesitant keeper, Bentley from the edge of the penalty area. Dedham hit back themselves with JOHN VITELLI driving the ball through the legs of the advancing keeper this following along forward ball from Ruffles. The scoring in the first half had not finished as Ramsey struck their fourth goal when Stratton again got the better of a defender down the left side finding DANIEL JOHN whose left footed goal bound effort entered the net off the unfortunate Parker. Williams tried a long range effort from near the half way line with some spectators raising their arms ala “conversion” style and but for a few more crunching challenges the good spirited first half finished with Ramsey in the ascendency and Dedham looking for answers after some poor defending!
HALF-TIME: 4 – 1.
There is an old saying that teams think they have won a game by half-time, when you are three goals ahead you might think you are safe but Dedham had shown enough fight to score goals to retrieve at least some pride, provided they didn’t concede many more! Ramsey introduced Martin, back after injury, for Webb and Dedham replaced defender Pearce with Randall, a forward and with his first touch, Martin launched a speculative high effort that bounced once before rearing up in front of keeper, Bentley who had the presence of mind to tip the ball over the cross-bar. From the corner kick Dedham cleared the ball up-field with Hooton firing in a cross that keeper Goodwin cleared rather unconventionally with his left foot with the ball flying out for a corner, taken by Brown to the far post where substitute MATTHEW RANDALL headed home with his first touch of the ball. Ramsey countered with Dawson striking a long free-kick to Simpson and when keeper Bentley spilled the ball it was left to Parker to clear, then Martin was caught off-side from a pass by Farthing.
Hooton, for Dedham then latched onto a pass from Vitelli and the rising volley was superbly saved by the flying dive on Goodwin who once again showed some agility for a big man and he firmly caught the corner kick taken by Brown whilst under aerial pressure from Bell. Dedham were ball watching again just before the hour mark, Martin used his pace to get forward forcing Bentley to dive and save but when the ball rolled loose from the keepers hands there was TOM SIMPSON to roll the ball into the net. A high cross from Williams was plucked out of the air by Goodwin and from his clearance Martin ran on down the left side to cross the ball towards Simpson who just failed to connect properly with his head for a goal-kick. Martin then raced through on his own, drew the keeper who then pounced on the ball and another Ramsey chance went begging from this one-on-one situation. On sixty-five minutes Dedham replaced Hooton with Smith who with Randall would inject some pace for the visitors.
Keeper, Goodwin saved again, this time from Vitelli who chose the cross-cum-shot route when cutting in from the right side but Dedham narrowed the gap minutes later when Vitelli played the ball forward to MATTHEW RANDALL who lobbed Goodwin who had advanced well outside his penalty area. Ramsey replaced King with Young, a straight defensive change and a corner from Brown found Peat whose header flew narrowly wide at the far post but the next corner from Brown saw Vitelli fail to make any decent connection but in the resultant scramble RYAN LEE stabbed the ball home, so was the great escape now on! With fifteen minutes remaining Ramsey made their final change bringing Miettenen on for substitute Martin who had earlier pulled up with a recurrence of an old injury. There were thirteen minutes left when Dedham pulled level, Vitelli chased forward towards the corner flag, followed by Collins and Dawson who collectively won then lost the ball allowing JOHN VITELLI to run along the goal-line to smash a high shot past Goodwin at the near post and it was now a matter of whose nerve cracked first.
When John fouled Williams for a free-kick, twenty-five yards from goal, Brown took the free-kick and once again Goodwin took off to tip the ball over the cross-bar, clearly he didn’t want to be on a losing side! Brown took the corner and keeper, Goodwin punched clear whereupon Dedham replaced Williams with Wymer who bolstered the visitors bid to at least gain a point. With a minute of normal time remaining, another in-swinging corner from Brown struck the cross-bar and dropped behind for a goal-kick so who will get a winner or have these two exhausted teams settle for a draw! In time added on Miettenen fouled Wymer with Day blocking the resulting shot at goal then Miettenen fouled Parker twenty-five yards from goal and slightly to the left of the penalty area. Brown, who had shown his prowess with the dead-ball throughout this game struck a curling shot that cannoned back off the cross-bar and having eluded everyone inside the penalty area bounced twice before KEIR BROWN latched onto the ball which screamed into the top corner, to secure a remarkable comeback and victory for Dedham, even I could not predict that outcome.
FULL TIME: 5 – 6.
The curse of the “game of two halves” had surfaced again, yes perhaps Ramsey thought they had done enough in the first half but Dedham never gave up and by scoring early and then regularly they clawed their way back to secure victory. Credit goes to both teams for the manner in which they played, there were some crunching challenges and the odd question over a decision but in reality referee Hannam had a quiet game with no cautions, that doesn’t happen very often either!
Now, for my Man-of-the-Match selection, for Ramsey, John was prominent in both halves, defenders Dawson and King looked solid in the first half, captain Stratton looked useful down the left side with Farthing and Simpson looking dangerous as did Martin for the brief period he was on the pitch. Turning to Dedham, Vitelli, despite not showing his renowned pace scored twice, substitute Randall had an immediate effect and also scored twice, Williams was the target man and put in a big shift in attack as did Bell and Parker at the back, Lee deserved his goal but for me Brown was instrumental in how his team turned this game around, corners were always a problem landing inside the six-yard box, his free-kicks also caused problems but the “coup-de-grace” was his final effort that smashed back to him off the cross-bar only to be despatched home for the winning goal to cue wild celebrations.
RAMSEY MILL FC: Colours: Purple Shirts, Purple Shorts and Purple Socks.
Nicholas Goodwin., Sam Daly., Lewis Collins., Daniel John., Ryan Dawson., Andrew King., Christopher Stratton (C)., Matthew Simpson., Lloyd Webb., Tom Farthing., Thomas Simpson.
Manager: Craig Dawson.
Used Substitutes: Craig Martin., Lee Miettenen., Lee Young.
DEDHAM OLD BOYS FC RESERVES: Colours: Red & White Shirts, Red Shorts and Red Socks.
Ryan Bentley., James Ruffles., John Pearce., James Parker., Daniel Bell (C)., John-Joseph Peat., Keir Brown., Ryan Lee., Alexander Williamson., John Vitelli., Miles Hooton.
Joint Manager: Luke Tuttlebee.
Used Substitutes: Matthew Randall., Karl Wymer., William Smith.
Unused Substitutes: Ryan Parsons.
Referee: Stuart Hannam (Walton-on-the-Naze)
Man of the Match: Keir BROWN (DEDHAM OLD BOYS FC RESERVES)
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