The Rooks make their longest Bostik League road trip of the season on Saturday as they head to the Kent port of Ramsgate looking to consolidate the lead at the top of the table. Monday’s defeat at Carshalton Athletic not only saw The Rooks lose their unbeaten away record but also saw influential left-back Matty George leave the ground on crutches after a heavy challenge in the second half. Darren is still waiting for news on the seriousness of the injury but it is unlikely he will be available for the pre-Christmas matches, joining Alex Malins on the sidelines.
His absence will mean a reshuffle at the back but with Harry Reed and Matt Hurley in the squad, there is defensive cover available. Gus Sow made a welcome return on Monday night although Bouwe Bosma was still absent and he will hope to return to the squad tomorrow.
Despite Monday’s defeat, the Rooks still have the best away record in the Bostik League South, having won seven, drawn three and just that one loss away from The Dripping Pan. Ramsgate’s home record has seen them win five and draw two of their games at The Southwood Stadium this season.
Whilst our hosts come into this game in 19th place, they are 23 points above the relegation spot. They recorded an impressive 4-1 victory over Whyteleafe a few weeks ago, and have been scoring regularly over the last month with Rory Smith and Tom Chapman among the goals.
Last Saturday they grabbed a point at Chipstead with top-scorer Alfie Paxman scoring early in the game.
How was last season?
Ramsgate finished 12th for the second consecutive season, albeit
six points worse off than in 2015/16.
They’ve lost Luke Girt to Sheppey United but signed Adam Woollcott from
Herne Bay and Matty Adams.
Isthmian League South Division – 12th – P 46 W 18 D 11 L 17 GS 79 GA 75 GD +4 PTS 65
FA Cup – First Qualifying Round – lost at home
to Whyteleafe 2-1
FA Trophy – First Qualifying Round – Lost at
home to Hastings United 3-0
Kent Senior Cup – Quarter Final – Lost away to
Folkestone Invicta 4-2
Isthmian League Cup – First Round – Lost away to
When did we last meet
Lewes got the better of The Rams over the two league meetings last season
with a 3-2 win at The Pan in November and a 1-1 draw in freezing conditions in
January on the Kent coast. At The Pan
goals from Stephen Okoh and a Jack Dixon double although the most talked about
goal was Ramsgate’s first when Jack Dixon’s back-pass from the halfway line hit
a bump on the pitch as Lucas Covolan went to clear it and it bobbled into an
empty net. A Dixon own goal? Harsh but correct.
On a freezing day and a frozen pitch in January the home
side took the lead in the 30th minute when Lloyd Cotton hauled down
Tom Chapman and the youngster got up to slot the penalty home. Lewes didn’t seem in the races until the hour
mark when Stephen Okoh set up Jonte Smith and he slid the ball home.
About The Southwood
The Southwood Stadium is massive. It
is hard to comprehend how big the actual area of the ground really is from the
outside as it is hemmed in by houses, but despite having a huge playing
surface, with a wide perimeter of grass around, there is still undeveloped
areas on each side. It is a basic
ground. The clubhouse and changing rooms
are outside the ground in the car park, and it is quite bizarre to see the
players lining up in the car park (albeit behind fences) waiting to enter the
playing field. There are covered
terraces at each end and a small main stand with benches instead of seats. The far side of the ground is open. There is a Portakabin perched in the corner
of the ground as the boardroom, and one on the other side that acts as the club
shop. The club house is also outside the
ground as you enter down Price’s Avenue.
How to get to The Southwood
Approach Ramsgate from the west via A299 (Canterbury/London) or A256
(Dover/Folkestone) to Lord of Manor roundabout.
Follow the signpost to Ramsgate along Canterbury Road East, counting via
2nd exit of the 1st roundabout. At the
2nd roundabout, continues towards Ramsgate on London Road (2nd exit). Take the 3rd turning on the left, into St
Mildred’s Avenue, then 1st left into Queen Bertha Road. After the right-hand
bend, take left into Southwood Road, and 1st left into Price’s Avenue. The
stadium is at the end of Price’s Avenue. There is ample free parking at the
ground or on the surrounding streets.
Mileage from Lewes FC is 111 miles (our longest away trip by road).
The nearest railway station is Ramsgate (on the London
Victoria line or the HS1 from St Pancras/Ebbsfleet/Ashford International),
which is a 10-15-minute walk away. When
you come out of the station turn right, and walk along Wilfred Road (past the
Post Office Sorting office) and straight on at the traffic lights at the
junction with St Lawrence Park Road into Grange Road. Follow Grange Road until you get to a
shopping centre and at zebra crossing turn right into Southwood Road. Go up
Southwood Road, following the road round to right at the top, then turn 1st
left into Price’s Avenue. Current
off-peak return fare from Lewes (changing at Hastings then Ashford International)
is £20.70. Approximate journey time is 2
hours 25 minutes. The journey via London
Victoria is over 3 hours long and may cost around £50.
Admission at The
Admission last season was £10 for adults, £5 for concessions (senior
citizens, students and Under18s), and accompanied under 12s are admitted free. There used to be an extra 50p charge to sit
in the main stand. At the time of
writing the club haven’t announced pricing for 2017/18 season.
Fancy a beer?
The nearest pub to the ground is the York Tavern on Vale Road which is a
decent size but many will head for the micro-pub, The Hovelling Boat Inn on
York Street, one road back from the seafront.
There’s a second micro-pub in Minster, around 4 miles from the centre of
Ramsgate called the Hair of the Dog (High Street) which has some excellent
reviews. Other decent bars in the town centre include The Red Lion on King
Street and the Australian Arms which is on the walk from the station to the