Lewes were brought down to earth by a hard-working Ramsgate side and missed an opportunity to extend their lead at the top of the Bostik League South, reports Stuart Fuller.
Monday night’s defeat at Carshalton Athletic not only cost Darren Freeman’s men 3 points but also saw injuries to Matthew George, Lloyd Cotton and Steve Brinkhurst which meant a huge re-shuffle at the back. One piece of positive news was the return to the side of Bouwe Bosma from injury.
With the temperature barely in positive territory, both sides started the game cautiously, trying to feel each other out on the expansive Ramsgate pitch. Charlie Coppola, starting at left-back, and Ronnie Conlon were combining well, whilst Jamie Brotherton appeared to have the better of his man every time he went forward. In the 15th minute The Rooks had a huge shout for a penalty when Conlon was brought down as he cut inside his man. The referee deemed it had taken place on the line of the box (which according to the rules means it was a penalty!). Hammond’s free-kick flew just wide.
Despite some good early pressure it was the home team that took the lead in the 19th minute. A counter-attack down the Lewes right saw a long, deep cross to the far post and Tom Chapman outjumped Coppola to head past Winterton. The Rooks then had their best spell of the game, almost forcing an own goal from Dickson, another big shout for a penalty as Brotherton was felled and then Medlock appeared to be held when he was about to shoot from close range.
Ramsgate had chances themselves in the closing period of the half, twice blazing over from the edge of the box when given time and space.
The second half started with the home side dominating possession. In fact, it took nearly 15 minutes for the Rooks to get the ball into the Ramsgate area by which time Chapman had doubled the lead for the home side.
Freeman brought on Harrison Parker for his league debut and Jonte Smith as the Rooks went 3-5-2 in the hope of finding a way back into the game. James Hammond had the best chance of the half for the Rooks when his free-kick from 25 yards was tipped around the post by Watkins. The final chance fell to Jonte Smith but his header across the goal couldn’t find a Lewes shirt.
This wasn’t a classic Lewes performance but injuries to three of the regular back four certainly contributed to the defeat, although you couldn’t take anything away from the energy that the home side put into the game.
The side have a week to refocus and hope to see Lloyd Cotton and Steve Brinkhurst return for the game at Sittingbourne next Saturday.
Ramsgate: Watkins, MacKenzie, Penny, Dickson, Cimmen, Gray, Chapman, J Munday, Smith (Millbank – 90mins), Lawrence (B Munday – 79mins), Paxman
Subs not used: Kane, Mensah, Cousins
Lewes: Winterton, Reed, Brotherton, Hammond, Chappell, Hurley (Parker – 70mins), Bosma (Smith – 59 mins), Sow, Medlock, Conlon (Landais – 78mins), Coppola
Subs not used: Barkley, Brinkhurst
Referee: Chris Myatt
Attendance: 187 (29 Lewes)