Eastbourne Town put in a rugged performance on the Kent coast as they recorded back-to-back clean sheets.
Town were able to match the physicality of Ramsgate through the tackling of Scott Kirkwood and Steve May in midfield, and dealt comfortably with numerous set-pieces.
Chances were few and far between throughout, as Ramsgate looked to dominate in the air from Simon Pettit throw-ins, and Town looked to catch them on the counter-attack.
Town, however, could have entered the half-time break with a lead, when in the 44th minute, a Danny Twyman goal-kick was sent back from where it came by the head of Kirkwood, setting forward Danny Curd through on goal.
Curd shot early with two Ramsgate defenders chasing but saw his low effort well-saved, and so the sides finished even at half-time.
Both sides had headed efforts on goal mid-way through the second-half.
In the 61st minute, Ramsgate’s Luke Wheatley headed over at the near-post from a Steve O’Brien free-kick, and ten minutes later, it was the turn of Town skipper Nick Fogden to miss-time in the air, on this occasion at the back-post.
Ramsgate did manage to skim Town ‘keeper Kieron Thorp’s bar as a cross evaded everyone and fell onto the woodwork in the 83rd minute.
However, the last few minutes proved to be the most exciting.
The introduction of forward Kai Bichard provided pace and energy, and nearly proved a masterstroke as he was first to an Owen Kessack corner but directed his header over in the 90th minute.
Fellow-sub Kessack went close in injury-time as he scrambled to win the ball ahead of the keeper but couldn’t hook his right foot around six yards out, as he came under pressure from defenders.
Boss Danny Bloor was pleased with his side’s two clean sheets in a row and the performance again of the goalkeeper and back-four. He said, “The clean sheets are testament to what they have put in.”
He added, “We had to defend a lot of set-pieces. There was no way they were going to break us down in open play.”
Town: Thorp 7, Denton 7, Storrie 7, Elliot 7, Fogden 7, May 7, Davidson 7, Kirkwood 7(Bichard 72’), Curd 7 (Crabb S. 83’), Crabb N. 6, Geard 6 (Kessack 66’) Subs not used: Graves, Simmonds Booked: Fogden, Kirkwood, Geard Attendance: 140 Referee: Ian Fissenden MoM Steve May – produced a grinding performance in the centre of the park
Agony for Reserves
Town reserves were beaten 4-2 in the fourth round of the Intermediate Cup at the Saffrons on Saturday. Matthew Haydock scored twice for Town but Newhaven ran out 4-2 winners.