Jay Lovett’s men had fond memories of Ramsgate, winning 4-2 on our previous visit and got off to the perfect start after 6 minutes. A Connor Tighe corner was volleyed back across goal by Harry Pollard and Michael Uwezu was in the right place at the right time to tuck the ball home to get us off to the perfect start. Ramsgate were knocking the ball around confidently but the Hillians kept winning it back high. Connor Tighe was next to test out Jacob Russell in the Rams goal but he was equal to it, tipping the effort around the post. The match was end to end in the opening 15 minutes, Ramsgate went close when Josh Ajayi, the league’s top scorer, went down the right and cut it back for Jadama but the former Whitstable man scuffed wide. Connor Tighe, showing signs of getting back to his best, almost had a beautiful assist to his name when he played in Max Miller but Russell came out quickly and made a good low save. It wasn’t long before Russell picked the ball out of his net however, as we doubled the lead. Max Miller did excellently down the right to whip a great cross onto the head of that man Uwezu who buried it in style to double our lead after just 19 minutes. Even with our 2 goal lead, Ramsgate were looking very threatening and should have pulled a goal back soon after when they broke the offside trap but pulled their effort wide with only Seymour to beat. Michael Uwezu was proving a right handful for the hosts, his exceptional hold up play found Tighe, he layed the ball off to Trey Masikini who curled his left footed effort inches over. This first half was enthralling for the 545 in attendance, as Taylor Seymour was called upon and produced a stunning stop to tip an effort onto the post before Harry Pollard was alert to block the follow up on the line. Michael Uwezu almost had a first half hat-trick, Miller flicked a long ball on, Uwezu worked half a yard but scooped his attempt over the crossbar. The Hill could have been out of sight in the first half, Connor Tighe had a goalbound effort blocked and then Masikini forced Russell into a brilliant one handed save. It was almost the perfect first 45, but the Rams got a goal they probably deserved. There seemed little danger when Jordan Chiedozie picked the ball up and no one expected him to look up and unleash a rocket which flew past Seymour and nestled into the top corner.
Jay Lovett would have been telling his players to start the second half quickly but unfortunately the warning wasn’t heeded as 10 minutes into the second half, the hosts levelled. It was as easy as you like as a run down the right ended with a cross being allowed to come and Danny Lear ghosted in at the far post to nod past Seymour. It was back against the walls for the Hill, a dangerous corner was nodded inches wide as the pendulum began to swing. As the pendulum swung one way, it soon jolted back in favour of the Hillians as they grabbed the lead again. Once more it was Max Miller down the right hand side, he found Uwezu who looked up and chipped a ball into substitute Jaden Perez who took a touch and buried it past Jacob Russell at his near post. The counter attacking Hillians almost sealed the game moments later. Dan Uchechi broke away down the left and found Miller one on one but again Russell thwarted him. The end to end nature continued, Taylor Seymour had to be on full alert to tip over a miss hit cross. Heading into the last quarter of the game, Lovett’s men were getting deeper and deeper, naturally. A corner wasn’t properly cleared but luckily for the Hill a Ram fired well wide from the edge of the box. As the minutes ticked by (awfully slowly!) Taylor Seymour once again bailed us out with a stunning stop and Josh Spinks this time was the Hillian most alert to throw himself in way of the follow up, summing up our defensive effort, which was phenomenal all afternoon. As Ramsgate tried for an equaliser, the men in green sealed the deal in added time. Jaden Perez did superbly down the left and he cut the ball back where Max Miller finally got a goal he utterly deserved. There was still 2 more chances to make it an unthinkable 5! Charlie Kelly burst clear but just ran out of legs as his shot was deflected by a sliding defender before Jaden Perez curled inches over in a very impressive cameo from the youngster.
We had to dig deep and defend like trojans at times but we stood up to the task and executed our game plan beautifully, coming away with a richly deserved first win of the season!
Next up we make the short trip to more local coastal side, Whitehawk!