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Chatham Town 2 Ramsgate 0 match report: Second-half strikes by substitute Emmanuel Oloyede and Andy Drury move Chats to the brink of the Isthmian South East title

A record crowd at Chatham saw them strike twice in the second half to move to the brink of the Isthmian South East title on Easter Monday.

Substitute Emmanuel Oloyede made an instant impact to break the deadlock before experienced midfielder Andy Drury netted towards the end in front of 2,540 fans at the Bauvill Stadium in their 2-0 win.

Chatham’s Emmanuel Oloyede came off the bench to score the first in his side's 2-0 win over Ramsgate. Picture: Ian Scammell
Chatham’s Emmanuel Oloyede came off the bench to score the first in his side's 2-0 win over Ramsgate. Picture: Ian Scammell

The match had started in wet and windy and - quite frankly - wild conditions, although they swiftly eased.

Chatham had the first big chance of the eagerly-awaited encounter after a poor throw by Jerald Aboagye gave the ball away in the seventh minute. Captain Jack Evans’ long-range drive was beaten away by visiting keeper Josh Bexon before player-assistant manager Danny Kedwell fired the rebound wide.

The away team had their first opportunity 10 minutes later when midfielder Jack Paxman cracked a shot against the crossbar from distance.

But there were more stoppages for injuries than chances in the cagey opening 30 minutes.

Kevin Hake’s troops then went close in the 35th minute as Ashley Nzala controlled a pass from Evans on the edge of the penalty area and saw his effort deflected inches wide.

Chatham chairman-manager Kevin Hake. Picture: Ian Scammell
Chatham chairman-manager Kevin Hake. Picture: Ian Scammell

Two minutes later, the same player went through but Nzala was thwarted by Bexon who made a big save.

The 40th minute saw an Ashley Miller free-kick evade everyone at the other end and fall narrowly wide of keeper Ben Bridle-Card’s left-hand post.

Miller became the first player in referee Morgan Conn's book two minutes before half-time for a late challenge on Gillingham loanee Ike Orji.

A half-time change for the visitors, which saw Blaise Riley-Snow replace Denzelle Olopade, nearly made an instant impact. Gil Carvalho cut inside and curled a shot against the post inside 40 second-half seconds.

Che Krabbendam miscued a 63rd-minute header well wide from an Nzala cross after another nervy spell.

Ramsgate player-boss Jamie Coyle. Picture: Ian Scammell
Ramsgate player-boss Jamie Coyle. Picture: Ian Scammell

The hosts’ first substitution saw Joey Taylor replace Matt Bodkin, three minutes later, and Bexon made a fantastic fingertip save to tip wide defender Reece Butler’s snapshot.

In the 71st minute, Oloyede came on for Nzala. And he found the net with his very first touch when he latched onto a right-wing delivery and poked into the bottom corner 17 minutes from time.

As the Rams pushed for an equaliser, Butler was in the right place to clear Carvalho’s looping header off the line.

But the home side went two goals to the good in the 85th minute with a fine team goal. Drury and midfield partner Evans exchanged passes before the latter slotted in from yards out.

Chats saw out the latter stages and the final whistle was met by chants of "We're going to win the title" by the home contingent.

Indeed, they can be crowned champions if they beat Cray Valley at home this weekend, earning a sixth success in a row in the process.

Ramsgate, meanwhile, are still second - a point ahead of third-placed Whitehawk despite their 13-match unbeaten streak in all competitions ending - and will now probably have to earn promotion to Step 3 through the play-offs. They host the Sussex side this Saturday.

Chatham had made three changes from their team which had won 1-0 at Lancing two days earlier.

Kedwell and Drury started, as did Simon Cooper. They came in for Dean Beckwith, Seidou Sanogo and Oloyede.

There was only the single change for Jamie Coyle's Rams who brought in Jake McIntyre for Thomas Carlse, having drawn 1-1 at home to Beckenham on Saturday.

The attendance was some way more than the 1,876 which watched Chats’ 2-0 success over Sheppey at the start of last year.

When the sides met at Southwood at the start of the year - interestingly - it was Ramsgate who won 2-0 through two second-half strikes in similar fashion.

Chatham Town: Bridle-Card, Orji, Cooper, Robins, Butler, Evans, Kedwell, Drury, Bodkin (Taylor 66mins), Nzala (Oloyede 71mins), Krabbendam (Peck 88mins). Subs not used: Lock, Orlu.

Ramsgate: Bexon, Aboagye, Coyle, Olopade (Riley-Snow 46mins), Miller (Bamba 72mins), Carvalho, Paxman, Liburd (Rowland 72mins), Olomowewe, McIntyre, Jadama. Subs not used: Carlse, Fitchett.

Referee: Morgan Conn.

Attendance: 2,540.

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