Emirates FA Cup 2nd qualifying round
Saturday 21st September 2019
Gateshead 6 Ramsbottom United 0
Report by Jon Haslam
Ramsbottom United were on the road for the fourth consecutive Saturday as they headed to the North East to take on Conference North outfit Gateshead in the first ever competitive meeting between the two sides in this FA Cup second round qualifying tie.
The Rams lined up with just one alteration from the side which drew at Ossett seven days earlier with Josh Hmami replacing Khalil Osi – Efa in midfield against a strong looking home side who had suffered a galling injury time loss at Hereford in midweek.
The opening moments of the contest began with the visitors starting brightly with Iyrwah Gooden forcing home keeper Bradley James into the first action of the afternoon but no visiting player could capitalise after a low cross was spilled six yards from goal.
Gateshead, with former Premier League defender Mike Williamson in central defence responded shortly afterwards when Teddy Perkins was drawn into making a foul on Kayode just outside the penalty area but the free kick by set piece specialist Nicky Deverdics was comfortably gathered by Tom Stewart in the visitors goal.
As the opening period continued in a fairly even manner the home outfit perhaps had the better of the possession without seriously threatening Stewart any further although the visitors from Lancashire served notice of their attacking intent as they fashioned their first effort on goal just after the twenty minute mark when a cross from the right wasn’t cleared effectively and the loose ball fell to Nic Evangelinos but the well struck effort from inside the area was gathered by Middlesbrough loanee James.
As the stadium clock ticked towards the twenty five minute mark and the game goalless the Rams had every right to be pleased with their performance as they had more than matched the hosts who incidentally had claimed three consecutive home league victories prior to this match but the Tynesiders forward line were in the main kept under wraps as the visitors frustrated the home support alongside playing some neat counter attacking football of their own.
With a third of the game played Gateshead began to click into gear becoming more of an attacking threat and the opener soon arrived when a pinpoint cross field ball from Nicky Deverdics found Jordan Preston at the far post before the forwards deft first time ball along the six yard box found the unmarked Greg Olley who converted from close range for the former Hull City mans first goal of the season.
With the hosts in the lead and confidence levels on the rise Gateshead looked to press home the advantage of being two league higher in the non league pyramid with Dominic Tear and Josh Kayode looking significant menaces to the Rams.
Then with five minutes to the interval the Rams were made to pay for a defensive lapse when an ill advised back pass towards keeper Stewart from Kelvin Lugsden was intercepted by Rotherham loanee Josh Kayode and as the Rams stopper attempted to clear the ball the Heed forward was upended and referee Dale Baines had little choice but to point to the penalty spot.
Despite a promising half hour for the Rams the hosts doubled their advantage when Jordan Preston who was plying his trade for Halifax last season in the National League converted confidently from the spot to give the visitors an uphill task as the home forward also notched his first goal this term.
Despite the deficit a linesmans flag denied the away side a quick riposte as a Tom Kennedy corner bounced around the home area before a Mason Fawns header found its way into the corner of the net but the goal was sadly ruled out for offside.
With the half time whistle bringing the first half to a close manager Chris Willcocks superb run of just one defeat in the last fifteen cup matches since taking charge of the Rams last October appeared to be in danger.
The feeling going into the break was not only the timing of the second goal may prove pivotal but the manner in which the penalty was conceded was disappointing after a promising opening half hour for the Rams.
With both sides returning unchanged after the break the second half began with the National North side looking to put the tie beyond doubt whilst the Rams still had hopes that an early goal could shift the balance of play their way but the opening minutes had little in the way of goalmouth action for either side.
As the game began to unfold chances began to increase for Gateshead and when Olley clipped a ball towards Preston at the far post Rams full back Sam Adelitoye expertly repelled the danger heading clear, Ramsbottom United responded when Josh Hmami stole the ball from a Gateshead defender before the midfielder slid a pass through to Anointed Chukwu but the opportunity soon disappeared as the home defence closed ranks before the Salford loanee could get a clear sight of goal and a possible way back in the contest had slipped away.
With ten minutes played of the second half Kamar Moncrieffe replaced Iyrwah Gooden as Chris Willcock utilising his bench for the first time in an attempt to freshen up the visitors front line, soon after recently arrived substitute Thompson who had replaced Preston for the hosts won the ball in midfield before striding forward an sending a shot off target.
With twenty minutes of the second period played the Rams FA Cup dreams appeared to be over when some incisive passing lead to the ball arriving at the feet of Heed midfielder Liam Agnew who send a low skimming effort from 25 yards past the despairing dive of Stewart to give the home side a three goal advantage.
Minutes later things got better for a Gateshead outfit who played in the National League last season when a deep corner by Olley was met by the head of Toby Lees at the far post and the central defender nodded home from a tight angle to increase the lead further much to the delight of the home support.
Sadly things went from bad to worse and in a head spinning five minute period the lead had gone from two to five nil for Gateshead when substitute Thompson went on a rampaging run through midfield before laying a pass to man of the match Greg Olley whose angled drive flew into the back of the net to give the hosts an unassailable lead and with still a quarter of the match remaining things looked very bleak for the travelling Ramsbottom supporters gave the team good backing throughout.
With Gateshead still being a full time outfit the benefits began to show as the game progressed and the Heed would complete the scoring with a sixth goal with fifteen minutes remaining when the hosts exacted full punishment on their beleaguered visitors when a simple pass allowed an unmarked Kayode the time and space to slide under the advancing Stewart for the Rotherham loan player to grab the goal his performance deserved.
With a quarter of an hour remaining and much to the delight of the home support Richard Brodie entered the field at the expense of Chukwu and Will Ozono took the place of Josh Hmami as the remaining changes were made for the visitors.
Thankfully the scoring was at an end but both sides fired in long range efforts which failed to test the opposition goalkeepers and with the result beyond doubt some time ago the Rams would be grateful that the scoreline didn’t get any worse.
As the final whistle brought an end to an afternoon and performance of few positives the Rams FA cup journey for this season ended although all the credit should be given to a ruthless Gateshead side who thoroughly deserved to progress to the next round of the competition.
It was a difficult day for Ramsbottom United but Tuesday nights league trip to Kendal gives the Rams the ideal opportunity to bounce back quickly from a game best forgotten although some context could be put on the defeat as an 8-0 result in the Premier League on the same day in Manchester proves the old adage that’s there is usually someone worse off somewhere.
Ramsbottom United- Stewart, Adetiloye, Kennedy (Capt), Hmami (Ozono 78 mins) , Perkins, Lugsden, Gooden (Moncrieffe 57 mins),Rother, Chukwu (Brodie 78 mins), Fawns, Evangelinos
Subs not used- Naidole, Maher, Minard (GK)