Ramsey win battle to stay in top flight next campaign

Ramsey's Matt Skillicorn attempts to get a shot away under pressure from Gymns' Barry Hardinge during Saturday's pivotal match at Ballacloan

Ramsey's Matt Skillicorn attempts to get a shot away under pressure from Gymns' Barry Hardinge during Saturday's pivotal match at Ballacloan

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Ramsey secured their place in next season’s Canada Life Premier League with a hard fought and closely contested 3-1 victory over relegation rivals Gymns at Ballacloan on Saturday.

The result means that the northerners will contest a 10th straight term in the top flight next season whereas the Douglas side will taste second tier football for the first time since 2005.

The home side got off to a sensational start with a goal after just nine seconds, the fastest strike in the history of the Premier League.

That honour fell to leading scorer Michael Fernandes who converted a cleverly placed through-ball from the exciting Kris Halsall.

Inspired by their early breakthrough Brian Carney’s side added a second four minutes later when the Tromode side failed to deal with a corner, which allowed Matty Christian to slam home his first goal of the season.

Gradually Jonathan Broad’s side worked their way into the contest and were rewarded on 19 minutes when Marek Mrvan slipped through the home defence to fire home a well-struck finish.

Most of the play up to the break was then centred in midfield with few scoring opportunities, leaving a half-time scoreline of 2-1 to the home side.

After the interval both teams took time to settle but gradually the chances at either end began to grow.

Firstly a Luke Fisher strike nestled in the Ramsey side netting, before a Matty Skillicorn effort drifted inches wide of the visitors’ goal.

Another fine effort from Fisher produced an equally fine stop from Ramsey custodian Kiril Velev as the home supporters began to bite their nails.

But as the half developed the hosts once again applied the pressure and following a well-worked move Gymns keeper Steven Downward was forced into a superb save to deny another fine effort from Fernandes.

Gymns too had their moments and Mrvan hooked a clever effort inches over the Ramsey cross-bar.

Then with time running out the Royals delivered the coup-de-tat.

After another effort from Fernandes was blocked, the ball fell to Christian who looked up before chipping home an exquisite finish that left Downward little more than a spectator.

It was the perfect way to retain their top-flight status, but left the visitors with a long journey back to Douglas.


Ramsey: Kiril Velev, Daniel Tate, Alex Yates, Lewis Qualtrough, John Roberts, Matty Christian,

Blagoy Smilyanov (Martin Torr) Matty Montgomery, Michael Fernandes, Kris Halsall (Jordan Kelly), Matt Skillicorn

Gymns: Steven Downward, Jonathan Broad, Barry Hardinge, Danny Swan (Steven Cretney)

Marek Mrvan, Danny Kewley, Luke Fisher, Jay Corrin (Michael Booth) Mark McCarrick

(Jez Lovett) Nick Bowden, Mark Connor.

Referee: Tony McMeiken; Handled what could have been a very tricky contest with skill and authority, doing an excellent job.

Assistants: Mark Thomas and Rod Jones.

Man of the Match: Christian (Ramsey) his two goals proved key to the result.

Match Rating HHHHH Attendance 129

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