DIVISION ONE NORTH
Bury Town 6
Cemal Ramadan completed a special day by bagging his first hat-trick in senior football — and then declared his determination to make Ram Meadow a place opposition teams fear.
The 20-year-old former Ipswich Town Under-18 forward lashed home a 25-yard screamer in first-half injury time on Saturday to send his side into the break 4-1 up before sweeping in his second less than three minutes after the restart.
And after missing a penalty, he soon had his hat-trick with a lovely lofted side foot finish to complete a revenge mission on Bury’s FA Cup conquerors.
It was only three weeks since Tilbury inflicted that painful 2-1 defeat on the Blues, but this was so far removed from that performance it could have been a totally different team.
And Ramadan, a summer signing from divisional rivals Soham Town Rangers who opened his account for the season, was right to point to the game being won by the desire and fluidity shown in the first 10 minutes.
“We’ve been below par the last couple of games, it is fair to say. But we came out from minute one, front-to-back, and we were good today,” he reflected.
“We won that game in the first 10 minutes where the intensity was brilliant. It was exactly what the gaffer had wanted from us.
“We have now got to take that forward and get on a little run now.”
And after notching up their first home win in four attempts — with club volunteers having pumped flood water off the pitch overnight to keep the weekend’s game out of danger from postponement — Ramadan wants to make their home ground a place where they can feel they can express themselves every week.
“We were hurt from the last time Tilbury were here and that (win) was really important,” he said.
“We want to make this a fortress — look at the crowd we get here every week. We have got to play here and beat teams and make teams not want to come here.
“You look at the front two today and they were fantastic. To get all three of us on the pitch at the same time and score six goals without Reedy (Luke Read) and Canfer (Ollie Canfer) shows we have got goals all over the pitch. And if we can carry on scoring goals, I am sure we will win plenty of games.”
Ramadan described his first hat-trick since under-18s football as merely the ‘icing on the cake’ of a great team performance, and revealed he had wanted the first penalty, put over by Leon Ottley-Gooch in the seventh minute after Ollie Hughes had been tripped.
He said: “I have been saying I am on penalties to the lads all week. I fancied the first one as well, but I don’t think it would have gone in if there were two goals there!”
Of his first goal, he commented: “Do you know what, that is up there with one of the better ones I have scored. It did well to reach!
“I hadn’t scored for a few games, so it was nice to get that, and I hit that one nicely.”
Ottley-Gooch’s missed spot-kick did not derail a flying start from the Blues as Darren Mills despatched Joe White’s cross perfectly on the half volley from 12 yards out in the 19th minute.
And just two minutes later Ottley-Gooch doubled their advantage by atoning for his penalty miss by ramming home the rebound from a Mills effort that was parried out following another Darcy De’ath long throw causing panic for the away side.
In a rare moment of action at the other end, Luis Tibbles turned an Adam Vyse piledriver onto his crossbar.
But Hughes made it 3-0 in the 27th minute by reacting first to meet Bradley Barber’s left-wing corner, heading it powerfully in via a bounce off the turf.
Hughes went close to making it four before Tilbury got a foothold back in the game with substitute Tobias Aromoralan’s shot taking a wicked deflection off De’ath before ending in the far right corner.
But there was to be no fightback, with Ramadan striking either side of the break, his first a sight to behold and his second coming after good work by Mills to cut the ball back into his path.
A big advantage was handed to the hosts when Tilbury’s goalkeeper, Clarke Bogard, was sent off in the 70th minute for an apparent stamp on Hughes. But after centre-back Joe Turpin donned the gloves, Ramadan blasted his spot-kick wide.
Bury’s number 11 did complete his hat-trick two minutes later though, lifting Hughes’ cut-back into the roof of the net.
The hosts should have added to their tally thereafter, but Mills was guilty of going for glory when a simple square ball was on for Ramadan.
Bury: Tibbles 7, De’ath 7, White 8, Fenn 7, Ottley-Gooch 7, Clements 7, Aitkens 8 (Jolland, 75’ 6), Mills 8, Hughes 8 (Wales, 75’ 6), Barber 7 (Yaxley, 83’ 6), Ramadan 8.
Free Press Man of The Match: Cemal Ramadan. Attendance: 260