It should be noted that West Wight did not take their final game of the season entirely seriously and made their team selection by drawing numbers out of the hat before the start of play.
The first half was open and entertaining with both sides having chances that fell to the 2 sides respective number 9s, James Rimmer for Saints and West Wight’s Shane East, who usually plays in goal.
In the 6th minute, Rimmer grazed the West Wight crossbar with a powerful strike from the edge of the penalty area. However, it was East who was to have the final word in the first half, sending the ball over the Ryde keeper to send the visitors into the half time interval with an unlikely 0-1 advantage.
HT: Ryde Saints 0-1 West Wight
A more determined Ryde Saints side dismantled an out-of-position West Wight side in the second half.
First, Sam Cant scored in the 48th minute with a strong shot that the away side’s keeper was unable to handle properly (1-1). In the 60th minute, Dave Sweet added a 2nd for the home side after a slick one-two with Coner Lyon (2-1). Ollie Sweetman then added a 3rd for Saints in the 77th minute after being put through by Lyon (3-1). Finally, in the 81st minute, Keir Ramage made victory certain for Ryde with a powerful strike from the edge of the area.
FT: Ryde Saints 4-1 West Wight
Saints’ victory leaves them ending the season in 7th position in Island League 1 with 34 points. West Wight remain in 4th with 43 points behind Whitecroft & Barton, Shanklin and Brading.
Cowes Enterprise College will host the final game in the Isle of Wight League when Vectis take on 2nd-placed Shanklin tonight (Tuesday).
Next season, Smallbrook will host homeless Newport FC. After the match, Saints’ manager, Andy Brown, welcomed his ground’s new tenants. Newport will pay for the installation of superior floodlighting at their new temporary home, which may help Saints attain future Wessex League status.
Ryde, the most populous town on the Island, has been without a senior football club since the untimely demise of Ryde Sports in 1997.