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Ramsgate manager Matt Longhurst says back-to-back defeats have refocused his side


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Matt Longhurst says Ramsgate’s recent defeats might prove a blessing in disguise.

Rams have lost their two games, blowing a 2-0 lead in the FA Trophy at Westfield last Saturday, a week after VCD ended their unbeaten start in Isthmian South East.

Ramsgate manager Matt Longhurst Picture: Ramsgate FC
Ramsgate manager Matt Longhurst Picture: Ramsgate FC

Ramsgate are back in league action at home to bottom side Burgess Hill on Saturday and boss Longhurst believes the blip ensures there will be no complacency against the struggling visitors at Southwood.

“We’ve had them watched and we know the threats they carry,” said Longhurst.

“We’ve lost our last two games and it’s vital we make sure it doesn’t become three.

“It’s not one where we’re standing there with our heads in our hands, we know why we’ve lost the couple and we want to make sure we rectify that.

“On paper it’s a winnable game but it’s not that simple.

“We need to make sure we apply ourselves and forget about the league table because Burgess Hill won’t finish bottom - they won’t.

“We need to ignore that and make sure we prepare properly.

“Coming off two defeats, we’ll be fully focused whereas if we were still undefeated maybe this game would have been a banana skin.

“We can’t afford it to be, so maybe it’s a blessing in disguise that we’ve lost the last couple, albeit not one you really want to take.”

Ramsgate were on top at Westfield following Jordan Chiedozie’s first-half double but the game turned on defender Jake McIntyre’s sending off for two bookings.

The home side took advantage of the extra man to run out 3-2 winners.

“The red card changed the game,” said Longhurst.

“They scored from the free-kick and came to life and, for the following 30 minutes, we didn’t touch the ball.

“We spent the whole half chasing them around and the problem was we didn’t have any defensive cover on the bench, where Callum Emptage was away, and we had to play Denzelle Olopade at centre-half who's never played there before in his life.

“If they don’t score directly from the free-kick we can probably regroup and get into the rhythm of the game but take nothing away from Westfield.

“Our indiscipline cost us, it was two minutes of madness from Jake.

“To some degree you could say the first yellow is harsh, it’s a coming-together which their winger has made the most of, although it was clumsy from Jake.

“He’s then dived in to make a challenge when he’s just been booked, which is stupid.

“He was devastated, gutted, and he’s apologised to everybody at the club in his programme notes for Burgess Hill but players make mistakes.

“Players get things wrong, I get things wrong, I might set the team up wrong, I might sign the wrong players.

“We’re human-beings, not robots - these things aren’t done intentionally.

“When I look at the games we’ve lost, there are genuine reasons behind them, not excuses.

“We had Jamie Coyle missing against VCD as he was running the London Marathon the next day, which we respect, and then Jake got sent off at Westfield and we didn’t have the players on the bench to change the game.”

Rams teenager Sammi Takaloo has joined Southern Counties East side Canterbury on loan, scoring in their 3-0 win over Lordswood.

Read more: The latest sports news in Kent

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