Home   Thanet   Sport   Article

Ramsgate manager Ben Smith says promotion from Isthmian South East is still their aim after record-breaking FA Cup run ends in Second Round

Ramsgate manager Ben Smith was quick to focus on the number one aim after their FA Cup run ended at AFC Wimbledon on Monday night.

A spirited Ramsgate side earned plenty of plaudits for the way they went about their business after losing 5-0 at the League 2 outfit.

Ramsgate players thank the travelling fans after their FA Cup exit at AFC Wimbledon. Picture: PA Images
Ramsgate players thank the travelling fans after their FA Cup exit at AFC Wimbledon. Picture: PA Images

But the man at the helm won’t enjoy this cup run if the season doesn’t end with promotion from Isthmian South East.

“I didn’t come here to have a cup run - I came here to get promoted,” stated Smith. “That’s part of the mindset, it’s never been about a cup run.

“I haven’t been able to take it all in. I had it on record so I will look back at some point but I don’t want to be nostalgic about tonight, I want to look ahead to the next game.

“If I’m worrying about how it went tonight then I’m taking my eye off Saturday and that’s not going to happen.

“I’m talking to my coaching staff last night and on the coach today, and I’m talking about Three Bridges, as mad as that sounds. That’s been the focus. It’s how we work.

“It would be nice to enjoy things but when you’re at a club that’s desperate for promotion, you can enjoy it after. You’ve got to get promotion and then you can enjoy it.”

Ramsgate return to league action at Three Bridges on Saturday in a battle of the top two. Both teams are locked on 31 points and although Smith’s leaders have three games in hand, the Rams boss knows their opponents will be keen to put one over a side that’s just enjoyed a televised FA Cup tie.

Ramsgate manager Ben Smith. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Ramsgate manager Ben Smith. Picture: Barry Goodwin

“Top of the table clash, us being on the TV I guess will give them extra incentive,” said Smith.

“I know they’re going to come flying at us and try to take the game to us but we’ve got to do what we do.

“At the minute, tonight aside, what we do is win games of football and we’re very good at it. We’ve not taken our eye off the league, so we’re not going to start doing that now.

“What’s been going on over the last two years at the club, the growth from 100 fans to over a thousand, it’s been moving forward. This has now hopefully taken it a bit further and it sustains crowds of over 1,000.

“If we’re averaging that every week then we are a National League side in waiting, whether it’s me that guides them there or someone else, the club will get there.

“Hopefully we can use this as momentum and a springboard for the league. I’ve said all along, just because we’re here on the bright lights of ITV, this was just a bonus.

“With the players afterwards we weren’t talking about tonight, we were talking about Three Bridges on Saturday. That’s the mindset, it’s always been the mindset and nothing changes for us.”

Ramsgate won’t come up against opposition with the quality that AFC Wimbledon possess during their league campaign.

But that won’t stop Smith and his players from taking the lessons of facing a Football League side and using that in their Isthmian South East matches.

“Any game you can learn from, you learn bits about the players or little tweaks we can make here or there,” said Smith.

“We’ve got to set our standard as if we’re playing them every week. If we do that then we’re not going to be far off. You saw how professional they were tonight and it just wasn’t to be.

“That doesn’t mean our targets change, they are still the same. I’ve enjoyed the run, it’s been fantastic and there’s been no pressure on us with it. Back to the league, and there is pressure. We have to win.”

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More