Published: 06:31, 20 July 2021
| Updated: 11:42, 21 July 2021
Manager Matt Longhurst said he’d never experienced an atmosphere like it when Ramsgate took on Tottenham under-23s.
More than 2,000 fans were at the WW Martin Community Stadium on Saturday as Rams opened their new 3G pitch with a high-profile friendly against the north London club.
A classy young Spurs side won 6-0 but the result was irrelevant on a day that was all about the bigger picture.
“It was an unbelievable day,” said Rams boss Longhurst.
“So much hard work went into it, from so many people, and it was lovely to see it all come to fruition.
“Leading the team out, in front of a couple of thousand people, all singing Sweet Caroline, I’ve never known an atmosphere like it at a non-league game.
“That’s just the beginning for us. It started against Spurs and now we have to take that forward.
“We have to capitalise on the interest in the club. These are exciting times and we have to build on it.
“We have to carry on pushing - we can’t rest on our laurels.”
Tottenham were missing Dane Scarlett and Alfie Devine - the duo given first-team call-ups by new boss Nuno Espirito Santo - but were still full of quality.
Their class showed but Ramsgate had their moments after a difficult opening.
“We were like rabbits in the headlights at the start,” said Longhurst.
“I thought we were a little disappointing in the early stages but, saying that, Spurs were very, very good.
“Second half, we got a bit of a foothold and Tottenham’s manager, Wayne Burnett, who is a good friend of mine, said they had to change shape and adapt to how we were playing, because they couldn’t get out.
“That was pleasing to hear and our fitness levels were amazing. Spurs’ stats showed they did the same amount of running as they would in a Premier League 2 game, which showed how hard we worked.
“We learned loads about ourselves from the game.
“Three of the six goals were individual errors, which can easily be rectified, and we had a reasonable amount of possession in the second half, once the shackles were off.
“Spurs, to the credit, were the perfect guests. They had some first-team call-ups but still put out a really strong side.
“They treated us with the same respect as they would a Premier League club - I can’t speak highly enough of them.
“You might say so they should but it doesn’t always happen.
“Sometimes these big clubs come down and they don’t want to talk to anyone and it’s like they’re doing you a favour, but Spurs weren’t like that at all. They couldn’t have been more respectful.”
Ramsgate host a Gills XI on July 28 before Margate visit Southwood on July 31 in the Thanet Cup.
Rams visit Three Bridges in their league opener on August 14.