Published: 06:00, 08 September 2021
Manager Matt Longhurst is convinced Ramsgate would have won their FA Cup tie at higher-league Harrow Barrow with a full-strength squad.
Rams were missing a number of players for Saturday’s 4-2 first qualifying round defeat, including captain Jake McIntyre, Callum Emptage, Ashley Miller and Callum Peck.
Young Danny Lear gave them a 2-1 lead after an own goal cancelled out James Ewington’s early opener for Harrow.
But Frank Keita punished a mistake just before half-time and Boro, who play in the Southern League Premier Division South, progressed with Ewington’s second and a late clincher from George Moore.
Longhurst said: “What best sums it up is we’ve come away from a team in the league above disappointed we’ve not won the game, which shows the progress we’ve made.
“We had a few players missing, which isn’t an excuse, but it’s frustrating because I was so confident we’d have won if we’d had everyone available.
“Normally, you might whinge and moan about players going away but you can’t argue with the reasons.
"Jake was at his sister’s wedding which had been put off for 18 months because of Covid, Ashley Miller had a holiday booked that was cancelled and then he was able to get away and Callum Emptage had been waiting two years to go on a fishing trip with his family, plus Callum Peck was cup-tied.
“It kind of disrupted what we were doing, which was a shame off the back of two really good results against Hastings and Hythe.
“But, if I’m honest, three of the goals were down to individual mistakes, including the second one just before half-time which made it 2-2.
“If that doesn’t happen,
and we’re still in front at half-time, it might have been different.
“It just seemed a little flat in the dressing room before the game, it wasn’t quite right with the few changes we had to make, but we were well on top for 25 minutes at 2-1 up.”
Ramsgate return to Isthmian South East action on Saturday with a home game against Chichester.
They’re back at full strength and looking to build on an unbeaten start that’s brought seven points from three
That’s followed by Faversham visiting Southwood on Tuesday night.
Longhurst said: “The FA Cup was a bitter pill to swallow but we’ve had a great start in the league and we’ve got everyone back.
“We won 3-0 at Chichester on the first day of last season but you’ve got to be on your mettle against them, or you’ll get beaten.
“We’ve got Faversham straight after and that will be another tough one.
“They’re so difficult to play against, with the long balls, the long throw, they don’t stop running and are very well organised.”
Young forward Josh Ajayi has been named Ramsgate’s player of the month for August.