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Ramsgate manager Ben Smith leaves role at Isthmian South East club - just one month after they announced he would stay in charge

Manager Ben Smith has left his position at Isthmian South East Ramsgate.

Smith guided Ramsgate to the FA Cup Second Round and then saw his team pipped to the league title by Cray Valley, before losing in the play-offs.

Ben Smith - has left his role as Ramsgate manager. Picture: Stuart Watson
Ben Smith - has left his role as Ramsgate manager. Picture: Stuart Watson

His departure comes just 34 days after the club had confirmed Smith would be their manager for the 2024/25 season.

A statement from Ramsgate said: “Ramsgate FC can today confirm that we have mutually agreed to part company with manager Ben Smith. We would like to thank Ben for all his hard work over the past year.

“For many, the 2023/24 season will live long in the memory. Ben guided The Rams to the FA Cup Second Round - a feat no other manager in our history has achieved.

“The away victory at AFC Totton saw us draw Woking at home in the FA Cup First Round. The rest, as they say, is history. In front of 3,000 supporters, Ben masterminded the routine for the corner that led to our winning goal.

“A trip to AFC Wimbledon was the reward for beating Woking. The Rams were live on national TV for the first time in our history, with 17 coaches and 1,500 fans cheering Ben and the team on.

“The league campaign saw the Rams pick up an impressive 89 points and included many incredible wins in front of huge crowds.

“Ben will forever be welcomed at the club and we wish him every success in the future.”

“It’s been a year with such hugely memorable moments and times - on and off the pitch - that I will never forget,” Smith added.

“The level of performances from the players has been incredible to produce one of the club’s best seasons ever and one in a style that the whole club could be proud of.

“The players have been great role models to the hundreds of youth players at the club and I’m sure this will have a lasting impact on many.

“Ramsgate is an unbelievable club from top to bottom and it has been a pleasure to work alongside James (Lawson, club chairman), the directors and the army of volunteers and supporters, who have given me and the players such incredible backing home and away. It was always valued and appreciated and won’t be forgotten.

“I was desperate to bring you all the promotion that the club is craving for and I’m gutted that our season didn’t quite finish how we wanted, which is something that will always haunt me.”

Smith was initially unsure of his future after Rams were knocked out of the Isthmian South East play-offs. He was highly critical of his side following a 1-0 semi-final defeat by Chichester, accusing them of “bottling” the tie before casting doubt on his future as manager.

But he looked set to carry on with top scorer Joe Taylor the first player to agree a new deal for the coming season. Tom Hadler and Alfie Paxman have been confirmed as remaining at Southwood and, only last week, Ramsgate signed full-back Aaron Barnes after his departure from Hythe.

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