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Ramsgate boss Ben Smith says their FA Cup tie at AFC Wimbledon should be a live TV game | Defender Craig Stone signs as Rams travel to Merstham in Isthmian South East

Ramsgate manager Ben Smith has called for TV recognition for his FA Cup stars before their return to league action tonight.

Rams are the lowest-ranked team definitely through to the Second Round after upsetting National League Woking on Saturday.

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

Fellow Isthmian South East club Cray Valley could still join them after taking Charlton to a replay.

Ramsgate have been drawn away to League 2 AFC Wimbledon in the next round and Smith believes it should be selected for live coverage.

Both Sheppey and Cray Valley had their First-Round matches televised, enjoying national exposure.

And Rams would love to show everyone what they’re about, not just on the pitch but in the community.

“I’ve been looking for an away tie,” said Smith. “We’ve got a League 2 club, hopefully the TV gives us the credit we’re due.

“It will be a fantastic day, it’s London, so close enough to get lots of support there and hopefully it will be another magical day.

“We were underdogs against Woking, I said we probably had a 20% chance. We’ve probably got a 10% chance v AFC Wimbledon.

“We go with nothing to fear, the supporters will have a great day, no matter what happens. At the moment we are daring to dream.”

Ramsgate are back in Isthmian South East action at Merstham tonight (7.45pm).

Former Gillingham, Dover, Maidstone and Tonbridge defender Craig Stone is available after signing from Hastings.

He was introduced to fans on the pitch before the Woking game.

Rams celebrated hard at the weekend but Smith is confident the players will be back in game mode, although he’d rather they weren’t playing again quite so soon.

“It’s awful, really, that we’ve got to go and play a league game on Tuesday night,” he said.

“After January we’re Saturday-Saturday-Saturday and it would be helpful for the league to support clubs that do well in the FA Cup and FA Trophy.

“You’ve seen what we’ve done in the Trophy - we put the whole under-23s out (3-1 defeat at Hythe last Tuesday) because how can you risk players and possibly take away the opportunity of playing in the first round of the FA Cup?

“It’s difficult but we’ve made a signing - Craig Stone is confirmed - and hopefully we’ll have one more in the door from a higher league.

“We move forward to Tuesday with all guns blazing to get three points.

“The guys in that dressing room are brilliant.

“There’s some real experience in there.

“They know how to win things, and we’ve also got a lot of young lads in there who bring energy to the group, so we’ll be ready for Tuesday.

“We’ll apply ourselves exactly the same way as we do for every match. There’s no doubt in my mind about that.”

Ramsgate host Beckenham on Saturday (3pm) and visit Sheppey on Tuesday (7.45pm).

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