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Ramsgate confirm Ben Smith as manager for next season while record goalscorer Joe Taylor signs new deal

Ramsgate have announced that Ben Smith is staying on as manager.

The club also revealed record goalscorer Joe Taylor has signed a new deal to remain at Southwood, but assistant boss Reion McFarlane and injured skipper Mike West depart.

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

Smith was unsure of his future after Rams were knocked out of the Isthmian South East play-offs on Tuesday.

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.

“Who knows?” he said. “We’ll see. It’s football. I said when I took the job I was big enough to take the job. I understand what happens.”

But the club haven’t allowed play-off disappointment to overshadow Smith’s achievements this season.

After signing a two-year deal to succeed Jamie Coyle last summer, the former Herne Bay boss led Ramsgate to the FA Cup second round for the first time in their history.

Their run included a 2-1 upset victory over National League Woking in round one before bowing out at League 2 AFC Wimbledon on national TV.

Ramsgate went toe-to-toe in a relentless title battle with eventual champions Cray Valley.

They scored 106 goals en route to a tally of 89 points - normally enough to win the league by a street - but the Millers did even better, chalking up a record 95 points.

Ramsgate have started preparing for another title push by agreeing a new deal with Taylor, while negotiations with other players are under way.

The striker scored 53 goals in all competitions this season, breaking Micky Williamson’s all-time club record of 120.

“Really happy to be at Ramsgate for another season,” Taylor wrote on X.

“Enjoyed every minute with Ben and the team this season and hope we can push on and do one better next time around.”

While assistant manager McFarlane leaves Ramsgate, Seb Tidey has been confirmed as director of football, with Lee Hook and Sean Hill on Smith’s coaching staff.

Chichester - Ramsgate’s play-off conquerors - won 5-0 at Three Bridges in last night’s play-off final.

They join Cray Valley in the Isthmian Premier next season.

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