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Ramsgate manager Matt Longhurst's Sunday afternoon text message from two-goal Josh Ajayi

Josh Ajayi scored twice in Ramsgate’s opening-day draw - but was soon asking how he could improve.

Ajayi struck twice in seven minutes at the end of the first half as Rams overturned a 1-0 deficit to lead at Three Bridges.

Ramsgate boss Matt Longhurst Picture: Alan Langley
Ramsgate boss Matt Longhurst Picture: Alan Langley

The hosts, who had a man sent off, levelled after the break as Saturday’s Isthmian South East opener finished 2-2.

Ajayi impressed but his thirst for knowledge shone through when he contacted manager Matt Longhurst the following day.

“He messaged me on Sunday asking what he can do better,” said Longhurst.

“I just said he could be a little more aggressive in his running in the opening 15/20 minutes, and that way his goals might come earlier and he can get himself into the game quicker.

“He did great for us on Saturday.

“For a lad of 19/20 to have that application, thinking about his game and asking where he can improve, on a Sunday, speaks volumes.”

Longhurst was happy enough with a point from the opening game.

He added: “I thought we did OK - it’s nice to get the first game out of the way.

“There were some very good performances from the young players.

“To be honest, the keeper hasn’t had the greatest game in the world and if he does better, we win 2-0.

“Having said that, we’ve had chances to 5-2 or 6-2 and haven’t take them. We should have won comfortably.

“It’s not easiest place in the world to go, and we weren’t particularly fluid, but we take the point and move on.”

Longhurst included new signings, winger Callum Peck from Kennington, and ex-Margate striker Jordan Chiedozie, who was a free agent.

“Callum’s going to be a good player,” said the Rams boss. “He’s 21, he’s hungry, a 6ft 2in wide player. He’s aggressive in what he does, he’s a nice lad and he listens.

“Jordan’s another quality player. If he plays 35 games he’ll score 30 goals at our level. He was unattached, and had a lot of clubs after him."

Ramsgate face a tricky FA Cup preliminary round tie at Hollands & Blair this weekend.

The Medway side, managed by Longhurst’s old youth-team boss Simon Halsey, play a level below Rams in Southern Counties East.

Longhurst said: “I played for Simon at Dartford and Corinthian.

“He’s a good guy and a good coach, very organised.

“It’s not a great pitch there, and Blair will make life difficult, but we have to find a way to win.

“It’s 11 v 11 and if we turn up and apply ourselves correctly, we win the game.”

Read more: The latest sports news in Kent

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