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Ramsgate midfielder Lee Martin reacts to 5-0 FA Cup Second Round defeat at League 2 AFC Wimbledon

Ramsgate midfielder Lee Martin praised FA Cup opponents AFC Wimbledon for their professional approach to the Second Round tie.

Martin is a former team-mate of Dons boss Johnnie Jackson, who made just two changes to his starting line-up despite facing a team four levels below them in the football pyramid.

Ramsgate’s Lee Martin gets to grips with AFC Wimbledon's Josh Davison at Plough Lane on Monday night Picture: PA Images
Ramsgate’s Lee Martin gets to grips with AFC Wimbledon's Josh Davison at Plough Lane on Monday night Picture: PA Images

It paid off as Wimbledon showed their quality to avoid any potential embarrassment in front of the live television cameras.

“I played with their manager and Johnnie is no mug, he knows exactly what he’s doing, he’s a clever man,” said Martin.

“He’s a man who I’ve got a lot of respect for and I knew he would have done his research, especially in the FA Cup where anything can happen on the night, so credit to them.

“They were clinical when given a chance and maybe we gave them two goals at the beginning so after that it was a big mountain to climb.

“We’re proud of the journey, certainly, they’ve got some fantastic players and we didn’t really start great. Towards the end of the game, we showed what our capabilities are but by then the game was dead and buried.

“It was a lovely occasion, not the result we were looking for but to go up against a team of that quality, we were under no illusions about the size of the task beforehand. It’s been great for the club, we made history and now our sole focus is the league.”

The run, which included Martin scoring the winner in the previous round giantkilling of National League Woking, could be the last moment the former Manchester United, Exeter and Gillingham man gets to enjoy the limelight during his playing career.

Martin was the subject of plenty of media interest ahead of the game, including a lengthy feature as part of ITV’s live coverage of the game.

“I’m not sure my wife is going to be best pleased with that one!” responded Martin. “It was almost a bit too much for me but it’s nice to get that attention.

“I’m 37 and I don’t want to be playing on for ever, I can still run around but there will come a time when I don’t want to run around against those type of players any more!

“Sometimes you don’t get to take it in. This is probably the last time I’ll get to play on TV, and I’ll never have to play against anyone that quick and sharp again! That’s the levels and it was levels.

“I enjoyed it thoroughly, the build-up was fantastic for the club mainly. It was great for my kids to watch me on TV and see dad - who talks a lot about it - does play a bit.

“It was great with the fans at the end and you saw how much it meant to them.”

Report: AFC Wimbledon 5-0 Ramsgate

Martin still has plenty to offer on the field and his experience could prove key in Ramsgate’s quest for promotion from Isthmian South East.

His decision to carry on playing has certainly been beneficial for both parties already.

“There were opportunities to go to clubs where I would be a bit-part player but that didn’t really interest me,” he added.

“I wanted to play football, stay fit and still be there for the kids and pursue other things. I’m into coaching at the minute, I’m doing the under-14s at Gillingham and have done a couple of bits around the first team so that’s the route I want to go.”

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