Ramsgate Preview

Ramsgate Preview

By sam surbey
7 October
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Steve Barton Writes..



Three weeks ago, Herne Bay travelled to Ramsgate and came away with their second league win so far this season. Zak Ansah with a pair and a Chris Saunders piledriver gave Bay the 3-0 victory. The next day Rams manager Nick Davis left his post after less than a year in charge, with the team sitting bottom of the league with one point from a possible 15. Ian Docker, Will Graham and Joe Radford took temporary charge and in their first game at the helm were knocked out of the FA Cup by Essex Senior League Hadley, the lowest ranked team left in the competition. There was further national cup competition disappointment when they were knocked out of the FA Trophy by Haywards Heath Town, after a replay, at the Extra Preliminary Round stage. An opportunity to pick up some more points came on Saturday when they entertained their nearest rivals at the bottom of the table, East Grinstead Town. Neither side had picked up a league win up to that date. By then Jason Lillis, who had been manager at Herne Bay between May 2004 and April 2008, had been appointed Head of Coaching Development at Ramsgate, permanently succeeding Nick Davis, with Terry Sedge and Jo Radford part of the First Team management. There was no place in the new set-up for Will Graham. Ramsgate won 2-0 and lifted themselves off the bottom of the table.

The earliest version of Ramsgate FC had played since at least 1886 but folded in 1924, with local rivals Ramsgate Glenville taking over their Southwood Stadium. Glenville did not reform after World War II and a new club dubbed Ramsgate Athletic took over Southwood. The club retained the Athletic name until 1972. Athletic played in the original incarnation of the Kent League from their formation until the collapse of the league in 1959. This was the club's best period for nearly 50 years, with two consecutive league titles, several county cups, and a run to the first round of the FA Cup. With the collapse of the Kent League the Rams migrated to the Southern League, where they initially did well but were forced to resign and drop down to the re-formed Kent League in 1976.

For nearly thirty years the club performed well without seriously challenging for promotion, but their fortunes changed in 2004. There were two consecutive championships (Kent League Premier Division and Isthmian League First Division), taking the club into the Isthmian League Premier Division for 2006/07. In the club's first season in the Premier Division the Rams finished in 9th place and followed this with an even better season in 2007/08, finishing in 5th place to reach the play-offs, although they were beaten 2–1 in the semi-final by Staines Town. The following season, however, Ramsgate finished bottom of the table and were relegated to Division One South, where they have consistently been mid-table with the exception of 2014/15 when they narrowly avoided relegation.

In the Velocity Trophy Ramsgate have drawn both of their matches, 0-0 at Ashford United and 2-2 at home to Faversham Town, in front of 106 spectators. Both times they went on to win the penalty shoot-out, and Will Graham, who lasted just six games as Whitstable Town manager in 2015, said after the Faversham match: “I didn’t care how we won, I just wanted to get that win after the start to the season we’ve had. Penalties or not, it’s nice to come out on top.”

Ramsgate finished 8th last season in the attendance table, four places below Herne Bay, with an average of 211. This campaign they have dropped down to 10th with an average of 188 from their five home games. There were 218 at Southwood for the visit of Herne Bay three weeks ago. Ramsgate play their home matches at Southwood Stadium, Ramsgate, Kent. CT11 0AN. 13.6 miles from Winch’s Field. Estimated journey time 22 minutes.

The return league fixture is at Winch’s Field on Tuesday 04/02/2020.

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