It’s an opportunity for us to create a bit of an upset and we’ll go there and give it our best shot, says Ramsgate boss Lloyd Blackman

Thursday 14th September 2017

RAMSGATE head coach Lloyd Blackman says his side will give it everything to cause a FA Cup giantkilling act against Chelmsford City on Saturday.

The Rams go into The FA Cup Second Qualifying Round away tie sitting in the bottom three in the Bostik South with one win and five losses, while Chelmsford City are in the top five in the Vanarama National League South table with six wins and three draws from their 11 league outings.

“I think it is statistically the hardest draw possible, as in working through the leagues and the divisions and the sides where they’re positioned and ranked,” said Blackman.

“We’re under no illusions of the magnitude of the task.  They’re going to be a decent side, two divisions above us but it’s a good opportunity for our boys to express themselves and move away from our indifferent league form and go and give it a real good go.

“It will be a good occasion for our players and we’re immensely looking forward to it and it should be a good occasion for our club.

Blackman revealed he has done his homework on Rod Stringer’s side, who are renowned for playing a direct brand of football, which helped them reach the play-offs last season where they beat Dartford in the semi-final before losing to Ebbsfleet United in the Promotion Final.

He said: “I haven’t done anything different.  I’ve still researched and prepared the same as I have done for Ashford, Egham and Faversham.  We’ve had people watch them, you use your contacts who know about teams and you do everything you can to give yourselves the best possibility of getting a result.

“We’re well aware of the challenge and the task but really I haven’t approached it any differently and the players haven’t approached it any differently apart from working out ways to do the best we can of trying to get a result.

“If we get a result it will be a big upset. It’s a tough mountain to climb against a side that are a lot higher up the pyramid than we are but we’ll go there and give it our best shot and see how we get on basically.”

Ramsgate travel to Essex on the back of back-to-back defeats at home to South Park (3-1) and a single goal defeat at Ashford United in midweek.

“Chelmsford can’t be at the top of the league without being well-organised and having an ability to be able to win games.  That’s something that we’ve got to do our best to counter-act,” added Blackman.

“We know we’re a very, very good side and we have to make sure we stick together, even during the period of the run we’ve had.  It’s not what we want but there’s no players’ that’s been found wanting, it’s just a case unfortunately our quality at times hasn’t been there and now all off a sudden we’re in a little bit of bad form but we can step away from that now.

“It’s a situation where it’s not a league game and it’s one game over 90 minutes and it’s an opportunity for us to create a bit of an upset and we’ll go there and give it our best shot.”

Ramsgate’s hopes of causing an upset lie on the shoulders of seven-goal striker Alfie Paxman.

“There’s no question he will score us goals and there was no one more disappointed after the Ashford game than Alfie,” said Blackman.

“We had golden opportunities in that game, not just Alfie, but across the team.  Unfortunately, we hit a bit of a black spot and on another day we could have been four or five-nil up at half-time.  That’s not me exaggerating the fact that we had four one-on-ones on Tuesday.

“There’s still lots to gain and develop but he’s still only a young kid and the same as many of the players.

“They’ll give anyone a game. It will be interesting to see now against players who are higher up the pyramid, who are going to be better players than we’ve played against recently, it will be a good challenge for these boys.”

Ramsgate's website has advertised for a first team coach to work alongside Blackman.

Blackman said: “We had Tom Hickman who was working with us last year. There was an opportunity, or shall we say there is a possibility for him to come back and assist me during the season, unfortunately it’s not quite worked out and we’re looking for someone to come in and coach and assist and be a part of the management team.

“They have to fit in and around the team ethic and make sure they qualify for that role, we’re looking to increase the staff we have.”

Visit Ramsgate’s website:

Chelmsford City  v  Ramsgate
The Emirates FA Cup Second Qualifying Round
Saturday 16th September 2017
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Melbourne Community Stadium, Salerno Way, Chelmsford, Essex CM1 2EH