These FA Cup games mean so much to everyone in non-league football, says Ramsgate boss Dean Hill

Friday 29th August 2014
FISHER joint-manager Simon Halsey says he’s going to keep a level-head during their FA Cup tie against Ramsgate tomorrow.

The Fish defeated Sussex County League side Selsey 3-0 on the road to progress through to the Preliminary Round where they’ll meet a Ramsgate side that are in the bottom six in the Ryman League Division One South table after six games.

Halsey has many memories of facing the Rams during his time in charge of Herne Bay, both in the Kent League and Ryman League.

“It’s a big game,” said Halsey.

“I don’t think for a few years they (Fisher) haven’t been any further than the first round but we had a good little win away at Selsey.

“I only flew back in the country on the Friday night so I took a bit of a back seat and just sat down and watched.

“Three-nil winners was good. No disrespect to Selsey, they weren’t the best of sides but you’ve still got to beat what’s in front of you and we knew the carrot at the end of it was a nice home tie against a Ryman side.

“Hopefully they’ll bring a few supporters and get a bit of money through the gate.

“I know a few of their players and management team so I’m looking forward to it.”

Looking forward to locking horns with Ramsgate again, Halsey said: “I’m coming up against a few old faces again.

“They’re in a bit of a transitional period now. 

“Puly (Ian Pulman) was a bug bear all of my life when I was at Herne Bay, but they’re in a bit of a transition at the moment.

“Dean and Richard (Langley) know their stuff.

“I’ve watched them myself and a couple of people have watched them and they’re a young and energetic and a good side.

“They’re in the Ryman, we’re in what was the old Kent League and for us to get anything out of the game we’ve got to be at our best.

“On our day we’re a good side but they’re in transitional and for us it’s transitional at the moment with me stepping in with Bill (Walton).

“It’s taking time for us to get going but on our day we’re not a bad side so we’re looking forward to it and the prize money, which is great for the club to raise money to get themselves back home.”

It will be the first time that the current club – fifth-from-bottom in the Southern Counties East Football League with 4 points from 5 games - have played a higher league club in The FA Cup.

“I’m quite a different person to a lot of people. I go into every game on the same level headedness,” said Halsey.

“Last week we had Beckenham at home, which everyone classed as a massive derby. I try to detract myself away from that stuff.

“At the end of the day it’s a game of football and I want to win every game of football I go into so I won’t let The FA Cup get the better of me.

“I had experience of the FA Vase run at Herne Bay to try and keep a level head so I’ll let all the others get excited and I’ll keep my head focused on the game and try and get the win at the end of it.”

Joint-managers Halsey and Billy Walton can both see the bigger picture as the club bids to move back home to Bermondsey and Rotherhithe and start putting the club back on the map and being successful again.

Halsey said: “It’s an ambitious club, a big club from years ago and looking to go back to being a big club over a time scale of perhaps five to ten years, which is great.

“It’s a chance to build a team with Bill over a couple or three seasons.

“The committee are good people.  They’ve got their heads screwed on, trying to get back to their home ground and doing things the right way, so all good, I’m enjoying it.”

Ramsgate play one division above Fisher and go into tomorrow’s game having won two and lost four of their opening six games.

The Rams stunned Folkestone Invicta with a 2-0 win at Southwood Stadium last Saturday, but followed that up with a 3-1 defeat at unbeaten Whitstable Town.

Ramsgate boss Dean Hill said: “Looking back at last weekend we would have taken three points if someone would have offered it to us, but obviously it's disappointing not to get anything out of Monday's game after picking up three points against Folkestone.  

“On Saturday we had a full strength side and the subs came on and won us the game but unfortunately with two games so close we had four players unavailable for selection on the Monday.”

Hill is relishing Saturday’s FA Cup tie at Fisher, where his side are favourites to progress through to the next round.

He said: “This weekend brings us a new challenge in our first Cup game of the season.

“We are all looking forward to the break from the league to compete in the Cup.

“It is a new experience for some of the players and they will be fired up and raring to go come 3 o’clock on Saturday.

“These Cup games mean so much to non-league clubs, fans and players so obviously we will be throwing everything at it.

“If we are lucky enough to progress through the rounds it will be a memory the players will never forget.  I certainly haven't forgotten when I reached the First Round Proper with Ramsgate against Nuneaton borough.

“Fisher will be no push over and they will be just as keen to progress to the next round, so it is important to prepare exactly as we would for a league game.” 

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Fisher  v  Ramsgate
The FA Cup Preliminary Round
Saturday 30th August 2014
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Champion Hill Stadium, Edgar Kail Way, Dog Kennel Hill, East Dulwich, London SE22 8BD