Wednesday 20th July 2005

Rams chairman: We need your support


Ramsgate chairman Richard Lawson has issued a rallying cry to the people of Thanet to come and support the club during their Ryman League division one campaign, writes Stephen McCartney.

Only 113 fans have watched their opening two pre-season matches at their improved Southwood Stadium home, and this is concerning the man at the helm.

The club has worked tirelessly in the last few months improving facilities at their ground and have also got a very impressive website www.ramsgate-fc.co.uk, which keeps everyone up to date with all their latest news, including audio interviews.

And manager Jim Ward, and his management team of brother, Danny and coach Mark Harrop should reap the benefits of a very talented, Thanet based team.

They started pre-season with a 2-0 win over Erith & Belvedere on Saturday, with goals coming from David Cory and Shaun Welford.

And their former Kent League rivals, Whitstable Town were beaten 3-0 last night.

Warren Schulz opened the scoring with a lovely headed goal from Richard Sinden's cross.

Michael Yianni added his name to the score sheet with a beautiful 25-yard shot that flew straight into the top corner.

A very brave Welford added his second goal of the pre-season campaign, with the third and final goal from a diving header from Simon Pettit's cross.

However, the former Dover Athletic striker also took a knee to his face, whilst scoring that goal and was taken off.

So a 100% start by the Rams but Lawson is very concerned with the lack of support the team are getting.

Ramsgate make their debut in the Ryman League first division on Saturday 20th August, travelling to Burgess Hill Town.

But Lawson wants the fans to flock through the turnstiles for their first home game, against Tooting & Mitcham United on Tuesday 23rd August and get behind their team for the entire season.

Lawson has given players a financial incentive to be in the top six by Christmas and at the end of the season, and they will receive double if they are promoted.

And he told the club's website: "We've got a new season about to start.  There's been a lot of hard work gone on at the club, more than ever in the last 30-40 years.

"We've had two great performances just recently.  Tonight we've just beaten a very good Whitstable outfit 3-0.

"New signings and the lads that were here are playing really well, credit to the management team and I think it looks very promising for the new season.

"Very disappointed with the crowds we're getting.

"Sixty on Saturday and 53 tonight, but ultimately they're the ones that's missed out.

"They've missed some great football, they've missed benefiting from the great facilities we've got out here, which are improving all the time.

"If the supporters don't want to support us and their club then I don't know what they want?

"There has been some moans and groans about paying a bit extra to come in and watch it.

"But what they are doing is watching a far superior standard of football than we've ever put on before, certainly better than any time in the last 30 years, and the facilities are better as well.

"So if people don't like paying an extra couple of pounds, then perhaps we shouldn't have a football club in Ramsgate, and I think that's very sad.

"But fortunately we've got some good, strong people at the club here, working and pushing it forwards, supporters or not.

"But what we don't want to see at the end of the day, if we don't have such a good season, and I think we will, are people saying we didn't do enough.

"Because people at this club have done an awful lot this year, a tremendous effort from everyone involved and now we want the supporters to support us.

"We've started the season in the way we mean to continue.

"We've started brilliantly and the supporters, unfortunately, as yet, have not.

"And I hope they start coming to watch us quite soon."

But with Ryman Premier League new boys Bromley being the visitors to Southwood on Saturday, the Rams should expect a crowd of over 100, as Bromley always bring at least 50-100 fans to every away game.

And they enjoy a trip to the coast!

RALLYING CRY: Ramsgate chairman Richard Lawson needs more fans to watch the team during their debut Ryman League Division One campaign