Sunday 21st August 2005

Ramsgate live up to opening day expectations


Ramsgate manager Jim Ward has issued a rallying cry to all Kent football fans to attend their first ever Ryman League division one game at Southwood Stadium on Tuesday night, writes Stephen McCartney.

The Rams made a promising start to their campaign with a deserved 2-1 win at Burgess Hill Town yesterday, and with Tooting & Mitcham United - who lost 3-2 at home to Horsham - travelling to Thanet, Ward is looking for his side to, once again, perform on the big stage.

In an EXCLUSIVE interview with www.kentishfootball.co.uk Ward reflected on their opening day win in Sussex.

"We did well, first twenty minutes we really took the game to Burgess Hill and we were disappointed not to be at least 2-0 in front.  We missed some glorious chances," the Scotsman said.

One player that stood out for the Hillians was Danny McLaughlin, who gave the home side the lead "against the run of play" after 26 minutes.

But two goals in the space of two minutes early in the second half from tall striker, Steffan Ball and Shane Suter got the Rams' season off to a winning start.

"Burgess Hill have got a bit of quality behind them," Ward said.  "McLaughlin caused us a lot of problems on the left hand side.  He's a good player, he was probably their best player.

"To be fair he was all over the place.  He caused Margate similar problems last week.  But having watched them we knew what they had to offer.

"They were good going forward, they were good all round to be fair, but we dominated the first 20 minutes but they scored a goal against the run of play."

Ward lost former Dover Athletic striker Shaun Welford (dead leg) and had to instill more belief into his stunned players during the half-time interval.  But by the 53rd minute they deservedly found themselves 2-1 up.

"We got them in at half-time and put more belief into them" revealed Ward.

"They were feeling sorry for themselves at half-time.  But Burgess Hill didn't get another chance as we totally dominated the second half."

Ward revealed he will contact Horsham's Tommy Warrilow to get a run down on their next opponents, Tooting & Mitcham United.

But Ward is confident his players can collect three points from their first  Ryman League match on home soil.

"We've got to expect more of the same and take the game to them at home," he said.

"I felt we were strong and powerful all round the pitch and it will be more of the same on Tuesday.

"We aren't a bad side, we are good to watch and everybody from Thanet is invited.

"The chairman will be happy with more than 300 there as Tooting & Mitcham are a big famous club and they will be looking to win also after getting beaten 3-2 to Horsham on Saturday.

"But it's early days, you can only look at what we've done.  Our pre-season was good and we've started brightly.

"We played mostly to our expectations Saturday.  We got a game plan and we stuck to it and it caused them all sorts of problems.  Whether we keep the same system (on Tuesday) I don't know."

Ramsgate v Tooting & Mitcham United
Ryman League Division One
Tuesday 23rd August 2005
Kick Off 7:45pm
at Southwood Stadium, Prices Avenue, Ramsgate