Sunday 27th November 2005

It's business as usual for fully focused Rams

Ramsgate manager Jim Ward is delighted with his players attitudes since they've been knocked out of the FA Cup and FA Trophy, writes Stephen McCartney.

The Rams reached the first round proper of the FA Cup but found Nationwide Conference North outfit Nuneaton Borough too strong and two goals in the first half ended their progress at the beginning of the month.

And Ward's bravehearts took AFC Wimbledon to a replay - drawing 1-1 at Southwood Stadium in front of 1047 before going out 2-1 in the replay at Kingsmeadow.

But since their exit in the FA Trophy, Ramsgate have returned to their "bread and butter" of Ryman League Division One football and have collected seven points from their last three games.

Cray Wanderers were beaten 2-0 at Southwood Stadium before the Rams secured a point in a 3-3 draw with Kingstonian but a 3-0 win at Lymington & New Milton followed yesterday, pleasing the Scot.

In an EXCLUSIVE interview with www.kentishfootball.co.uk, Ward is pleased with their three match unbeaten run.

Speaking about their win at Lymington & New Milton yesterday, Ward said: "Well, we just completely bossed the game.  Go on any score you like.  It was one of our best displays of the season."

Sam Denly, a recent capture from Kent League side Herne Bay, has impressed, scoring two goals from his first two games for the Thanet club.

"He's come on as substitute against Kingstonian and scored and then scored again on Saturday," said Ward.  "He was really tired with twenty minutes left but I decided to keep him on for 90 minutes."

But Ward revealed he'll be without the services of Ollie Schulz for their Kent derby at strugglers Ashford Town on 10th December as the 20-year-old defender serves a one match ban after collecting five yellow cards.

Ward, however, is relishing their trip to 1066 country, Hastings on Tuesday night.

"It's a massive game," he admitted.  "I know they aren't going through the best of times at the moment.

"It's a really big game for us.  If we can get three points off them it knocks them back and keeps us on our target for the top six."

The Rams are currently in fifth place in the table and are just six points off top spot - although they do have games in hand following their cup exploits.

"We go to win every game," said Ward.  "The target is always to get an average of two points per game.  We just bash away."

Ward, however, admitted he is pleased with his players after returning to their league campaign fully focused.

"It's always difficult to come back," he said.  "We've broken all records as far as Ramsgate Football Club are concerned with the cup runs, earned more money than before and the guys have played in front of thousands of people recently.

"Coming back to the bread and butter I was quite concerned but we've come back and played three games, won twice and drawn once and scored eight goals and let three in.  It's gone back to business as usual.

"It doesn't seem to make any difference to my lads if they play in front of 1000 or 100.  They get onto the task of hand.  It doesn't seem to bother them, maybe it's because they're young and naive, I don't know.  Long may it continue."

Ward is sweating on the fitness of 21-year-old former Dover Athletic, Ashford Town and Sittingbourne defender Dean Hill, other than that the Rams are at full strength.

Ramsgate return to Southwood Stadium next Saturday, 3rd December, when Walton Casuals - currently in the bottom seven - visit.

Hastings United v Ramsgate
Ryman League Division One
Tuesday 29th November 2005
Kick Off 7:45pm
at Pilot Field, Elphinstone Road, Hastings