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Smith: ‘Sunday will be a good game’
Smith: ‘Sunday will be a good game’

One of the ties of this second Qualifying Round weekend in the Emirates FA Cup will take place at Hayes Lane on Sunday when Cray Wanderers play Ramsgate with both sides in form. 

Last weekend, Cray won their first League game of the season with a thumping 5-1 win at Chatham, just seven days after the Rams won in the last round at the same venue by the same score.

Now the two meet for a place in the Third Qualifying Round with Neil Smith hoping that it will be the home side that continues its’ good run.

“It was a fantastic performance against a very good side,” Smith told us, “Results haven’t gone our way, but performances haven’t been as bad as what they appeared, we just needed some confidence after our first few games and a few decisions going our way. Hopefully scoring ten in our last two games will have given the boys a lift.” 

“I thought the League was tough last year but the clubs that have come up and the clubs that have come down have made it an even stronger League this year and any one team could put a run together that could come from nowhere and I think that every game is a very tough game, it’s not that it wasn’t last year, but this year’s gone up another level!” 

“The directors, Chairman and the supporters have been fantastic since I walked through the door at the Club, there is a big project going on at Flamingo Park with the Stadium and the ground at the fore front.”

“Last season was amazing, and I didn’t think we could achieve what we achieved – all that does is give everyone a lift and belief that the Club can go on. But the big thing that the Club can do is to get the Stadium and ground and generate its’ own supporters and backing.” 

“I’m at the ground every day and more and more seems to be being done on a daily basis and the whole project is motoring along. They’re moving as fast as they can, and it’s taken a little bit of will to get everything started but things are looking fantastic.” 

Ramsgate head to Hayes Lane in form themselves and indeed across the last two weekends both sides have beaten Chatham 5-1 away from home. “It was a fantastic result for Ramsgate the week before,” Smith said.

“I didn’t expect us to go to Chatham and win 5-1 but didn’t expect us to lose, I’ve got a good bunch and we’ve just got to stick together when we know it’s tough and I just hope we’re out the other side of it.”

“Sunday will be a good game, they’re a very good team with some fantastic, good players and for a club like Ramsgate to get some of the players they have in is amazing, it will be a tough game!” 

“We’ll only be favourites because we’re in the higher League, but you’ve just got to look at their ambition this year which is clearly promotion this year. They have got great owners at the Club, a fantastic youth section and an Academy going up and they’ve got a fantastic manager.

“I’ve got a lot of respect for Ben and what he achieved at Herne Bay – he knows how to get out of that division. Ramsgate are a big club who are going for it, we may be favourites as we’re in the League above but it’s going to be a very tough game.” 

Cray are looking to have a full squad to pick from for Sunday’s tie with the manager adding, “Anyone of the boys at the moment with the way that they are playing is in for a starting place!”