Ben Smith proud of Ramsgate’s FA Cup run despite defeat at AFC Wimbledon

By Sports Desk December 04, 2023

Ben Smith insists he is proud of Ramsgate’s FA Cup run despite elimination following a 5-0 defeat against AFC Wimbledon at Plough Lane.

Iraq international Ali Al-Hamadi scored twice for the Dons, with Jake Reeves, Josh Neufville and Connor Lemonheigh-Evans also finding the net.

The Rams started the evening as the lowest-ranked team left in this season’s competition, but the five-goal defeat means they miss out on a home clash with Championship high-flyers Ipswich.

However, Smith was delighted to see his side stick to their style of play against EFL opposition.

“I am proud of the boys, I thought they gave it their all,” he said.

“I can’t say a player didn’t give me everything, they went to the last minute, and we did it in bucket loads.

“I think at times we did show some composure, and we did move the ball well, I just think we came up against a much better and stronger level of opposition than we are used to.

“They pressed the life out of us at times, we just didn’t have the answers in terms of forward passes.

“I would liked to have seen us score a goal, we had a couple of chances and their keeper pulled off a great save in the first half.

“It was just not to be, but I am proud of the players, it is not about tonight it is about the journey.

“You can see from the support at the end there, it was incredible.

“We move forward, it is about the league now, and this club needs to be higher than it is, that is our job, and we will use this as a springboard.”

Johnnie Jackson believes the Tractor Boys will provide a tough test when they travel to south London in the third round.

He said: “They are a top side and they are doing a great job there.

“They are doing some great stuff, and they have a chance of going up to the Premier League this year with what they are doing in the Championship.

“It will be a really tough game, but we know that, but we have been excellent here of late.

“That is five on the bounce now at home, so we feel like we can match teams, especially here.

“It will be the other way round, we will be looking to cause the shock and they will be looking to get the job done.

“The Ramsgate fans were class, they really added to the atmosphere of the game and they will probably be a bit disappointed that they did not see their team score.

“Credit to them, credit to Ben and his team, they have done themselves proud.”

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