Cray make their first visit to Ramsgate since 2005 on Tuesday evening as league action resumes after the FA Cup weekend. This will be the fourth consecutive Kent derby for the Wands in their return to the Ryman South.
Both sides suffered disappointing results on Saturday as both went out of the Cup at the 1st Qualifying Round stage. Cray were beaten in a tough match at Faversham and perhaps were not at their best as in previous games this season. Despite not being at their best the Wands came close to snatching a replay from the game but for now how have to concentrate on getting league points in what promises to be a very tight Ryman South season.
Ramsgate were beaten at home by Whyteleafe in the Cup but have started the season quite well and are currently seventh in the table with three wins and one defeat from their four games played. The team coached by the dual management team of Jim and Danny Ward have been Ryman South regulars for a few seasons now and are a team perhaps expected to be around the playoff places come the end of the season. Ramsgate finished last season in 12th place
Long time Wands supporters may remember plenty of matches against Ramsgate in the Kent League from 1978-79 through to 2003-04. There were lots of high scoring games with Cray winning 8-2 at Ramsgate in our Kent League title winning season in 1979-80 and Cray won 10-1 at home in October 1983. Our last meeting at Ramsgate took place in the Ryman South in November 2005 with the home side winning 2-0. The overall record is P 56 W 25 D 12 L 19.
Ramsgate were quite a strong side in the old Kent League winning the league three times in the late forties-mid fifties. They joined the Southern League after the collapse of the Kent League before returning to the rejuvenated league in 1976. They remained in the Kent League until 2004-05 when they won the title and were promoted the Ryman South for the first time. There they met Cray in the 2005-06 season and won the title at the first attempt. They remained in the Ryman Premier for three seasons, reaching the playoff semi final in 2007-08 losing to Staines Town but were relegated the following season.
With both sides looking to consolidate decent starts to the campaign this could be a key match early in the season.
Directions to Ramsgate FC
Ramsgate CT11 0AN
Approach Ramsgate from the west via A299 (Canterbury/London) or A256 (Dover/Folkestone) to Lord of Manor roundabout. Follow the signpost to Ramsgate along Canterbury Road East, counting via 2nd exit of the 1st roundabout. At the 2nd roundabout, continues towards Ramsgate on London Road (2nd exit). Take the 3rd turning on the left, into St Mildred’s Avenue, then 1st left into Queen Bertha Road. After the right hand bend, take left into Southwood Road, and 1st left into Prices Ave. The stadium is at the end of Prices Avenue. There is ample free parking at the ground or on the surrounding streets.
The nearest railway station is Ramsgate, which is probably 10-15 minutes walk away. When you come out of the station turn right, and walk along Wilfred Road (past the sorting office) and straight on at the traffic lights at the junction with St Lawrence Park Road into Grange Road. Follow Grange Road until you get to shopping centre and at Zebra crossing turn right into Southwood Road. Go up Southwood road, following road round to right at the top, then turn 1st left into Prices Avenue.
For those going by train the last train back to Bromley South is at 21:54 which is just about doable if the game ends on time. There is the High Speed link to St Pancras International which takes in Ebbsfleet International and Stratford and there are direct trains back at 22.05 and 22.12.
You should find quite a few pubs in and around Ramsgate itself. Perhaps the nearest to the ground are the Australian Arms and the St Lawrence Tavern in the High Street. Otherwise near the sea front are the Belle Vue Tavern and the Pegwell Bay Hotel.
As a popular seaside resort you shouldn’t struggle to find a Fish and Chip Shop in Ramsgate. The most recommended is the Sunrise in Queen Street (CT11 9DR) but there is also the Best Fish Bar in the High Street.
For lovers of Indian and Chinese food there is the St Lawrence Tandoori Restaurant in the High Street and the Panorama Chinese restaurant in Queen Street.
I’m sure many of you would have been to Ramsgate at some point in time perhaps on a family holiday, on business or to catch a cross channel ferry. It lies in the East of the county and is part of the area of Thanet which includes Margate (perhaps Ramsgate’s more glamorous neighbour) and Broadstairs. A major sea port and the home of the only Royal Harbour in the UK and had a big bearing during the Napoleonic Wars and the Dunkirk evacuation where the harbour was a starting point for the mission mainly for the small boats. There is also an airfield at Manston which was an RAF base during the First World War and is now the Kent International Airport.
It is mostly known for its seacoast and the Ramsgate Main Sands which is major blue flag winning beach. It was also a destination for cross channel ferries to Ostende until 2013 and has a 700 berth Marina.
There is a lot of tourism history in the Thanet area of Kent and if you have plenty of time on a Tuesday evening to spend there you could make a day of it perhaps walking the four miles from Margate to Ramsgate with Broadstairs inbetween.