It's no secret Ramsgate went through a tough September spell. What isn't common knowledge is the changes Jim and Danny Ward had to manage in their squad. It's refreshing to speak to Jim and Danny about Ramsgate FC and difficult not to get swept up in their passion for the game. They managed adversity and came out the other side to record back-to-back wins and exciting Cup ties against Hastings United and Ebbslfeet United ahead.
"We lost Wedgeworth, Pulman, Butcher and Taylor in the month of September. Losing senior players like that in a short space of time is difficult to manage," said Jim Ward.
He continued, "It has taken time to adjust. The young lads have stepped up and done a great job but along with the players leaving we had Murray, Millbank and Chapman lacking match fitness.
Each lad had been out of the game 15 months so we've gently reintroduced them back."
Jim gave Tom Chapman a number of starts on his return but limited his game time to 45 minutes. It is now that gentle re-introduction can be appreciated. Chapman scored two against Whyteleafe and set up a further two in the 5-2 victory.
Aaron Millbank has taken a little longer to return, but unsurprising considering the severe injury he's recovering from. Tie that in with competing with top-goalscorer Joe Taylor, Aaron had to be patient and show his talent from the bench. He certainly impressed with his work rate and teamwork this season, not to mention his high intensity training ethos, but on Tuesday night he finally got what all strikers thrive off, a goal.
Not just any goal, but Millbank scored what was to be the winner just before half time to make it Sittingbourne 1-2 Ramsgate.
"We've now turned that corner and have a settled side," Jim was please to announce. "Yes we're still missing a couple of centre backs but otherwise everyone is up to speed and the last two games have proved that. It's upwards and onwards from here."
Jim Ward told Ramsgate-FC.co.uk he put his scouting hat on Tuesday evening.
"I went to the Margate v Hastings United match while Danny took the first team to Sittingbourne in the Kent Senior Cup. We host Hastings on Saturday in the FA Trophy and it was a chance for me to see what we're up against.
I was impressed. But their the richest team in our division and have a large squad depth so no surprises. It will be a tough game on Saturday but this is why we're in management, in football, to play against the top teams like Hastings and Ebbslfeet."
After Ramsgate's impressive victory over Sittingbourne on Tuesday evening in the Kent Senior Cup they progress to the next round where they face Vanarama South side Ebbsfleet United.
Join us at Southwood on Saturday when Ramsgate host Hastings United in the FA Trophy. 3pm KO. Alternatively follow the match LIVE on Facebook and Twitter.
Updated 21:47 - 14 Oct 2016 by Sam Perkins