FA Cup: Eighth-tier Ramsgate hope first-round tie will make 'huge difference'

"We are up to just over 300 season ticket holders. When I took over, I think there were about 17," says Ramsgate chairman James Lawson.

"Cup runs like this make a huge difference," he told BBC Radio Kent.

The eighth-tier club are preparing to make their debut as FA Cup first-round hosts against Woking on Saturday.

A win would give The Rams a first ever second-round tie, having lost at this stage at Watford in 1955 and at Nuneaton in 2005.

"We just wanted a home draw. We wanted to bring a big matchday experience to the local kids, the local community," Lawson added.

"We have turned the car park into a fanzone. The scale is huge."

Some 3,000 tickets were sold in 24 hours by the Isthmian League South East Division side for the match against National League opposition, which has presented a challenge to prepare in time.

"The largest attendance I can remember so far is about 1,500. The phone is ringing constantly. The email is busy. Relentless requests for tickets," Lawson said.

Ramsgate estimate that the overall turnover for the game is around £50,000.

"You split that with Woking, you then spend money on stewards and that amount dwindles down, but the turnover is huge," Lawson said.

"The raise in profile for a non-league team for a good run in the FA Cup is incredible. I didn't realise the power of it."

Ramsgate have lost their two previous FA Cup first-round ties by two goals, 5-3 and 2-0, while Woking's best run ended with a 1-0 defeat at Everton in the fourth round in 1991.