Rams get much needed Ossett win

Ramsbottom United made the trip to the wonderfully-named Dimple Wells on Saturday to take on Ossett Albion in what was the Rams eighth away game in their last ten league outings.  The starting eleven showed two changes from their last fixture a fortnight ago with Sam Heathcote and Liam Brownhill returning at the expense of Lee Gaskell and the suspended Jamie Rother.

OSSETT ALBION 0 RAMSBOTTOM UNITED 2
Dimple Wells, Ossett
Saturday 27 January 2018
Evo-Stik North
Attendance: 157

In swirling conditions it was the home outfit that had the first shot on goal with only two minutes on the clock when Chippendale's low shot brought a comfortable low save from Sam Ashton.

It was the Rams who broke the deadlock on 11 minutes when the ball was fed out towards wide man Phil Dean whose cross into the box found its way into the path of Sam Heathcote whose confident low finish from a narrow angle beat home keeper Souter for the defender turned strikers eleventh goal of the season in all competitions.

After falling behind Ossett Albion responded swiftly with a coupe of efforts of their own, the second of which brought a fine save from Ashton tipping a goal bound effort over the bar to preserve the visitors lead.

In a lively opening to the contest Ramsbottom United almost doubled their advantage just after the quarter hour mark when a superb cross from Eddie Moran found an unmarked Luke Thompson whose header beat Soutar before hitting the post and being scrambled to safety by the Ossett defence.

As the first half wore on both sides found it difficult to get the ball on the ground but with home wide man Chippendale looking lively the Rams rearguard had to remain vigilant to protect their lead.

The away side also continued to press for a second goal with Heathcote firing wide of the target after fine work from Jerome Wright and with Ben Richardson's long throws keeping the home defence alert the feeling was that the scoring wasn't at an end.

With half time approaching Ossett again tested Ashton in the Rams goal with a powerful shot which the keeper palmed wide before the away side almost doubled their advantage, when, after good work from Greg Daniels had sent Wright away down the left hand channel the leading scorers shot was well saved by the home keeper and the half ended with the Rams holding a slender advantage.

The second period began with Ossett searching for a foothold in the match but the visitors almost increased their lead in the early moments of the half when a long thrown into the box fell for Wright who fired over when handily placed.

As the hour mark approached the Rams defence were doing an excellent job of repelling the home sides attacking forays with the ever reliable Liam Brownhill and Richardson both showing up well at full back whilst being ably assisted by the dependable, yet never undervalued Thompson and Accrington Stanley loanee Zehn Mohammed who appear to be forging an encouraging partnershi at the heart of the Rams defence.

Nevertheless Ossett did fashion a couple of opportunities as the ever increasing desperation for an equaliser became apparent as an assured Sam Ashton in the visitors goal was calle don to make a brace of excellent saves showing the Rams fans in attendance why the stopper has plied his trade at a higher level with Chorley amongst others.

The home side made two attacking substitutions in an attempt to force an equaliser but it was Ramsbottom United that almost increased their lead midway through the second half when after a superb run and cross from Jerome Wright found Phil Dean whose goalbound shot was blocked by a last ditch tackle from a home defender and the lead remained a single goal.

Rams manager Mark Fell made his first change on 71 minutes as goalscorer Heathcote was replaced by Gaskell and within five minutes the away side doubled their advantage when a Wright corner was cleared to the edge of the penalty area where Ben Richardson picked up the ball before his goal bound shot was deflected into the path of Daniels who finished confidently to give the Rams some breathing space and a two goal lead.

Ossett Albion continued to press forward looking for some reward but it would be wrong to not mention the largely unnoticed effort by the Rams midfield duo of Dean Stott and Eddie Moran who worked tirelessly throughout.

With the minutes ticking towards full time the away side made a couple of late substitutions to further puncture any attacking momentum from the home side with new recruits Jack Burgess and Chris Rushworth making their respective bows in a Rams shirt.

The Rams defence had to withstand one last attack from Ossett as some heroic blocks and brave defending from an almighty goalmouth scramble prevented the home side pulling a late goal back.

As the final whistle sounded Ramsbottom United had their first away clean sheet of the season alongside a welcome and well deserved victory in match which may not live long in the memory for its quality but hopefully can spur the Rams onto an improved run of form for the busy schedule to come.

Manager Mark Fell had the following to say after the victory.  "It's refreshing to get a bit of what we deserve, the lads worked hard, pressed in numbers and created four or five great chances on top of the goals.

"Its a small step but one in the right direction and I hope it gives us some impetus to go on a run which we need.

"We know there isn't margin for error at the moment we need every single point but Tuesday gives us a free hit in the league cup with the reward a place in the last 8, and some momentum."

RAMSBOTTOM UNITED team: Ashton, Brownhill, Richardson, Stott, Thompson, Mohammed, Dean (Rushworth 88mins), Moran (Burgess 86mins), Heathcote (Gaskell 71mins), Daniels, Wright.  Subs not used: Jarrett, Westall.

COMING UP:
Tuesday 30 January - Doodson Cup - Mossley v RAMS (7.45pm)
Saturday 3 February - Evo-Stik North - Ossett Town v RAMS (3pm)

FRANK CROOK's PICTURES FROM THE GAME
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