Category: Club News

Rammy on the Non-League Show

Club secretary Tony Cunningham has been on this week's Non-League Show, his interview with Tim Fuell is about 18 minutes into the podcast



Category: Club News

PREVIEW: Trafford (A) - Integro Cup Round 2

It’s a swift return to Shawe View as the Rams attempt a quick-fire double over Trafford, this time in the second round of the Integro League Cup.

Having enjoyed a narrow 2-1 victory there on New Year’s Day in the League match, this will be the second game between the two teams in less than a fortnight, with the home side , no doubt, determined to make up for the previous defeat.

The Rams arrive in west Manchester having knocked out higher league opposition in the shape of Bamber Bridge in the last round, and although the League remains the main focus of attention, the Cup provides an alternative challenge, with silverwear on hand for the winning team come the end of the season.

The win in the League at City of Liverpool on Saturday took the Rams unbeaten run to twelve matches, and they will be hoping it’s not a case of thirteenth time unlucky.

Manager Chris Willcock has his full squad to select from, and it would come as no surprise were he to include a number of the youngsters recently signed from the club’s development squad.

Four of them took part in the previous round and gave a good account of themselves, and being thrown in for this one should hold no fears having all seemed capable of moving up to this level.

Should the game be drawn after ninety minutes, both sides will go straight to penalties to see who progresses to round three.

Category: Club News

RAMS PLAYER OF THE MONTH FOR DECEMBER

Ramsbottom United supporters have cast their votes to choose their Player-of-the-Month for December, and the award has gone to TNS loanee JOSH HMAMI,who has put in some sterling performances in midfield for the side during the month.

He also helped the Rams goal-scoring record by adding four himself in a month when the team notched up sixteen goals from their four games, lifting them up to third position in the table.

Josh’s initial loan ended on 2nd January, but the club are delighted that the local youngster, who was previously on the books of Accrington Stanley, has extended that loan until the end of the season.

Josh was presented with his prize of a case of beer sponsored by Bowland Brewery the Official Cask Beer of the Northern Premier League, before the home game against Pickering Town, by Supporters Club member Iain Round.



Category: Club News

THAT WAS THE DECADE THAT WAS!

RAMSBOTTOM UNITED in the 2010s

by Richard V Isaacs

As the clock strikes midnight on Tuesday 31st December 2019, it brings to an end probably the most momentous decade in the history of Ramsbottom United Football Club.

The bare facts of the 2010s is that the club played 423 league matches and won 203 of them, drawing 73 and suffering 147 defeats so a win percentage of 48%. We scored 829 goals and conceded 638. We averaged exactly two goals per game against 1.5 for the opposition.

But the decade will be remembered for so much more than the statistics.

It will be remembered for two promotions, climbing into the Northern Premier League for the first time and then the Premier Division of such just two years later, and one relegation – the first ever for the club.

It will be remembered for seeing the club reach their highest ever league position, in level 3 of the non-league ladder.

It will be remembered for seeing its longest run in the FA Trophy, the remarkable 5-5 draw with National League side AFC Fylde and, of course, the long haul to the south coast and epic victory at Weymouth, in front of the intrepid 17 travelling supporters!

It will be remembered for record attendances at the Riverside – 2,104 against FC United of Manchester in 2015, 907 against Stockport County in 2014 and 743 will never forget that crazy February 2019 night against Fylde.

It was the 548 that saw the Rams lift the North West Counties League title for the first time against Winsford United in April 2012 that made up much of the support that saw the club continue to thrive.

And that rise in the club’s fortunes commenced with a managerial appointment that divided opinion at the time.

Many thought that the Chairman had been hoodwinked by two young lads who had played for the club over a number of years, promising a whole new emphasis at the club. Harry Williams referred to them as “Morecambe and Wise”!

Their case wasn’t helped by a 0-5 loss in their opening game against Newcastle Town.

However, that appointment of Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley commenced a managerial partnership that saw the club reach unprecedented levels of success andsubsequently saw the duo become television celebrities and the benchmark for joint manager positions across the land when they moved on to Salford City and collected three more promotions in four years.

The decade will also be remembered for the name of the ground becoming the “Harry Williams Riverside Stadium” overnight, without the great man’s knowledge, in recognition for his monumental effort for the club over 54 years.

A total of 296 players wore the Ramsbottom United blue across the decade and 14 of them played in over 100 games, almost unheard of in non-league football where the club were able, at one point, to field a full XI of players with 100 appearances.

Phil Dean with 294 appearances (247 starts and 47 off the bench) led the way ahead of Grant Shenton (278/1), Lee Gaskell (219/47), Dominic Smalley (189/32) and Joel Pilkington (187/21).

Jon Robinson, Grant Spencer, Andy Dawson, Luke Thompson, Gary Stopforth, Daniel Warrender, Jamie Rother, Jordan Hulme and Mark Sharples make up the XIV that reached over 100 games for the club – quite some team!

As mentioned earlier, the Rams scored 829 goals in the league – including a brilliant 99 in just 38 games in 2019, which matches exactly the 2012 league championship year, seeing 2.6 goals per league clash in both those years.

The departure of Johnson and Morley saw those sorts of numbers crash dramatically. In fact in the 2015 calendar year, the Rams won just 6 of their 45 games and scored only 41 goals, the only time that we had averaged less than a goal per game in a year since joining the semi-pro ranks in 1995.

The arrival of Chris Willcock late in 2018, a man who had played for the club in the mid-2000s, has brought back the good times as could be seen from the results of late as we sit in third place midway through the NPL campaign and the crowd numbers rise.

And his arrival has seen new names begin to appear in the Rammy goalscoring and appearance annuls.

Lee Gaskell’s 126 goals in the decade was by far the most in his 266 games with Jon Robinson finishing on 99 from his 207. Phil Dean with 60 and Grant Spencer’s 49 come close behind but then comes Nic Evangelinos with 39 goals in only 59 appearances, including a remarkable 11 in the memorable FA Trophy runs.

A total of 136 players have scored goals in the decade for the Rams – a total of 140 have met the wrath of the referee by having their names taken, a list that is led by …. well, go on, have a guess!

With 47 yellow cards and four reds, that honour goes to the legendry Jon Robinson ahead of Phil Dean’s 34 yellows and 2 reds. Andy Dawson matches Robbo’s four reds for the club.

It is hard to mention every player who played for the club in this period – there have been a great number that, as supporters, it has been a pleasure to watch.

You can name Dean Stott, Mark Ayres, Ian Flannery, Alex Meaney, Eddie Moran, Phil Edghill, Tom Brooks, Mark Drew, Sam Ashton, Tom Kennedy, Ryan Moore, Billy Priestley, Scott Burton, Lee Pugh, Owen Roberts (don’t mention Darlington!!!), Steve Howson, Andy Sensale – the list is long.

There are two more to mention. A player who played over 50 times for the club and one who played just once.

The first got on the field 52 times but 43 of those were off the bench and went onto score 10 goals – Kieron Pickup. And the other who’s Rams career lasted just 12 minutes after coming on as a 78th minute substitute at Colne in October 2016 only to receive two yellow cards and be sent off in the 90th. His name – Pierre Yamfam!.

So we say goodbye to the 2010s, a decade that will live long into the Ramsbottom United memory banks – the majority of it good, occasionally bad but with the club in incredible shape both on and off the field.

Over to you, 2020s.




Category: Club News

PREVIEW: Workington (H) - THE BIG ONE!

The much-anticipated game between the Division’s top two teams takes place at The Harry Williams Riverside Stadium on Saturday before what should be a healthy following.

The Rams blew their chance of topping the table on Tuesday when they suffered their first league defeat in thirteen games at Dunston, and as a result, Workington remain top by one point, although they do have a game in hand.

Victory for the Rams will see them rise to the summit, something that could only have been dreamt of when they visited the Cumbrian coast back in September and came away on the back of a 5-1 hammering.

However, the current squad has seen many changes made by manager Chris Willcock since then, with the subsequent rise from mid-table to their current position.

Former Football League club Workington have experienced a few ups and downs since their expulsion from “The 92” in 1977, and relegation last season saw them drop into non-league’s fourth tier.

Their form so far has been good enough to see them looking for that one automatic spot in the hope that the other clubs chasing them will have to suffice with the end of season play-offs.

The Rams home record of nine wins is only equalled by that of their opponents, who have managed to win five of their games away from Borough Park, drawing two and losing the other three.

But there are many games more to play, and whilst this match could hardly be described as a promotion decider, it will certainly help whichever side wins to cement their place at the top of the table.

Fans are asked to turn up a little earlier than usual as quite a number of ”neutrals” are expected to turn up for what promises to be a cracker.

Category: Club News

PREVIEW: City of Liverpool (A)

Having visited the HWRS towards the end of November, these two sides sat next to one another in the midway point of the table.

The Purps, however, returned back to Bootle with their tails between their legs having suffered a 5-0 hammering.

Little did they realise that this was the start of a terrific run by the Rams which has seen the club notch 25 goals in five successive home games.

In all the performance that Tuesday night was part of an unbeaten run that Ramsbottom are currently enjoying now covering eleven games, eight of which have produced victories, the latest seeing off higher league opponents Bamber Bridge in the Integro Cup on Tuesday evening.

That run has seen the Rams rocket up the table in to second position, just one point behind leaders Workington.

No doubt still smarting from that defeat, City of Liverpool, with their strong following, will be baying for blood in this return fixture as they still remain in the middle of the table (eleventh position) with 25 points from their twenty games, fifteen behind the Rams on equal games played.

The home side’s record at Bootle’s ground reads five wins, one draw and four defeats, whilst the Rams travels have levelled out at three wins, draws and defeats.

The recent run will see the visitors travel to Merseyside full of confidence, but this game promises to offer them a mighty challenge if they are return home with all three points and an opportunity to hit top spot in the table.

Category: Club News

ONE IN AS COVER AND ONE EXTENSION

Ramsbottom United manager Chris Willcock has moved quickly to cover the short-term absence of goalkeeper Tom Stewart, who is out through injury.

Coming in to take his position between the sticks is 19 year old BRADLEY WADE, on a month’s loan from local League One side Rochdale.

The youngster is highly regarded at the Crown Oil Arena, having signed his first professional contract in the summer of 2018. He recently signed an extension keeping him at the dale until 2022.

He spent the latter half of last season on loan at National League side Barrow.

Brad has been with Rochdale since the age of 15 and has played in three FA Youth Cup campaigns, and was a key member of the youth team as they lifted the EFL Youth Alliance league North-West title last season.

He made his debut for the Rams in their 3-2 victory over Pickering Town at the weekend.



The club have also extended the loan period of JOSH HMAMI, who joined the club from Welsh League champions TNS, initially until 2nd January.

Struggling for game time in the early part of the season, Josh has forced his way into the starting eleven of late with some impressive performances, so much so that he was voted the Supporters “Player-of-the-Month” for December as the team rose to third in the table.

During the month, the team notched sixteen goals from their four games, and midfielder Josh did his bit by netting four of them.

Locally-based, Josh began his career at neighbouring League One side Accrington Stanley.



Category: Club News

PREVIEW: Trafford (A)

The Rams bring in the New Year with the short hop along the M60 to meet old foes Trafford FC.

The two clubs have met on numerous occasions over the years, and invariably the contests between the two sides are tight affairs.

The Rams go into this one on the back of an unbeaten eight-game run, but that will count for nothing on the day as Trafford traditionally prove to be difficult opponents.

Whereas the Rams currently sit in third spot with 34 points from their 18 games, Trafford are below in eighth with a haul of 28 points, having played two games more.

The home side have won 4, drawn 2 and lost 3 of their games at Shawe View, whilst the Rams, on their travels have picked up 2 wins with 3 draws and losses apiece.

Hopes are high at the Harry Williams Riverside Stadium of a promotion push as we enter the second half of the season, and whilst current form is very good, it’s games like this one where picking up points is essential if the club are to continue to push league leaders Workington for that automatic spot come April.

As always, a decent turnout will be expected for both sides for what promises to be an entertaining and important clash.


Category: Club News

PREVIEW: Dunston (A)

The Rams prepare to travel up to Gateshead for a Tuesday evening game in the hope that the home side will at last be able to host another home game.

Dunston have had a number of home games postponed, including the original fixture against the Rams back in November.

As a result, they have only managed to complete seven home league games to date, and have a record of three wins and two draws and defeats apiece.

The Rams, on the other hand, have won five times on their travels, the latest being at Brighouse Town on Saturday which ensured they remained in second place, one point behind leaders Workington, who come to the HWRS on Saturday.

A win in the north east could see the Rams sitting on top of the pile ahead of the much-anticipated clash with the former League club.

Dunston, as a result of playing four games less than Ramsbottom, sit in a misleading fifteenth spot with twenty-one points from their eighteen games, but will have the advantage of a home match against a side that has to endure a long midweek journey up on a Tuesday afternoon.

Confidence is high amongst the Rams squad, as shown by the way they overcame the disappointment of conceding two early second half goals at Brighouse to dig in and grind out an important three points.

Another three points would make that journey home seem so much shorter.

Category: Club News

GROUNDSMAN POSITION AVAILABLE

Ramsbottom United is looking to recruit a GROUNDSMAN to oversee all aspects of the playing surface at the Harry Williams Riverside Stadium.

The semi-professional club plays in the BetVictor Northern Premier League, and requires someone to oversee all aspects of the pitch to ensure that it remains in excellent condition throughout the season, as well as overseeing remedial work, normally carried out during the summer months.

The position is permanent with hours to be discussed.

For further details, applicants are asked to contact the Chairman, Harry Williams, directly on 07849 686374.

All applications will be treated in strict confidence.



Category: Club News

PREVIEW: Bamber Bridge (H)

It’s a case of fingers crossed that this game can finally go ahead – almost four months after the original scheduled date!

For a variety of reasons, this First Round Integro League Cup tie has had to be postponed on numerous occasions, but hopes are high that the tie can finally go ahead, with Trafford FC awaiting the winner next Tuesday in Round Two.

Premier Division Bamber Bridge arrive at the HWRS in good form since the appointment of club legend Jamie Milligan as manager, and their emphatic 4-0 win at our local rivals Radcliffe on Saturday certainly had a few eyebrows raised.

That was the Brig’s third successive away victory, so they arrive in Ramsbottom in excellent form.

However, waiting to greet them is another team in a similar rich vein of form, as the Rams completed their fifth successive home win on Saturday, albeit not quite as emphatically as the other four.

However, 25 goals in 5 home games gives some sort of clue as to the attacking intentions of a team sitting second, one division below the visitors.

It’s a hard one to forecast, and a very competitive game looks on the cards.

A reminder that if the scores are level after 90 minutes, the game goes straight to penalties.

But the most important aspect is actually getting the match completed!

Category: Club News

CHRISTMAS PRESENT FOR THE RAMS

RAMSBOTTOM UNITED received the ideal Christmas present on Boxing Day when BetVictor Northern Premier League Chairman Mark Harris arrived at the Harry Williams Riverside Stadium to present their award for being voted the North West Division Club of the Month for October/November.

Due to the reduced number of league games played in October (FA Cup and FA Trophy matches took precedent) the usual monthly award covered two months this time, but the improved form of the Rams saw the east Lancashire club chosen, and the presentation of a permanent momento and bottle of whisky was made by the League Chairman to Rammy’s Matchday Secretary Andy Edmundson before the home game against Mossley.



League Chairman Mark Harris (left) presenting the award to Andy Edmundson

As if to continue the club’s fine run, the match that followed saw the Rams hammer their opponents 7-1 to maintain their position as both leading goalscorers in the league and a place in the play-off spots.


Category: Club News

PREVIEW: Brighouse Town (A)

The Rams travel over the hill into West Yorkshire looking for another three points as they keep up the pressure on leaders Workington, who are just one point ahead of them at the top of the table.

The last League outing at the City of Liverpool saw the Rams return on the back of a 5-2 score-line, but that success was soured by a repeat score-line going the other way as they exited the Integro League Cup at Trafford on Tuesday.

The script for that game had already been written. The short hop along the M60 followed an unbeaten run of twelve matches. Unlucky thirteen just had to happen!

But the league is the main aim and having defeated Brighouse at home in October, the Rams will be making the short journey looking to do the double, with much confidence, although their opponents lie in mid-table (tenth) with a points tally of 28 from their 22 games, as opposed to Ramsbottom’s 43 from 21 games.

However, the Yorkshire side have a home record of eight victories, a total only bettered in the league by a certain Ramsbottom United, so a tough test would appear to be on the cards. They have, however, tasted defeat on their own soil five times, so the visitors will be looking to add to their four victories away from the HWRS, and at least keep on the coat-tails of Workington ahead of the mouth-watering top-of-the-table clash between the two top clubs at the Riverside next Saturday.

Indeed, a victory for the Rams, and failure to win by the Cumbrian side, could see the Lancastrians top the table come Saturday night.

A tough test, but a game that the side are capable of winning and adding to the run of eleven league games undefeated.

Category: Club News

RAMS GOAL-OF-THE-MONTH AWARD

Ramsbottom United supporters have voted for their Goal-of-the-Month for December, and had a fair few to choose from.

Moving up the BetVictor NPL North West Division table from the mid-reaches to third spot, the team notched sixteen goals during the month, but the one that caught the eye was the excellent finish following a sublime through ball from captain Tom Kennedy against Mossley that NIC EVANGELINOS threaded home to give the Rams a 3-1 lead on the stroke of half-time, before they went on to win by an emphatic 7-1.

Nic received his award of a case of beer kindly donated by Irwell Works Brewery before the home game against Pickering Town, and handing over the beer was Rammy supporter Iain Round.





Category: Club News

PREVIEW: Pickering Town (H)

No need to turn up for this one….it’s a foregone conclusion!

So may be the thoughts of certain people as they take a look at the League table.

The Rams in 3rd place with a home record of 8 wins, 1 draw and just 1 league defeat against bottom of the table Pickering who have consistently lost all eleven away games.

Obviously a home banker.

Ah but….!

Football has a nasty habit of throwing up surprise results when no-one is expecting them and who is to say this will not be one of those.

Both sides are striving for points for totally opposite reasons.

In what is turning out to being a fascinating title race, the Rams closed in on leaders Workington on Wednesday, as did second place Marine and there really are so many clubs in the mix for either an automatic promotion spot or one in the play-offs.

At the foot of the table, whilst the Pikes may not yet be out of it, they will desperately need something to take themselves off the bottom of the ladder to ensure they remain in the NPL next season.

The Rams ventured over to Widnes a couple of weeks back, expecting to return with all three points, but in the end were lucky to retrieve just one.

Complacency? Over-confidence? Who knows, but any lack of commitment is likely to see the opposition sniffing a result and putting in a performance to gain one.

The Rams recent nine match unbeaten run has produced some scintillating performances and results, and the opportunity is there to extend it to ten, but the team, full of confidence as they are, know that a professional performance will be required in the hope that any aspirations to top the table could well become a reality.

Category: Club News

BOXING DAY PREVIEW: Mossley (H)

Banana skin in the waiting!

The Rams welcome Mossley to the HWRS for a festive treat, but beware, football has a habit of causing an unexpected upset, and this has all the bearings of such!

The Lilywhites make the short journey up the M66 with an away record of six defeats, one draw and no victories.

The Rams boast a home record of seven victories, one draw and just a single league defeat.

You could almost write the script!

Both teams come into this one with mixed feelings after last Saturday’s matches.

Mossley produced a great comeback to score twice late on and snatch all three points, whilst, on the artificial turf at Widnes Halton Stadium, the Rams produced their poorest performance for some time, yet still managed to return home with a point, which extended their undefeated run to seven matches, during which the haul of 15 points has placed them handily in third place in the table.

Mossley are currently in thirteenth having gained 21points from their 19 games, whilst the Rams are on 31 points from two games fewer.

The Rams will inevitably be favourites, but, as previously stated, football is not that predictable, and the home side will be without Iyrwah Gooden who serves the second of his three-game suspension.

On the flip side, there was a warm welcome back last Saturday for Greg Daniels after a 16-month lay-off, and whilst he only appeared for the last quarter of an hour, we saw glimpses of what we know he can produce, and his return is akin to a brand new signing.

It all has the making of a Christmas cracker, and hopefully, a big crowd will turn out to enjoy the occasion.