PREVIEW: Chasetown (A)

Ramsbottom United make the long journey down the M6 to the west Midlands for their first ever visit to Chasetown as the race for promotion hots up.

Trailing leaders Atherton Colls by nine points, but with a game in hand, three points are essential if the Rams are to continue their push for automatic promotion with just one place available. Otherwise, it’s into the lottery of the end-of-season play-offs, which in themselves are proving a fascinating contest.

Currently sitting in fourth spot, things have changed dramatically since the reverse fixture back in early October.

This was Chris Willcock’s first game in charge following his appointment four days earlier. At that time, the team were in the bottom half of the table and the visit from Chasetown probably answered a few of his early questions. Racing into a two goal lead during a first half that the home side dominated, the Rams were pegged back and had to settle for a 2-2 draw having been under considerable pressure during the second period.

Much, of course, has changed since those early autumn times, and Chasetown currently find themselves in 14th place with 35 points gained from their 30 games. 18 of these have been gathered at home with 4 wins and 6 draws.

As for the Rams, those two disappointing home reversals were put to bed last week with a hard-earned but much-deserved 2-1 win at Clitheroe in the same sort of miserable conditions expected in the midlands tomorrow.

It’s a long journey for the fans, but hopefully a good number will make the trip to encourage the team to return home with all 3 points.