Category: Club News

PREVIEW: Widnes (H)

It’s a quick return to action after the disappointing end to the excellent League run on Tuesday night, although Colne’s record at the HWRS over the last three years has now seen them return home on the back of three successive victories, so the 3-1 defeat may not have been quite the shock we thought.

So it’s back to the Riverside for another chance of three more points in what is becoming a fascinating race for promotion.

League newcomers Widnes provide the opposition, and having gained promotion last year from the NWCFL, they have acquitted themselves well, despite having to play the majority of their home games out of town at Barnton near Northwich whilst a new pitch was laid at the Halton Stadium.

That would probably account for the fact that their away record is infinitely superior to their “home” one, as 22 of their 34 points have been gathered on the road.

In Chris’s first away game back in October, we came behind to grab a point at Barnton, but all three points will be the target after the midweek blip, and I have no doubt the management and players will be all out to prove that a blip it was indeed.

There are no injuries or suspensions in the squad, with the exception of long-term absentee Nialle Rodney, so having stuck with the same line-up for the Colne game as the one that won handsomely at Trafford last Saturday, it will be interesting to see if there is any rotation to the starting eleven.

The season is now in the last two months, with 33 points still on offer.

Three points against a Widnes side who will arrive with confidence, would be a welcome reward for an afternoon when entertaining football is almost a guarantee.

Category: Club News

PREVIEW: Trafford (A)

It’s back to the place where the Rams record-breaking FA Trophy run began, Trafford FC, this time for a League fixture.

On that day in October, with new manager Chris Willcock just installed, the home side took the lead in the opening minutes, leaving the Rams supporters fearing that a run in the Trophy would fizzle out at the first attempt, as was the case with the FA Cup.

However, as the game wore on, the visitors took control and eventually came away with a 2-1 victory to begin the epic run.

Less than three weeks earlier, under Mark Fell’s reign, the west Manchester side had returned home from the HWRS with all three points courtesy of a 1-0 league victory, and games between these two old foes have a habit of ending in either draws or narrow victories for either side.

So it will be interesting go see how the game goes this time, as the Rams are, well, ram-pant at the moment with four successive league victories, scoring 18 goals in the process and conceding none.

The latest triumph was in midweek at Newcastle Town, when a return to east Lancashire was accompanied by all three points after a scintillating 6-0 mauling of the Staffordshire outfit.

The same outfit that three days earlier had made the same journey that the Rams are doing on Saturday, to Trafford, from where they left with a precious 2-0 win.

Does that point to an easy win for Ramsbottom?

This is football, and anything can happen.

Trafford will still be smarting from that defeat, and a reasonably local derby may be just what they need to return to winning ways.

Ramsbottom United, on the other hand, will travel full of confidence on the back of their excellent run and late challenge for at least a play-off spot.

It looks like a fascinating game in prospect, and a good support from the Rams faithful could help to swing the game in favour of the visiting team.

A glorious, sunny day is forecast.

What better way to spend a Saturday afternoon!

Category: Club News

PREVIEW: Droylsden (A)

As the season rapidly approaches the finale, just eight games remain, two of which are against local rivals Droylsden.

The first takes place on Tuesday at the Butchers Arms, and a healthy following of Rammy supporters will hopefully encourage the side to return up the M66 with all three points if the promotion challenge is to continue.

Eight points away from League leaders Atherton Colls appears to be a formidable challenge, but this team will not give up the fight until the play-offs become a more realistic route to Evo-Stik Premier.

Former top level side Droylsden have had a mediocre season lying in 13th position with 37 points from their 29 games, but have a better home record of 6 wins against 4 on the road.

Dave Pace’s team usually provide stern opposition, and nothing less will be expected as the Rams look to continue their unbeaten league record on the road under Chris Willcock.

They will still be hurting after failing to see the game out at Chasetown on Saturday when they played most of the 90 minutes with just ten men following the early dismissal of Ryan Ellison.

A late goal stole two precious points from the Rams, so a three point haul is essential in east Manchester in what will hopefully be a more pleasant evening weather-wise, than we have experienced just lately, which left a quarter of the HWRS ground covered by water on Saturday.

It’s tough at the top and a good run-in should see the Rams finish in at least a play-off spot, but football can be unpredictable, and the last six weeks of the season promises to be well worth keeping an eye on.

Category: Club News

REACTION: Chris Willcock on today's 2-1 win vs Clitheroe

Rams boss Chris Willcock said post-match that “I was pleased, we've got back to winning ways after a couple of defeats, I thought overall the in first half we generally controlled the game, created some good half chances, we look a threat from set pieces & we were pleased to get our noses in front and I was then hoping for us to kick on"

“Second half we came out and the conditions played quite apart today it was a stiff breeze, both teams found it difficult to get out and play some decent football, I thought the pitch let us down at times when we got ourselves into good areas, but obviously they made a mistake and Rainford does what he’s been doing well over his career and gets a brace which is pleasing and we come away with the points which overall we thoroughly deserved"

"I think the team needed a freshen up, it's the most changes we've made since I've been at the football club, I thought the lads that came in did well, I thought off the back of that the lads responded well, the most pleasing thing is that the lads who were left out & who came on also responded in the right manner and that's what it's all about, all of us being together, we've been hurting for the last week or so with the results, they've trained exceptionally well this week & we are pleased to get back to winning ways and we will kick on and work hard next week and look forward to travelling down to Chasetown"

On Irwyah Gooden; "We've extended his loan till the end of the season, he's in a particular point of his career at Mansfield where he's playing for a professional contract, he was going to be available for us today but he's tweaked his groin in training on Friday at Mansfield which unfortunately he was in the squad today but you know between ourselves and Mansfield we are in conversation with them as to when to use him and when to not, he's waiting for a decision on his career and whether he's going to get a pro contract or not and at the moment that's his priority but whatever decision is made on the lad whether he gets a pro contract or he doesn't he'll be a Ramsbottom player between now and the end of the season"

On Chasetown: "Well, I think he's changed a lot round since we played them in my first game as manager, they put us under a lot of pressure from set pieces, they had a guy who had a long throw and they were hurling it in from the halfway line and you know on that day they made it difficult for us, we know they are in good form at the moment, and we know from our point of view we are after back to back wins, the lads can take good confidence from today's game and we will go in there to upset the form table"

Category: Club News

PREVIEW: Newcastle Town (A)

It’s a long-awaited return to Staffordshire and the home of Newcastle Town. The last time a Rams travelled there, in August, 2009, they returned on the back of a 5-0 thrashing, a worrying start for the new managerial duo of Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley.

Fortunately, they appear to have recovered from that nightmare debut pretty well!

The current Rams side travel down in the hope of gaining three more important League points as they target the six teams above them in what is becoming a fascinating campaign.

The hoists currently sit in 13th place with 31 points from their 25 games, but enjoyed an excellent away win at Trafford (where the Rams venture on Saturday), by two goals to nil, so will be in confident mood as they return home.

The Rams managed to sneak in a late winner on Saturday at home to a stubborn Colwyn Bay side, and are still to taste defeat on their travels in league fixtures under Chris Willcock.

The last three league games have been won by a margin of 12 goals to nil, with that excellent FA Trophy tie with AFC Fylde sandwiched in between.

No injury or suspension worries, with the exception of the long absence of Nialle Rodney, so a selection headache of the right sort for the boss as the Rams hope to return home with another valuable three point haul.

Category: Club News

PREVIEW: Clitheroe (A)

The Rams make the short hop up the road to east Lancashire rivals Clitheroe for what is usually a goal-fest between the two old foes.

Earlier in the season before the arrival of Chris Willcock, the Rams came back from 3-1 down to grab a point in a 3-3 thriller, whilst recent games at Shawbridge have also seen the net bulge on many occasions.

Alas, of late, visits there have not been productive for a Ramsbottom team. Last year the home side grabbed all the points courtesy of a 4-3 win whilst the year before, an incident-packed match which focussed around the referee, saw the visitors troop home on the back of a 4-0 hammering.

Indeed, we need to go back to the promotion season of 2013/14 for our last win in Clitheroe courtesy of another game that produced six goals, this time in favour of the Rams 4-2.

Traditionally a team near the top of the league, this season has been a disappointment for Clitheroe.

Not helped by the news that Chair Anne Barker is to step down at the end of this campaign, results on the pitch have been poor. Just two home wins all season, with eleven home defeats, they find themselves in 18th position with 23 points, just four points ahead of Kendal Town in the second relegation spot.

The Rams, by comparison sit in sixth with 51 points, and ready to pounce on any slip-up by the teams ahead of them.

The visitors will also be looking to put a disappointing couple of home defeats behind them, and continue the excellent away form since Willcock’s arrival in October, which sees them still undefeated on the road in League games.

A healthy following of Rams supporters is expected for a game where victory is crucial to keep the team in touch with the other promotion hopefuls.

Category: Club News

PREVIEW: Colne (H)

The trip to Trafford on Saturday saw the Rams return with another well-earned three points, lifting them into the play-off positions.

That makes it five successive League victories with an amazing total scoreline of 22 for and 0 against.

This run is certain to be tested in this east Lancashire derby when Colne come to town looking to do the double over a Rams side that lost 1-0 in the reverse fixture during the first week of the season.

That game was under the guidance of former manager Mark Fell and much has changed since those early days.

The Rams squad is massively different, but Colne under the management of long-standing Steve Cunningham, are a team sure to give the home side a massive test, as games between the two over recent years have served up some tasty treats.

The League is so competitive this season, it’s almost impossible to predict the outcome, but the Rams are currently nine points adrift of leaders Atherton Collieries, but do have two games in hand. This is one of those, and three more points will significantly close that gap as the next two months offer much to be optimistic about.

There will be twists and turns between now and the end of April, and Ramsbottom United need to continue with their current form to stand a chance of that single automatic promotion spot.

Gates have started to increase, and the supporters, in fine vocal form of late, can do much to encourage the team to continue with the magnificent run.

Should be quite a test against Colne.

Category: Club News


The Ramsbottom United supporters have cast their votes for the club’s Player-of-the-Month for what was a busy January.

A rare league defeat on the opening day at home to fellow-promotion seekers Atherton Collieries, gradually saw an improvement in form.

A 1-1 draw with another top end side Leek Town, was followed by a memorable FA Trophy game against high-flying Southern League side Weymouth. A last gasp equaliser at the harry Williams Riverside Stadium, saw the Rams complete a 550 mile round trip on the following Tuesday, to come home triumphant after a memorable 3-1 win in front of seventeen of those die-hard supporters.

Two big wins (5-0 at Glossop and 6-0 at home to Skelmersdale) followed to end the month on a high note. Judged the best performer of an excellent month for the team, was midfield star EDDIE MORAN, and he was presented with his trophy and case of beer from the League Drinks sponsor BOWLAND BREWERY.

Category: Club News

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.

Category: Club News

PHOTOS: Rams 0 Widnes 1

Photos from today's 1-0 loss at home to Widnes, taken by club photographer Frank Crook.
Category: Club News

NEW SIGNING: Tom Schofield signs for the Rams


Having enjoyed a record-breaking run in the FA Trophy, where, after twelve matches the Rams eventually exited the competition at AFC Fylde, the attention at the Harry Williams Riverside Stadium now focuses on promotion to the Evo-Stik Premier Division.

With fourteen games to go between now and the end of April, manager Chris Willcock has strengthened his squad with the addition of 28 year old midfield player TOM SCHOFIELD.

He arrives from Trafford FC, although he has also played a number of games this season for Congleton Town.

His previous clubs include Colwyn Bay, Curzon Ashton and Witton Albion, so Schofield has plenty of experience at this level, and will be available for the trip to Newcastle Town on Tuesday evening, hoping to help push the club into a promotion spot in what is becoming a very congested top end of Evo-Stik West division.