Category: Club News

OLDEST BALLBOY FINALLY RETIRES

Over 30 years ago, cricket fan JACK WOLFENDEN popped into the football stadium next to Ramsbottom Cricket Club and asked Ramsbottom United Chairman Harry Williams if he could give a hand doing any odd jobs.

That was a request he has probably regretted many times since!

Just about every job must have been the reply, for in those intervening years that is exactly what Jack has undertaken.

Divoting the pitch, marking out the pitch, painting the stadium, undertaking general repairs, washing and preparing the kit, selling programmes and becoming known as the country’s oldest Ballboy are just a few of the many jobs that Jack has undertaken with enthusiasm.

However, now well within his 80’s, Jack has finally called it a day.



Jack receives his award from football Chairman Harry Williams(left)and Cricket Chairman Rod Hamer

In recognition of his dedication and devotion to both Ramsbottom United FC and Ramsbottom Cricket Club, a presentation took place in the cricket club on Sunday when the Chairmen of both organisations presented Jack with a set of binoculars to enable Jack to enjoy his hobby even more.

Both clubs are very appreciative of the way Jack undertook all his volunteering.

A true gentleman, and both clubs wish him a long and happy “retirement”.

Category: Club News

PREVIEW: Pontefract Collieries (A)

In a week where our hearts go out to everyone connected with our close League neighbours, Bury, their expulsion from the EFL is sure to have ramifications with regards to the ownership of the club and the failure of the EFL to oversee just what has gone on at Gigg Lane over recent years.

We shall keep a close eye on future developments as Ramsbottom United wishes everyone at the club a rosier future, whatever the final outcome.

In the meantime, the Rams hope to keep up their unbeaten start to the season as they travel over the Pennines into West Yorkshire to take on Pontefract Collieries.

Three league wins, allied to an exciting 3-3 draw in the FA Cup against Winsford United, sees the team level at the top of the Division, one of only three clubs with maximum points.

Pontefract are mid-table having won one at home and drawing one and losing one away. This week the long drawn-out loan deal to bring in Josh Hmami from TNS was finally complete, and the highly rated youngster, a member of the current Welsh Premier League champions’ first team squad, will come into contention after the rather low-key win over Trafford on Bank Holiday Monday.

Early days yet, of course, and whilst the table placings mean very little at this stage, such a start to the season invariably brings confidence, and that will be in no short supply as the Rams travel along the M62, with the intention of bringing back all three points as they come back to Lancashire

Category: Club News

Club Information - Bank Holiday Weekend

PARKING ON SATURDAY

Due to the cricket club 1st team being at home on Saturday, parking is going to be very limited for our FA Cup game with Winsford. If possible could supporters park away from the ground to help ease congestion.

Cheers

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WORK PARTY - SUNDAY

With having two home games this weekend, Saturday & Monday, we are organising a work party on Sunday to get the pitch & ground prepared for the second of these. If anyone can spare an hour or two there will be someone at the ground from 10.00 onwards and all help will be very much appreciated

Cheers in advance and hope to see a few of you there

Category: Club News

REPORT: Rams 3 Widnes 2

BetVictor Northern Premier League North West Division

Match report by Jon Haslam

Saturday 17th August

Ramsbottom United 3 Widnes 2

Attendance- 230

On a day in the football calendar where there is both hope and expectations Ramsbottom United hosted Widnes in the curtain raiser of the new season at The Riverside on Saturday afternoon.

Both sides lined up with the inevitable array of new faces on opening day and it was Widnes who settled the better in the early minutes of the match with Ben Hodkinson looking particularly lively. Indeed the wide man will be recorded as the first goal scorer of the season at the HWRS when on 11 minutes the flying winger picked up an incisive pass from Hajdari before driving forward and sending a well directed shot past debutant keeper Tom Stewart to give the away side the ideal start to their campaign.

The Rams almost responded after going behind when a free kick was cleared only as far as Daniel Naidole whose well struck attempt brought a fine save from Widnes keeper Wheeler, things would get better for the visitors with almost twenty minutes of the new season played when Widnes doubled their advantage as Hodkinson again found space before playing in Conor Ready whose well struck effort from the edge of the penalty area flew past Stewart as the away side gained a tangible reward for their good strong start to the contest.

Widnes were looking the more cohesive outfit as the hosts toiled to create many clear cut opportunities in the opening third of the contest, indeed Widnes almost increased their lead when good link up play between Hodkinson and Buckley before the latter fired over the bar with the home defence looking flimsy.

As the half wore on the home side began to get a foothold into the match and new addition Daniel Naidole fired inches wide after good work from Evangelinos and the industrious Jamie Rother, then in additional time at the end of the first period the game changing moment arrived when a superb through ball found speedster Irywah Gooden running towards the penalty area before being brought down by the recovering Widnes central defender Danny Shaw, referee Mark Ryder appeared to have no alternative other than to issue a red card, the official duly obliged despite the obligatory protests and the day trippers were two goals to the good but a man light at the interval.

Ramsbottom United replaced full back Kelvin Bleau with Khalil Osi-Efa at half time as the hosts looked to utilise the second forty five minutes to make their man advantage count.

After what could perhaps be described as a disjointed first half performance the Rams began the second period in the perfect manner when skipper Tom Kennedy sent in a deep cross into the penalty area which fell kindly to Nic Evangelinos who converted from close range and the deficit was halved with barely a minute of the half elapsed.

With five minutes of the second half played recently arrived substitute Osi-Efa picked up a yellow card for a mistimed challenge on the Widnes number 9 Lewis Buckley much to the annoyance of the visitors who implored the official to even up the numbers but a booking was the decision.

Ramsbottom United appeared to gain confidence from their early strike and looked the more likely team to grab the next goal, this almost arrived when Gooden sped away from his marker before sending in a low cross which evaded the wingers onrushing team mates.. As the hour point was reached more positive attacking play from the Rams saw Evangelinos fire over the crossbar before the same player struck the post from close range as the hosts piled on the pressure.

With the contest entering the final twenty minutes the Widnes defence were being increasingly tested as the Rams utilised both wings as they pushed forward looking to take advantage of the extra player with Evangelinos and Gooden stretching the visiting defence with the promptings of Naidole and the non stop running of fans favourite Jamie Rother.

The home side made their second change of the day when debutant Fawns was replaced by Moncrieffe as the hosts looked for fresh legs from the bench, moments later the scores were level when a free kick was won tight to the goal line from where Tom Kennedy sent in a superb left footed cross which was powered into the back of the net by Irywah Gooden and the Rams had fought back from two goals down and the fixture was finely poised with around twenty minutes remaining.

With the wind in the Rams sails it appeared as though the home side had the momentum to go on and take all three points despite trailing at the interval, with that said Widnes then almost retook the lead when Hodkinson broke away and worked some space down the left wing before what appeared to be a cross hit the crossbar before being scrambled to safety and served notice that the visitors still had some attacking intent despite being down to ten men.

As the clock showed ten minutes remaining on an enthralling start to the campaign at The Riverside both teams fashioned presentable chances to win the game in quick succession, firstly Widnes threatened the home goal when a marauding run from the excellent James Steele brought a smart save from the Ramsbottom keeper Tom Stewart before the hosts responded when Ruben Jerome was denied by the onrushing Widnes stopper Wheeler as the game fluctuated end to end.

Then as the clock ticked towards additional time the defining moment arrived when patient play down the Rams left hand side lead to Tom Kennedy sending in a precise cross into the penalty area which found the head of Ruben Jerome whose towering header flew past Wheeler to win the game for Ramsbottom United and give the burly striker a reward for his hard work during the ninety minutes.

As the final whistle sounded the Rams celebrated taking the opening day honours whilst collecting three points after a superb and entertaining second half showing which was the proverbial "Game of two halves" as the hosts began the season on a positive note ahead of Tuesday nights trip to Pickering Town.

Ramsbottom United- Stewart, Bleau (Osi-Efa 46 mins), Kennedy (Capt), Rother, Norris, Lugsden, Gooden (Chukwu 91 mins), Naidole, Jerome, Fawns (Moncrieffe 72 mins), Evangelinos

Subs not used- Mc Dowell-Jallow, Adetiloye


Category: Club News

PREVIEW: Clitheroe (H)

An east Lancashire derby awaits as old foes Clitheroe come to the HWRS as we return to League duty.

Following our emphatic FA Cup victory at Maltby Main at the weekend, it’s back to the bread-and-butter of the league campaign and a reunion with Clitheroe, a team we have met on numerous occasions over the years.

Due to our FA Cup exploits, we are already behind a number of clubs with regards to league fixtures completed, and having played just four times so far, we still sit in 5th place after three victories and a single defeat, whilst Clitheroe arrive with a much better away record than the one at their Shawbridge home.

On their travels, the eighth placed team have picked up 7 of their 8 points, so will arrive in Ramsbottom full of confidence.

Clitheroe have seen changes off and on the pitch over the summer, but will be hoping for a campaign that sees them challenging towards the top of the table.

We, naturally, are looking to the same end, so will welcome our neighbours with much confidence ourselves after the win on Saturday, and the usual full-bloodied Lancashire derby should be expected as both teams look to add another three points to their tally.

Category: Club News

HIGHLY-RATED TNS YOUNGSTER JOINS RAMS

Joining the Rams until January is highly rated midfield player JOSH HMAMI.



The Rochdale-based 19 year old midfield player began his career as a youngster with Bolton Wanderers Academy before spending a season with the Barnsley u-16 squad.

A two year scholarship with Accrington Stanley followed and he became captain of Stanley’s u-18’s. Whilst training regularly with the First Team at the Crown Ground, he made his senior debut for the Reds on 30th December against Grimsby Town in League two.

He also scored the winning goal in Stanley’s 1-0 victory over Rochdale in the FA Youth Cup.

He was snapped up by Welsh Premier League champions TNS (The New Saints) and is a member of their First Team squad.

He joins the Rams on loan to further his career and gain more match time, and manager Chris Willcock is delighted to have the youngster here for at least the first half of the season.

Category: Club News

Development Squad update

Once more, Ramsbottom United will be running a development squad for the upcoming 2019/20 season and are hoping to build on the excellent work that has been done over the past few years.

Over the Summer, we have held a couple of trial games at the Top Park (which is a rather wonderful facility for those who have not been up there and a real asset to the club) which saw an excellent turn out of potential players, both old and new, which demonstrates the high regard the Development Squad is held in around the local area and beyond.

It is with regret that we had to let a few go for various reasons, but ultimately our main objective is to provide players for the first team. However, those players who we have parted company with will still have future opportunities should they progress elsewhere. As we are well aware, players at this age will develop at different times and with different degrees of progress. After all, several players have left us only to return later with great success.

Chris, Matt, Jake & Warren are working hard to create a good balanced learning environment to promote quality, team bonding & all round good young players. This, coupled with a much stronger working relationship with the first team management at the club will, hopefully, see a further progression during the upcoming season. Four players from last season are all currently training with the first team and this has seen Will Alberto and Ben Stanton make impressive debuts during the senior teams pre-season schedule

Our first friendly in our pre-season schedule was against a strong, and much older, Elton Vale first team including ex Ramsbottom United player Tom Brookes. In comparison, our midfield consisted of three 17 year old all from Ramsbottom area who produced an all-round good performance and gained several plaudits from the opposition. After going behind early, the players settled into the new system and on 20 minutes equalised through a Taigh Wilson free kick. We then controlled the game missing some good chances, and hitting the bar, we restricted Elton to long range chances with the game ending 1-1.

Category: Club News

PREVIEW: Widnes (H) - The Season Opener

The pre-season has now ended, new players have been introduced to the squad, and fitness levels checked. It’s all systems go.

After what proved to be a successful and enjoyable campaign last time round when, following the appointment of manager Chris Willcock in October, the side residing in the bottom half of the table, rose into the play-offs, as well as progressing into the last 16 of the top non-league knock-out competition, the FA Trophy, hopes are high for an even better campaign this time round.

Due to the imminent completion of non-league’s much-awaited pyramid, which will come in at the end of this new season, lines have been redrawn, meaning that the Rams will be facing ten new teams compared with their opponents last season.

On the face of it, the newcomers appear to be stronger than those that have moved down to the South East Division, and should prove a sterner test for the Rams.

However, despite a number of last season’s squad moving on, Willcock has introduced a number of new signings with the intention of strengthening the team in preparation for the nine months ahead.

Amongst the newcomers is speedy winger Iyrwah Gooden, who endeared himself to the supporters during his loan spell at the club from Mansfield Town towards the back of last season.

Joining him are two of Willcock’s main targets, 6ft plus striker Karl Jones who has played under the boss before at Glossop, and fellow striker Daniel Naidole, whose impressive pre-season performances bode well for the coming season.

They join up with a number of last season’s squad, including influential captain and former Bury star, Tom Kennedy, and top scorer Nic Evangelinos, whilst fans favourite Jamie Rother embarks on his sixth season with the club, having racked up over 100 appearances.

Competing with Jamie in midfield is Eddie Moran, in his second stint at the club.

No doubt there will be an odd new face or two still to be added as the season gets underway with a home game against a Widnes side who surprised the Rams with a win here on their last visit in March, and as always it’s difficult to forecast the outcome of the coming campaign.

Most sides will have altered their squads from last season, and it’s very much a case of seeing what happens over the next few weeks before determining just which teams look likely to be successful.

Manager Willcock has had his first full pre-season at the HWRS, so Saturday may well give an indication of what lies ahead, but football is far from a straightforward game.

Promotion to BetVictor Premier Division is very much the target, and Saturday will see the first shot in anger as the Rams prepare for what should be another entertaining nine months.


Category: Club News

PREVIEW: Winsford United (A)

Following the highly entertaining 3-3 draw in the original game at the HWRS, both sides meet in Cheshire to decide who will travel to Maltby Main on Saturday in the 1st Qualifying Round of this season’s FA Cup.

The Rams unbeaten start to the season was ended on Saturday with a lack-lustre performance at a windy Pontefract Collieries in a game of few chances and little quality football.

Hopefully the side were saving themselves for this game!

Financially, the FA Cup provides quite a boost for clubs at this level, but the performance put in at the HWRS by a team one Division below the Rams will ensure that no complacency is on offer as a return to the entertaining style produced by the team since the arrival of Chris Willcock last October will be needed if progress is to be made.

Category: Club News

PREVIEW: Trafford (H) - Bank Holiday Football

A Greater Manchester derby is the Bank Holiday attraction at the Harry Williams Riverside Stadium as the Rams welcome old friends Trafford for the third league game of the campaign.

Trafford will bring many supporters with them on what promises to be a pleasant afternoon weather-wise, and with the home contingent, a decent-sized crowd is expected.

The two sides are regular opponents having competed against one another for years in the Northern Premier League and before that the North West Counties League.

Whilst the Rams have begun the season with two straight league successes, Trafford have just one point to date, but they broke their winning duck by seeing off Burscough on Saturday in the Preliminary Round of the FA Cup, whilst the Rams were disappointingly held to a 3-3 draw by Winsford United.

Early days yet to make any sort of assessment as to how the two teams will fare in the league, but many entertaining encounters have been produced by these two sides in the past, and today’s spectators can expect more of the same as the season finally feels as though it has started to kick in.

Category: Club News

PREVIEW: Pickering Town (A)

The Rams head out on the road for the first time this season with a Tuesday evening trip to north Yorkshire and a meeting with Pickering Town.

They do so on the back of a thrilling victory over Widnes on the opening day of the campaign at the Harry Williams Riverside Stadium on Saturday. Two goals down at the break, a resurgent Rams team looked totally different in the second half, eventually clinching a highly entertaining encounter with a last minute Rueben Jerome header. In truth, though, the winning margin could have been higher with chances galore created in the second period, although the visitors played their part in an open attacking match.

Pickering will be licking their wounds after a heavy opening day defeat on the Cumbrian coast at Workington, so the Rams can expect some sort of reaction, and need to be aware.

Early days yet, of course, and too soon to read into opening day results, but the new look Rams team will be travelling in the hope of making it a perfect start to the campaign, and returning home with another three points.

Category: Club News

Supporters Club Update



Members of the Ramsbottom United Supporters Club are going to be present around the ground for the opening few games of the new season in order to allow you to renew your memberships and, just as importantly, sign up any new Rammy fans.

We already have a more than healthy number of members, especially for a club of our size, and it would be a fantastic achievement to improve on this for the upcoming season. Your continued support is of the utmost importance in moving the football club forward and adding to that unique feeling of being part of the Rammy family.

In the past twelve months we have seen the installation of the shed, as you enter the ground, from which we can now sell official club merchandise. This was purchased after a donation from committee member, Frank Crook, in memory of his Brother, Terence. This has allowed the football club to have a specific area from which to sell merchandise, rather than the tea hut, and hopefully will see an increase in profits. As part of this deal, we have also been able to obtain the programme booth, which I am sure you have all seen, just outside the main turnstyle into the ground. Again, having a dedicated area that people are aware of should help maximise profits, as well as keeping Johnny Haslam dry during the winter months. With a few spare pounds left from the kind donation that Frank made to us, we also purchased a new line marker for the ground.

As you are probably aware, many of the games were not filmed towards the end of last season and this resulted in a lack of footage of the goals from our games being available to watch. This is something we are hoping gets addressed this season and a new video camera has been obtained in order to capture match day footage and give supporters, especially those who cannot make the away games, a chance to relive the goals.

We continued in supporting the team by donating the water for players on match days and will continue to do so this season, although in a rather different manner. Instead of supplying bottled water to the players, we are going to have a water fountain installed at the ground for them to use. This will lead to us supporting a more environmentally friendly club, which in turn should lead to some good publicity for Ramsbottom United.

There were also a couple of publicity campaigns, one for the festive fixtures and another for our end of season games, in which we had a number of colour leaflets printed. These were delivered to houses around Ramsbottom and the surrounding areas, along with posters being placed in local shops and pubs. Many thanks to all the volunteers who helped with this and, judging by attendances, it seemed to be a huge success.

In other news, we are pleased to announce that we have three new members of the supporters club committee for the new season. These are Adam Clark, who has been doing some excellent work on the media side over the past couple of season, Lui Del Verto and ‘Killie’ Craig Donaldson. A massive thank you to all three and hopefully they can help bring fresh ideas, and new initiatives, as well as bringing our average age down somewhat

Prices are £5 for adults and £2 for juniors/OAP’s and will include the traditional Ramsbottom United themed gift, exclusive newsletters and the chance to vote for Player of the Month

Your support, as always, is vital in helping the club and we are always grateful to each and every member who signs up or renews their membership. You really do make a difference






Category: Club News

PREVIEW: Winsford United (H)

After two successive victories to open the League season, attentions switch to the FA Cup as the Rams welcome North West Counties League side Winsford United to the HWRS.

The Cheshire side progressed through the extra-preliminary round courtesy of a narrow victory at fellow-league side Vauxhall Motors, and make their first appearance in Ramsbottom since the last day of the 2011/12 season.

That particular match remains firmly in the memory as the Rams 5-2 victory that afternoon ensured promotion to the Northern Premier League.

The League campaign could not have started any better, but the FA Cup always yields it’s fair amount of shock results. Whilst the Rams will be favourites, any sort of complacency will be pounced upon by the visitors, as they look to at least take the homesters back down to Cheshire a week on Monday for a replay.

The FA Cup is always a welcome distraction for a number of reasons.

As well as allowing the team to take a break from the bread-and-butter of League action, it allows us to meet teams we normally would not play against, but probably most important is the fact that there is prize money to be scooped, and any such income is always welcome for clubs at our level.

So decent weather will hopefully mean a decent gate, as the Rams look to make progress in the world’s oldest knock-out competition.

Category: Club News

PHOTOS: Rams 3 Widnes 2

Check out the Widnes Match action photos on our all new Fickr account. Photos taken by Club Photographer, Frank Crook

Rams 3-2 Widnes - Match Action

Category: Club News

FA CUP OPPONENTS CONFIRMED!

The Rams will face Winsford United in the preliminary round of the FA Cup after they beat Vauxhall Motors 2-1 this afternoon.

Full match details to follow.