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.

Category: Club News

AWARD TIME FOR RAMSBOTTOM UNITED

RAMSBOTTOM UNITED are delighted to have received an award from the League.

There is usually a monthly “Club of the Month” award, but due to the number of FA competition matches in October, the League decided to have the latest award cover two months, October and November.

The Rams were voted the North West Division team for those months, and as a result, will receive an engraved permanent memento and a 1ltr bottle of spirits.

This will be presented at the ground during one of the team’s forthcoming matches.

During that period, the club climbed from mid-table into the Play-off spots, helped in no short measure by two resounding victories at the end of November when successive home games saw City of Liverpool return to Merseyside on the back of a 5-0 hammering, after which Marske United came down to the Harry Williams Riverside Stadium, having lost just one league game all season, only to return to the northeast on the back of a 5-1 reverse.

The period covered also saw manager Chris Willcock tweak and reduce his squad, and the team continued it’s fine home form in December with another five-goal haul against local rivals Droylsden.

The Rams currently sit third in what is a fascinating league contest, with eyes firmly focussed on a promotion spot, either automatic or via the play-offs, with much hope as we look to move into the second half of the campaign.

The League sent it’s congratulations to the Club, Manager and Players on their achievement.


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

FIXTURE UPDATE

After a spell of bad weather recently a couple of our games had been postponed and this morning they've been rearanged by the league.

The list of the rearranged fixtures are below

TUESDAY 7th January Integro Cup Round One RAMS v Bamber Bridge 7.45pm

(The Winner of the above game will travel to Trafford on Tuesday 14th January in Round Two 7.45pm)

TUESDAY 21st January - Dunston v RAMS 7.45pm

TUESDAY 24th March - Colne v RAMS 7.45pm

Category: Club News

MATCH OFF: Bamber Bridge (H)

Tonight's home game against Bamber Bridge has been postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.



A new date will be announced in due course.


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: Widnes (A)

It’s a trip over to north Cheshire for the Rams as they meet their opening day opponents, Widnes, at the Halton Stadium, the 12,000 capacity home of Widnes RLFC and their artificial pitch.

The Rams are looking for a double as they won their opening game back in August 3-2, and another victory would prolong the current impressive run of 14 points from the last 18 on offer, and a goalscoring record of 20 goals with just 5 conceded.

That run has seen the side rise from mid-table to third in what is proving to be a fascinating competition this time round.

The Rams welcome back long-time injury midfielder Greg Daniels, who has been out of the game for sixteen months, but on the reverse side, winger Iyrwah Gooden begins his three match suspension having been sent off last week against Droylsden.

The Rams currently have 30 points from 16 games, whilst Widnes sit in 17th spot with 12 points from 15 starts. Their home form has seen them glean just four points to date, but, whilst the Rams may go into the game as favourites, football sometimes has a habit of kicking such predictions in the teeth.

Another three points, however, would be most welcome for the Rams as the squad looks forward to a brief respite before facing Mossley at home on Boxing Day.

Category: Club News

RAMS GOAL OF THE MONTH - NOVEMBER

Ramsbottom United supporters regular Goal of The Month competition is sponsored by local firm Irwell Works Brewery, and the various goals scored throughout the month are watched and assessed before being voted for by the fans.

November had no less than sixteen to choose from but the almost unanimous winner was the spectacular 49th minute rocket-like strike from RICHIE BAKER during the impressive 5-1 home win against Marske United.

The former Bury player struck his effort so sweetly, it is doubtful that the visiting keeper even saw the ball before it bulged in the back of the net.

He was presented with his prize before the 5-0 home victory over Droylsden by Roch Valley Radio’s Charley Rattan.




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

WELCOME RETURN OF RAMMY FAVOURITE!

Ramsbottom United are delighted to welcome back GREG DANIELS after a horrendous spell of 16 months out of the game with a serious ankle injury.

Playing in a pre-season friendly in August 2018, the talented midfield player fell awkwardly and sustained an injury that at the time he felt wasn’t too bad.

Little did he realise the extent of the damage, and after surgery and much recuperation, the former FC United of Manchester player has now resumed full fitness much to the delight of manager Chris Willcock who has signed the player back on for the Rams.

With the team in third spot in the League going into the Christmas period, Greg’s recovery is a great boost and a vital addition to a team currently in top form.



Category: Club News

RAMS PLAYER OF THE MONTH - NOVEMBER

After a disappointing start to the month, results picked up for the Rams allowing the club to shoot up the table from a middle spot into the play-offs.

IYRWAH GOODEN turned in some impressive performances during a month in which he also notched four goals, and his efforts have been rewarded by him being voted the Supporters Player of the Month for November.

The young winger was presented with his prize, a case of beers kindly supplied by sponsors BowlandBrewery, the Official Cask Beer of the Northern Premier League, before the 5-0 home demolition of Droylsden, a win that saw the club rise to third in the league.



Iyrwah Gooden receives his prize from Aaron Benson (left) and Charley Rattan from Roch Valley Radio