Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Dunston 3 Rams 2

BetVictor Northern Premier League North West Division

Tuesday 21st January 2020

Dunston 3 Ramsbottom United 2

Attendance: 189

Report by Tony Cunningham

The curse of thirteen struck Ramsbottom United for the second time in a week.

Having exited the Integro League Cup at Trafford the previous Tuesday, the team’s first defeat in all competitions at the thirteenth attempt, the long midweek trip up to Gateshead saw the Rams suffer their first League defeat in thirteen matches, as they failed to overhaul leaders Workington and grab top spot.

That was the incentive as the team made the journey up to mid-table Dunston for this rearranged game, with the original Saturday fixture having been called off back in November.

The home side started the game on the front foot with a couple of early chances, but it was the Rams who opened the scoring on the night as early as the 14th minute. In a goalmouth scramble, the final touch fell to leading scorer Nic Evangelinos who poked the ball home.

The lead did not last for long however, as just seven minutes later, a corner for the home side was initially well saved by Tom Stewart in the visitors goal, but Dunston centre-forward Heslop reacted quickest to the rebound to level the score.

On the half-hour mark the Rams once again took the lead, and again it was that man Evangelinos with a beauty of a screamer from outside the box that rattled the back of the net.

Holding a slender lead at the break, the east Lancashire side looked to extend that as the second half got under way. Iyrwah Gooden saw his header wonderfully palmed away by the home custodian, who was called into action moments later to prevent a third goal going in.

But that was as good as it got for the visitors, as Dunston began to exert pressure that had the away side on the back foot for the remainder of the game.

Another piece of poor defending allowed the home side to level the score again with Brooks netting from close range on the hour mark, and thirteen minutes later the comeback was complete, as Heslop notched his second of the night, again from close range, and the homesters were in the ascendancy.

Manager Chris Willcock threw on a couple of substitutes in Mason Fawns and newly- resigned Ben Richardson with ten minutes to go, replacing Gooden and Josh Hmami, and it was Fawns who came closest to grabbing a point when his turn and shot in the last minute sailed inches wide, but a point after a disappointing last 45 minutes, would probably have been undeserved.

So the failure to leapfrog over Workington makes this coming Saturday’s game all the more important.

The Reds arrive at the Harry Williams Riverside Stadium still in top spot, but just one point ahead of the Rams.

A big crowd is expected for what is certainly the League’s match-of-the-day which will see the winners top of the pile in what is increasingly becoming a fascination promotion chase in the closest the Division has been for many seasons.

Ramsbottom United: Stewart, Fishwick, Kennedy, Moran, Thompson, Lugsden, Gooden (Fawns 80mins), Rother, Jerome, Hmami(Richardson 80mins), Evangelinos. Subs not used: Jones, Naidole, Hampson.

COMING UP:

THE BIG ONE!!!

SAT 25th Jan BetVictor NPL North West Division

THE TOP TWO BATTLE IT OUT AS THE PROMOTION RACE HOTS UP…..

RAMSBOTTOM UNITED v WORKINGTON 3.00pm

(Winner goes top of the table!)



Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Rams 2 Bamber Bridge 1

Integro League Cup First Round

Tuesday 7th January 2020

Ramsbottom United 2 Bamber Bridge 1

Attendance: 139

Report by Jon Haslam

It was midweek Cup action as a much changed Ramsbottom United side took on Bamber Bridge in this League cup tie that was originally scheduled to be played back in September.

With only four players remaining from the weekends victory over Pickering the Rams starting eleven had a different look about it with two players from the clubs development squad making their senior competitive debuts in the shape of central defender Ben Stanton and left back Will Alberto alongside some squad members who would undoubtedly would benefit from some minutes on the pitch.

The opening ten minutes were fairly even but visiting keeper Roccia was called into action when Iyrwah Gooden forced the Brig number one into a flying save to deny the Rams winger the games opening goal as the first shot on target was registered.

It would be the visitors who had an eye catching 4-0 away win at Radcliffe at the weekend who almost broke the deadlock shortly before the twenty minute mark when a cross from the right found the head of Marlow but the widemans header bounced off the crossbar and in the aftermath the away side claimed for a penalty but referee Hussein saw no infringement and the game was goal less at the quarter mark of the contest.

On a blustery evening both sides traded attempts at goal with Blackpool loanee Rowan Roache forcing home gloveman Brad Wade into a smart save before Gooden again brought the best out of Bamber Bridge stopper Roccia with another well struck effort similar to the shot earlier in the half but in the main defences were on top for the opening half hour of this keenly contested tie.

Ramsbottom United then produced some excellent passing to create a couple of long distance efforts but neither from Reece Fishwick and Eddie Moran asked too much from the visitors keeper but gave the hosts hope that their superb recent form could be continued at the expense of their opponents from a league further up the league pyramid.

With the half time interval just five minutes away the Rams had the ball in the net after some good link up play by Greg Daniels gave Jamie Rother a sight of goal and the midfielders crisp shot was parried by Roccia and Irywah Gooden was on hand to tap the ball into the net before the officials fluttering flag halted the home sides celebrations.

Then, shortly before the interlude the home side edged in front when a typically clever piece of skill and astute forward pass from the returning Greg Daniels opened up the Bamber Bridge defence and midfielder Daniel Naidole capitalised by running through on goal to confidently slide the ball beyond the onrushing Roccia and open the scoring to give the hosts the lead in a tight first period.

As the game restarted Bamber Bridge manager Jamie Milligan who has brought about a noticeable upturn in fortunes for the side from The Sir Tom Finney Stadium since his appointment around a month ago were looking to build on three consecutive away wins the league so a tough second half awaited the Rams.

In the early minutes of the second period the away side looked to get into their attacking stride but the Ramsbottom United rearguard were frustrating the Brig side and despite two debutants in the backline the visitors found it tough to breach a well organised defence with Ben Stanton and Will Alberto showing great promise and both youngsters looking very assured on their respective first competitive starts for the first team.

Indeed after a number of off target efforts from Bamber Bridge it was almost at the hour point when Bradly Wade in the hosts goal was forced into any action of note in the second period when a Roache shot looked goalbound but the youngster on loan from local neighbours Rochdale responded with a save to deny the forward an equaliser, shortly afterwards a corner found the head of Phil Doughty but the Brig defenders header was collected comfortably by the Rams keeper.

With the three quarter point reached there was a flashpoint in the visitors penalty area when an offside flag brought a swift Rams counter attack to an end but visiting keeper Roccia appeared to make heavy contact with Iyrwah Gooden after the referees whistle had sounded, a bout of pushing and shoving ensued with numerous players involved but thankfully the incident didn’t escalate into anything serious.

As the encounter ticked towards the last fifteen minutes both managers made double substitutions with two more members of the Ramsbottom United Development squad getting their competitive first team bows with battling midfielder Matthew Royle replacing the excellent Will Alberto and 16 year old goal keeper Jake Parsisson taking the place of Wade between the sticks.

Then with the clock showing eighty minutes the decisive moment of the contest arrived when Reuben Jerome replaced Greg Daniels who again showed some sublime touches and will be happy to have got more minutes under his belt after a significant period out injured. Within a minute of his introduction Jerome made an immediate impact when receiving a pass from Reece Fishwick before turning cleverly away from his marker and sending a superb curling effort past the despairing dive of Roccia and just inside the far post to give the forward this thirteenth goal of an increasingly productive season.

Almost immediately the Rams lead could have been extended when a Jerome pass found raiding midfielder Eddie Moran whose well struck shot was helped over the crossbar by the Bamber Bridge stopper, then with just four minutes of normal time remaining the visitors halved the arrears when a cross from the right was headed past Parsisson by the bustling Brig number nine Michael Fowler.

A grandstand finish was on the cards as Bamber Bridge threw players forward looking to send this enjoyable cup tie to penalties but the Rams repelled everything thrown at them and the referees whistle gave the home side their first cup victory of the new decade and a visit to Trafford in a weeks’ time for a second round meeting of two sides that met in league action on New Year’s Day.

On what was a heartening night for many reasons the hardy Rams supporters in attendance got the opportunity to witness the senior competitive debuts of four of the youngsters from the clubs Development Squad who all should be very proud of their individual contributions in what was an eye catching result against a higher division outfit .Well done and congratulations to Will, Ben, Matthew and Jake!

Also worthy of mention is the work being done beneath the first team squad at Ramsbottom United by numerous coaches, managers and volunteers and nights such as this will hopefully reward all those involved to see four youngsters getting the opportunity to play for the first eleven at The Riverside Stadium.

Ramsbottom United:- Wade (Parsisson 74 mins), Fishwick, Alberto (Royle 74 mins), Moran, Stanton, Lugsden, Gooden, Rother (Capt), Daniels (Jerome 79 mins), Naidole, Fawns

Subs not used- Jones, Hampson.

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Widnes 2 Rams 2

Bet Victor Northern Premier League North West Division

Saturday 21st December 2019

Widnes 2 Ramsbottom United 2

Attendance: 92

Report by Jon Haslam

In the final away game of the decade Ramsbottom United made the trip to the salubrious surroundings of the Halton Stadium to take on a Widnes outfit in what was the reverse of the opening day fixtures.

The visitors line up showed three changes from the comprehensive win over Droylsden some seven days earlier with Reece Fishwick, Karl Jones and Mason Fawns starting the contest in place of the benched Evangelinos, Hmami and suspended Gooden respectively.

The opening minutes had the hosts in the ascendancy with Murray having the first attempt of the match but the stinging effort brought a fine finger tip save from Tom Stewart in the Rams goal.The ensuing corner was flicked towards the target but some alert defending smuggled the ball out of play for another flag kick, the second set piece caused further concern for the visitors who had a lucky escape when Grogans header looked goal bound but thankfully the header was blocked and cleared to safety.

After a goal laden few weeks the Rams took time to settle on the artificial surface but had their first sight of goal just after the ten minute point when good work and cut back from Karl Jones gave Richie Baker a sight of goal but the midfielders effort was blocked by a frantic block by the retreating Widnes defence.

The home side responded ten minutes later when live wire winger Ben Hodkinson brought a routine save from Rams number one Tom Stewart but again served notice that despite only winning one home league match to date this season Widnes posed an attacking threat.

At the quarter mark of the contest and the scoreline blank the game could perhaps be described as disjointed with flowing football proving elusive and the sparse crowd of 92 in an arena that holds above thirteen thousand not being treated to a pre Christmas cracker as some had predicted.

With the clock ticking towards the half hour point the visitors sparked into action in the final third of the field when Reuben Jerome broke away from his marker Grogan and fired a well struck attempt which required Widnes stopper Stone to repel the effort at his near post. Moments later and the Rams would open the scoring when excellent work down the right flank from Karl Jones saw the angular forward burst to the byline before squaring the ball to the waiting Jerome and the frontman went into double figures for the campaign by tapping in from close range to give the day trippers from Lancashire the advantage.

Widnes immediately responded on the half hour when home striker Murray burst beyond the Rams backline before rounding the onrushing Stewart but thankfully the retreating defenders managed to force the Widnes attacker wide of the target before Luke Thompson cleared the danger.

Ramsbottom had the opportunity to double their advantage when a long ball forward caused chaos in the home defence when home skipper Burke attempted to head the ball back to keeper Stone but the weak effort was intercepted by goalscorer Jerome but the attackers header didn't have sufficient power to loop over the grateful home custodian who gathered comfortably.

With the Rams perhaps not at their fluent best the visitors again threatened to increase their lead when excellent play again from Jerome saw the forward hold the ball up before crossing into Karl Jones who held off his marker before sending a low scuffed effort which looked destined for the bottom corner of the net before Stone plunged down low to turn the goalbound effort past the post.

As the half time whistle blew the Rams held a satisfactory yet narrow lead at the interval and despite the absence of Nic Evangelinos and Iyrwah Gooden in the forward areas the away side were good value for their advantage as they headed for their mid point refreshments.

The second period began with both sides unaltered and it would be Widnes that had clearly been given some words of encouragement during the half time hiatus and began the half full of endeavour as they looked for a way back into the contest.

Then, with only a few minutes played after the restart the contest would be completely turned on its head within a bewildering three minute spell, firstly on 51 minutes raiding Widnes full back Holden found himself in behind the Rams defence and an accurate cross to the far post found the head of the onrushing James Steele who planted a header past the exposed Stewart to level matters up.

The second goal soon arrived for the hosts when some neat approach play down the left touchline saw Towey send in a flighted cross which perfectly found the head of the impressive Hodkinson whose flicked header looped beyond Stewart into the top corner to give the home side the reward for their impressive start to the second period and leave the away side wondering how they have surrendered their advantage so quickly.

With nineteen goals scored by Ramsbottom United in their previous five league outings hopes were high that despite a sluggish start to the second forty five minutes there was sufficient time remaining to garner something from the match against a side in the bottom half of the division.

As the clock ticked on towards the three quarter mark of the contest it appeared as though Widnes seemed the more likely side to add to their goal tally for the day with Hodkinson again proving to be a thorn in the side of the Rams as the wideman fired an angled effort towards goal but the ever alert Stewart acrobatically thwarted the player that impressed in the opening match of the season back in August.

Only minutes later and things could have got worse for the visitors when goalscorer Steel threaded a pass through to Murray and a well struck attempt flew goalwards but thankfully for the Rams clipped the crossbar and to safety.

With this pre Christmas clash heading towards the final quarter of an hour a double substitution from manager Chris Willcock saw Richie Baker and Mason Fawns make way for Josh Hmami and the welcome return of Greg Daniels whose incidentally was making his first appearance in over sixteen months due to injury. Indeed the forward made an impression barely sixty seconds into his return in the blue of Ramsbottom United when a late challenge saw referee Young issue a yellow card.

Widnes had also changed things around when former Rams loanee Anointed Chuckwu made an appearance against the side he scored three goals for earlier in the campaign. With time ebbing away and chances for the visitors not forthcoming the away side put together perhaps their best piece of play of the half when a well constructed passing move brought a corner which ultimately lead to parity being restored. The set piece was delivered by skipper Tom Kennedy which landed at the feet of defender Kelvin Lugsden who prodded the ball towards goal and there was sub Josh Hmami to force the ball over the line from close range to equalise to register his third goal in two games after the midfielders brace against Droylsden and again showed the strength of the Rams squad as the substitutes bench again had a positive impact on proceedings.

With the sides level the Rams second half performance was below what has been served up in recent weeks and really should be treated as the exception in what has been a month that has seen the team move from mid table to the play off position with some scintillating performances that have been a joy to witness.

The goal seemed to give the visitors the momentum they had been missing throughout much of the contest as they looked to repeat the scoreline when the two sides met back in August at The Riverside which saw the Rams edge a five goal thriller. Although the deciding goal didn't arrive it was Widnes who almost grabbed the three points when a left wing corner was headed towards goal by Grogan but the visiting rearguard blocked the effort and the rebound was off target much to the relief of the vocal travelling Rams.

The remainder of the encounter was played out with no further chances of note as the Rams extended their unbeaten run to seven matches and sit in third position in the league standings prior to the busy festive period.

Ramsbottom United- Stewart, Fishwick, Kennedy (Capt), Moran, Thompson, Lugsden, Jones , Rother (Naidole.53 Mins) Jerome, Baker (Hmami.75 Mins) Fawns (Daniels 75 mins)

Subs not used- Evangelinos, Hampson.

Widnes 2 Rams 2 - Match action

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Rams 5 City of Liverpool 0

Bet Victor Northern Premier League North West Division

Tuesday 26th November 2019

Ramsbottom United 5 City of Liverpool 0

Attendance: 161

Report by Nigel Jepson

The overwhelming margin of this victory over serious fellow promotion contenders, City of Liverpool, amounted to a massive success for Ramsbottom United on the night, especially for the players but also the management and everyone connected with the club. For tonight’s performance illustrated beyond doubt what the team is capable of achieving when playing at its best.

At the start of play, with the two teams sharing an almost identical match record to date, in prospect it seemed a night of nail-biting tension as to the final outcome. However what might have been anticipated to be a close-fought encounter never materialised as such.

Despite any attacking intentions visitors City of Liverpool may have come with, the home team never let them get into the game. The growing strength and solidity of the midfield trio of Jamie Rother, Richie Baker and Eddie Moran pressed and squeezed the life out of the opposition. The Rams not only enjoyed much greater possession of the ball but used it to good effect with sweeping moves that constantly left the away team’s defence stretched to breaking point. Throughout the first half, Rammy’s strikers bore down on the Liverpool goal like an unstoppable tidal wave.

Tormentor in chief on the night was Iyrwah Gooden who teased and tortured full-backs down both flanks interchanging cleverly with fellow-winger Reece Fishwick to create regular havoc. Starting out on the left, Gooden had a stinging shot parried before soon after being pulled down in the area and captain Tom Kennedy tucked away the resultant spot-kick to make it 1-0 after 14 minutes. Next a move involving good work from Fishwick on the right ended up with Gooden drilling in a shot to make it 2-0 after 19 minutes.

At this point play was completely one-way and Nic Evangelinos was unlucky not to earn another penalty after looking to be upended in the box by a despairing defender. With Ben Hampton needing to be substituted due to injury just before half-time, Reuben Jerome took to the field to lead the line with the versatile Fishwick moving to right back.

Following half-time, City of Liverpool briefly threatened to come back into the game with a shot from Jason Jeffries striking the post. For the remainder of the second half though, it was again one-way traffic with the home team hitting back with a vengeance. A glorious exchange of passes between Moran and Gooden ended in the latter clinching the move with a decisive shot to extend the lead to 3-0 after 54 minutes.

Nic Evangelinos gave way to Daniel Nadiole. Meanwhile another sinewy run from Gooden set up Jerome who showed striker’s cool in finishing making it 4-0 after 78 minutes. Barely seconds after coming on to replace Rother, Josh Hmami joined the goalfest by heading in from a typically astute Kennedy set-piece delivery to make it 5-0 after 82 minutes.

While at the final whistle, the home team departed the field triumphant, the visitors left looking shell-shocked. The night’s victory took the Rams from 11th to 8th place and only one point off a play-off spot. This coming Saturday’s home match against high-flying team, Marske United, presents a fresh challenge but if they play with the same team spirit and verve displayed tonight, the team have every reason to look forward to that game with confidence.

Attendance on the night was 161 and it is hoped that figure will be much greater on Saturday. The team more than deserves support as it goes on mounting its impressive bid for promotion.

RAMSBOTTOM UNITED: Stewart, Hampson (Jerome 43'), Kennedy (capt), Moran, Thompson, Lugsden, Fishwick, Rother (Hmami 82'), Gooden, Baker, Evangelinos (Naidole 74').

Subs not used, Fawns, Jones

COMING UP: Saturday 30th December BetVictor NPL North West RAMS v Marske United 3.00pm


Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Brighouse 2 Rams 3

BetVictor Northern Premier League North West Division

Saturday 18th January 2020

Brighouse Town 2 Ramsbottom United 3

Attendance: 207

Report by Jon Haslam

In what was the third away game in a week Ramsbottom United ventured over the Pennines to take on a mid table Brighouse outfit looking to put the midweek Integro cup defeat at the hands of Trafford behind them.

The Rams showed a number of alterations to the starting eleven with regular keeper Tom Stewart replacing Brad Wade between the sticks and also recalls for Reece Fishwick, Tom Kennedy ,Reuben Jerome and leading scorer Nic Evangelinos.

Brighouse were quickest out of the blocks and had the chance to open the scoring with less than five minutes played when a cross from Javelle Clarke found Joe Jagger free in the penalty area and with just Stewart to beat sent a shot high and wide of the target and the visitors breathed a collective sigh of relief.

It didn't take too long for the Rams to respond with Iyrwah Gooden receiving a pass to burst away from his marker but the wingers angled shot was pushed to safety with the help of the home defence.

With the surface proving tricky for both sides and neither outfit finding it easy to produce free flowing football in the opening quarter of an hour the hosts looked to utilise the pace of their two widemen in an attempt to get in behind the away sides defence.

As the opening quarter of the contest ticked away perhaps the most prominent aspect was the referees whistle as a succession of free kicks were awarded which did little to improve the quality of a scrappy encounter.

Ramsbottom United then fashioned their best effort as the mid way point of the half arrived when a quickly taken free kick from skipper Tom Kennedy found Nic Evangelinos whose cross into the danger area wasn't cleared convincingly before falling to midfield dynamo Eddie Moran but the schemers attempt from around the penalty spot bounced wide of the target much to the relief of the home sides rearguard.

Then, with a third of the match played the Red Rose side edged in front when some clever interplay down the right wing saw Evangelinos set up Josh Hmami and the midfielder who has recently extended his load period with the Rams until the end of the campaign from Welsh side TNS sent in a low effort from inside the penalty box which perhaps surprisingly beat the diving Smith to register his eighth goal of an increasingly impressive stint with Chris Willcocks side.

Brighouse would perhaps feel slightly aggrieved after falling behind but responded immediately when a long ball forward caught out the Rams defence and home striker Joe Jagger again found himself with a sight of goal but got no satisfaction when the angular forwards effort sailed closer to the corner flag than the away sides goal.

The remaining time of the first period was played out with neither goalkeeper being seriously tested although Shiraz Khan fired a low shot past Tom Stewarts near post before a moment of concern for Ramsbottom United occurred when skipper Tom Kennedy appeared to go down injured but mercifully the ex Bury and Rochdale full back returned to the fray and the half time refreshments must have tasted sweeter for the travelling Rams supporters as their side held a slender one goal advantage at the interval.

No sooner had the second period began than Brighouse had levelled matters when a forward ball was flicked on by home number nine Jagger which the marauding and unmarked Thomas Haigh latched onto before calmly side stepping the onrushing Tom Stewart before tapping into an empty net.

With the wind in their sails and maybe the managers half time words still at the forefront of their minds Brighouse threatened again when right winger Clarke fired at goal but Stewart was down sharply to deny the ex Sheffield United youngster.

Despite the equaliser the home side smelt blood and took advantage of a slow start to the second half from the visitors by taking the lead with their second goal in little more than three minutes when a long throw found Jagger in the penalty and the forward held off Kelvin Lugsden before cleverly flicking the ball past a surprised Stewart and into the corner of the net much to the delight of the home support who had seen their team turn the match on its head in little more than three minutes after the resumption.

Ramsbottom looked to respond with a series of free kicks which ultimately came without reward although a Gooden header fractionally missed the target and the home defence had to be alert when a Kennedy set piece again caused concern for the hosts but the ball was scrambled to safety much to the frustration of the visitors.

With the Rams looking to confirm their promotion credentials the remaining thirty minutes would need a series of questions answering by the players and management if the away side were to keep pace with Workington at the top of the table as a competitive Brighouse team now had a lead to protect and looked a threat on the counter attack.

As if proof were needed a breakaway down the right hand side almost saw Town increase their lead but Khan couldn't quite control his attempt which skimmed the top of the crossbar and the hosts appeared intent on adding to their lead.

With the midway point reached of a frustrating second half for Willcocks troops hopes were still high that the outcome was far from certain and with the last five outings involving the Rams since the turn of the year containing 25 goals the away supporters were hopeful that more goals were to follow.

Then, with around twenty minutes remaining a double substitution took place which would ultimately change the pattern of an engagingly competitive match when Jamie Rother and former Town player Daniel Naidole replaced Eddie Moran and the ever vocal Richie Baker in the hope of protecting the Rams eleven match unbeaten league run going back to early November.

Immediately after the changes both teams threatened, firstly when the lively Clarke had a well struck effort saved by Tom Stewart at his near post before another Kennedy set piece found Luke Thompson free in the penalty area and despite cleverly controlling the ball with his chest to create some space away from his marker a well struck effort sailed wide of the target and there was perhaps a feeling that this might just be "one of those days"

With just over fifteen minutes to play and the picturesque Yorkshire sun seemingly setting on the Rams chances of victory Mason Fawns replaced Iyrwah Gooden and as has been the case in recent weeks the substitutions made the desired impression. Within moments of entering the field Fawns played a clever pass through to fellow sub Jamie Rother whose well struck low effort brought a fine low save from Smith in the Brighouse gaol but leading scorer Nic Evangelinos reacted quickest to bundle the ball over the line and the visitors had restore parity.

A closer look at the home record of Brighouse, which incidentally can only be bettered by Ramsbottom United, showed that in the previous thirteen league games played at home this season there had been no drawn games, with eight wins and five defeats so the question was,could there be a winner?

The answer to that was an unequivocal yes, as the equalising goal gave Ramsbottom United a boost of confidence and as the clock ticked beyond the eighty minute mark the fifth and decisive goal arrived when some neat passing around the Brighouse area lead to Nic Evanglinos picking up the ball on the left corner of the penalty box before floating a sumptuous cross to the far post where ex Brighouse midfielder Daniel Naidole was on hand to head the ball past the despairing dive of Smith and return to haunt his old team and give the visitors the advantage in a topsy-turvy contest.

The remainder of a competitive encounter saw the hosts push forward ever more desperately but thankfully Ramsbottom United managed to keep the hosts at bay and return to Lancashire with a valuable three point haul.

Such victories are valuable in the pursuit of success but make no mistake this was a hard fought victory against a Brighouse side that would perhaps suggest with some justification that they deserved something from their efforts in a pulsating battle that went one way then the other. Nonetheless the celebrations at the final whistle showed what the win meant to all concerned with Ramsbottom United as their pursuit towards the summit of the league standings come the end of April continues.

Ramsbottom United:- Stewart, Fishwick, Kennedy (Capt), Moran (Rother 70 mins) Thompson, Lugsden, Gooden (Fawns 77 mins), Hmami, Jerome, Baker (Naidole 70 mins), Evangelinos

Unused subs - Jones & Wade (GK)

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Rams 3 Pickering Town 2

Bet Victor Northern Premier League North West Division

Saturday 4th January 2020

Ramsbottom United 3 Pickering Town 2

Attendance: 262

Report by Nigel Jepson

According to the form-book, this should have been a cakewalk for the home team. After all, Pickering Town had suffered eleven straight away defeats out of eleven while Ramsbottom United had won their last four matches on the bounce notching up 22 goals in the process.

Tear up the form-book! Over the ninety minutes the Pikes gave as good as they got and the Rams had to fight every inch of the way before emerging winners by a slender 3-2 margin. From the start, the Rams’ normal high quality passing game was too rarely in evidence and there seemed overmuch emphasis on mounting unproductive moves down the right hand side.

Indeed throughout the match, the Rams’ main threat was to come from set pieces. The opening goal for example came when Luke Thompson escaped his marker, nipping in at the near post to connect with an inswinging Tom Kennedy corner after 13 minutes.

The goal seemed to sting the opposition to life and Pickering Town launched a series of raids on the Rammy goal. Their wide players, particularly Danny Earl, seemed to enjoy acres of space and showing good turn of speed swept through the Rams’ defence bringing the keeper into action more often than he might have anticipated.

Bradley Wade, on loan from Rochdale to cover for an injury to Tom Stewart, stood up to this baptism of fire bravely showing excellent reflexes and shot-stopping ability. Finally though after 42 minutes Pike pressure told when Flynn McNaughton went on a marauding run down the left before checking back inside and drilling home a right foot shot to make it 1-1. An evenly-contested first half left the Rams needing to re-group and re-think.

Fresh impetus for the home team came through substitutions made early in the second half. Sprinting beyond his marker, Iyrwah Gooden was blatantly tripped up with the referee pointing to the spot and Kennedy coolly converting to make it 2-1 after 64 minutes. With the Rams’ passing ability improving in the second half, it was again though from a set piece that a two-goal lead was carved out after 78 minutes following a right-foot blockbuster of a free-kick from Nic Evangelinos that screamed past a helpless defensive wall and keeper with the power and accuracy of an Exocet missile.

Another defender’s trip - the Pikes incurred five yellow cards in all to two shown to Rams players on the day – saw the ref again with little choice other than to award another penalty but this time Kennedy’s spot-kick was too close to the keeper who palmed it away.

Pickering also brought on subs and one, Ryan Cooper, announced his presence with a lofted wedge shot from a good 35 metres out which surprised everyone including the home keeper to reduce the lead to 3-2 with six minutes still left on the watch.

In the end, the Rams were relieved to hear the final whistle. Today’s experience could be looked at in two ways. Three points were achieved on a day - when the four main other contenders were pegged to draws - lifting the team to second place in the table. However, the lacklustre nature of their first-half performance ought to be seen as a warning-sign against any risk of complacency creeping in to the mindset. No doubt sterner tests lie ahead which will determine final placings at the end of the season.

RAMSBOTTOM UNITED: Wade, Fishwick, Kennedy (capt), Moran, Thompson, Lugsden, Jones (Gooden 53'), Hmami (Naidole 79'), Jerome, Baker (Rother 54'), Evangelinos. Subs not used: Fawns, Hampson.
Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Rams 5 Droylsden 0

Bet Victor Northern Premier League North West Division

Saturday 14th December 2019

Ramsbottom United 5 Droylsden 0

Attendance: 192

Report by Nigel Jepson

The emphatic 5-0 scoreline makes it look like an easy victory for the Rams. However, down to ten men for virtually the whole match they had their work cut out at times to stay in the game let alone triumph in the end by such a convincing margin.

On a heavy pitch that after three consecutive days of pelting rain had survived a morning inspection (credit to the ground staff!), the Rams tore into the opposition from the start with an incisive edge to their play. The manager had tweaked the line-up with Josh Hmami starting in midfield and Eddie Moran at right-back. It was Hmami who opened the home team’s account after 5 minutes when following a move between Iyrwah Gooden and Reuben Jerome down the right, Hmami ghosted into the area to finish things off, clipping the ball past a bemused-looking keeper.

With ‘November Player of the Month’ Gooden prominent, just as the home attack seemed to be effortlessly clicking into gear, what can only be described as an extraordinarily harsh decision by the referee to straight red card Gooden after an innocent-looking attempt to play the ball, threatened to turn the game completely on its head. Suddenly, from being rampant on the attack, the Rams found themselves having to mount a rearguard action for the remainder of the first-half. With their numerical superiority the visitors now monopolised possession and the home defence came under increasing siege. On one occasion, away team striker Jack Kay was straight through on goal only to be foiled by a brave dive by Tom Stewart to avert the threat.

Richie Baker was booked for a foul and a few minutes later the trigger-happy referee did likewise to Kay for protesting after not being awarded a free-kick. At this point, a game which had started out being played in a good spirit appeared to suffer from the decision-making vagaries of the referee with both sets of players looking ill at ease.

On the stroke of half-time, having soaked up pressure over a sustained thirty-minute period, a finely-flighted free-kick from Nic Evangelinos was firmly headed into the back of the net by Hmami to send the Rams into a 2-0 lead which, it has to be said, was very much against the run of play at that point.

Coming back out for the second half the home team looked hungry to snatch back the initiative and go in search of another goal. Happily one came following fine start-up play from Tom Kennedy leading to Jerome dummying two defenders before fizzing in a cross the keeper couldn’t hold leaving Evangelinos a tap-in to make it 3-0 after 47 minutes.

Again though, the second half saw the home team’s ten men facing almost constant pressure with Luke Thompson and Kelvin Lugsden stoutly having to head clear a battery of crosses from right and left. If Chris Willcock was proud of the recent clean sheet achieved against City of Liverpool, he had even stronger reason to be proud with this performance.

With the heavy ground taking its toll on tiring legs the manager gambled with a triple substitution midway through the second half. Significantly, the tireless Jamie Rother was kept on to continue snapping at the heels of opponents. The injection of new blood though succeeded like a tonic in relieving the pressure on the defence. First Mason Fawns and Daniel Naidole combined cleverly leaving Naidole to chip the outcoming keeper to make it 4-0 after 76 minutes. Similarly after skilful passing between Naidole and Karl Jones, the latter got on the scoresheet rounding it off at 5-0 after 90 minutes.

This was the third home game on the trot where the Rams had netted five goals, making them the Division’s leading goalscorers.

Excellent team spirit had been shown throughout which was rewarded with an outstanding victory achieved in difficult conditions. With this result, the Rams move up from 5th to 3rd spot in the table with the determination seeming strong to go still higher.

RAMSBOTTOM UNITED: Stewart, Moran, Kennedy (capt), Hmami (Jones 74mins), Thompson, Lugsden, Gooden, Rother, Jerome (Naidole 74mins), Baker, Evangelinos (Fawns 74mins) Subs not used: Fishwick, Hampson

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Prescot Cables 1 Rams 2

Bet Victor Northern Premier League North West Division

Tuesday 19th November 2019

Prescot Cables 1 Ramsbottom United 2

Attendance: 221

Report by Jon Haslam

After playing just two league games in the month of October Ramsbottom United made the trip to a chilly Merseyside for their second league outing in little over 72 hours to take on a Prescot Cables outfit sitting three points ahead of the visitors prior to kick off.

It would be the visitors that came out of the blocks quickest and almost took the lead within thirty seconds when a Tom Kennedy pass gave Iyrwah Gooden the opportunity to pick out Nic Evangelinos but the in form strikers low effort was blocked at the near post by Taylor in the home goal.

The Rams looked lively in the opening exchanges and their positive start bore fruit on just four minutes when a pass from Kennedy behind the hosts defence found the run of Iyrwah Gooden who drove towards goal before shrugging off a challenge and drilling a low shot beyond the Cables keeper for the quicksilver widemans fourth goal of the campaign.

With the boost of being an early goal to the good an unchanged Ramsbottom United looked to build on the promising performance in Saturdays draw with Runcorn Linnets and began the contest in confident mood as the hosts struggled to get a foothold in the formative stages on the game.

With that said, Prescot threatened the Rams goal for the first time on twelve minutes when a floated free kick found the head of a Cables player but the header looped over the crossbar of Tom Stewart in the visitors goal.

On a bobbly surface it was arguably Ramsbottom United that settled down the better of the two teams and looked a threat on the break by utilising the pace of Iyrwah Gooden alongside the undoubted technical ability of Nic Evanglinos as the hosts looked vulnerable to the counter attack.

The two aforementioned players were instrumental in the Rams doubling their advantage just short of the half hour point when midfield dynamo Jamie Rother burst forward and passed to quicksilver forward Iyrwah Gooden in the left hand channel who then drove towards goal before releasing a well timed pass to Nic Evangelinos inside the penalty are before a well struck shot flew past Taylor to give the forward his ninth goal of the campaign and become the clubs leading scorer this term.

The two goal advantage was no more than the Rams deserved as a high tempo start to the match put the away side two goals in front and with recent addition Richie Baker a calming influence in midfield alongside the tireless running of Jamie Rother and Eddie Moran the hosts were finding it difficult to create too much in the encounter to cause too much distress in the visitors defensive areas.

With little to report in terms of clear goalscoring chances for the remainder of the first half the sides left the field satisfactorily at the midway point with Ramsbottom United holding the lead and showing a clinical edge in front of goal as their two efforts on target had resulted in goals whilst Rams number one Tom Stewart had little cause for concern in the opening forty five minutes after being well protected by the visitors rearguard.

The second period resumed with both teams unaltered and it would be the visitors that began on the front foot with Reece Fishwick again catching the eye having a couple of opportunities at goal in quick succession, the first from distance flew over the crossbar followed soon afterwards when a neat build up gave the number seven the chance to raid forward but the lobbed effort bounced wide of the target from an increasingly confident looking Rams outfit.

Despite being two goals in arrears Prescot found it a tough challenge to penetrate the Rams defence and with Kelvin Lugsden and Luke Thompson back together in central defence, a partnership which excelled last season and also the excellent support from full backs Ben Hampson and skipper Tom Kennedy the away sides lead wasn't seriously threatened as the contest ticked towards the hour mark despite Prescot having more possession of the ball than in the first period.

It would be home stopper Taylor that would be called into action when a sublime piece of skill from Jamie Rother allowed the midfielder to find some space centrally before unleashing an effort at goal from outside the area which the Cables keeper managed to shovel uncomfortably behind for a corner for the first on target attempt of the second half by either team.

Shortly afterwards the hosts fashioned their clearest opportunity of the game when a right wing corner found the head of a Cables player but the free header from no more than eight yards out thankfully flew wide of the target without testing Tom Stewart and the visitors survived a scare against a Prescot team that were showing an unbeaten league record at home in their previous five outings this season.

Both managers decided to utilise their benches as the contest ticked beyond the three quarter mark with Reuben Jerome making his return for the away side after a three match suspension in place of former Cables player Reece Fishwick who again performed well in Rams blue.

Despite holding a two goal advantage the away side couldn't and didn't step off the intensity in an away performance that showed similar characteristics to numerous performances away from The Riverside last season when Chris Willcocks side went on an unbeaten run of fourteen away league matches without defeat.

As the clock ticked beyond the eighty minute mark Cables halved the arrears as the Rams struggled to clear the ball decisively and ultimately the ball fell to James Edgar on the edge of the penalty area and a well-placed left footed shot arrowed into the corner of the net leaving Tom Stewart helpless and a nervous ending appeared on the cards.

Then moments later as the ball bounced around the edge of the Cables penalty box and two opposing players competed for the ball led to an incident which unfortunately left Prescot central defender James Cooper in distress with a worrying looking knee injury which lead to the hosts player being carried from the field whilst being given a warm round of applause and best wishes from the assembled spectators that the injury isn’t as bad as it first appeared.

The remaining minutes were played with Prescot pushing forward for an equaliser which seemed unlikely some ten minutes earlier but despite numerous free kicks being launched towards the visitors goal the defence remained steadfast and the final minutes negotiated without too much difficulty and as the final whistle sounded the small pocket of visiting supporters could celebrate the teams first three points on the road since the victory at Pickering in the first week of the season. A point worthy of mention is that Ramsbottom have won all five competitive matches that have not been played on a Saturday afternoon this term.

Despite the win not being as comprehensive as last years four nil success in the corresponding fixture at Prescot in which goal keeper Sam Ashton scored an unforgettable goal for the Rams the players and management travelled home hoping that this performance and result could give the side the springboard to push towards the play off places in the coming weeks as the Rams moved up to ninth position and just four points shy of the play off positions.

Ramsbottom United- Stewart, Hampson, Kennedy (Capt), Moran, Thompson, Lugsden, Fishwick (Jerome 73 mins) , Rother, Gooden, Baker, Evangelinos

Subs not used- Fawns, Naidole, Hmami, Jones.

NEXT UP: Dunston FC AWAY on Saturday


Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Trafford 5 Rams 2

Integro League Cup Second Round

Tuesday 14th January 2020

Trafford 5 Ramsbottom United 2

Attendance: 129

Report by Adam Clark

Ramsbottom United’s unbeaten run came to an end on Tuesday night as were beaten 5-2 by Trafford in the Integro Cup second round, the hosts came into this game having not won in seven.

The Rams made five changes from the win at the City of Liverpool on Saturday - Daniel Naidole, Richie Baker, Mason Fawns, Greg Daniels & Karl Jones came in for Tom Kennedy, Jamie Rother, Reuben Jerome, Nic Evangelinos & Reece Fishwick. Unlike the first round, no development squad members made the sixteen.

It took eight minutes for the first Rammy shot on goal, Greg Daniels' effort from the edge of the box was easily saved by Trafford keeper Matt Cooper.

Trafford took the lead just three minutes later, former Ram Max Hazeldine slotted home at the back post after a well worked team goal down the left-hand side.

Straight from the kick-off, the Rams looked to form a response to going a goal down, Mason Fawns took a firm shot from the edge of the box but it was well saved by Cooper.

Trafford doubled their lead on fourteen minutes from the penalty spot, Eddie Moran fouled Darius Palma just inside the box, Palma dusted himself down to take the spot kick, it was a well taken kick that Bradley Wade nearly got to.

The Rams had a free kick midway through the first half that could have got them back in the came, Baker played the ball to Gooden on the left who made a run to just outside the box, but his shot sailed over the bar.

Hazeldine looked to add another goal to his tally on 33 minutes, when he beat Thompson but his shot was just wide.

A third goal for the hosts on 39 minutes deflated the visitors as they failed to clear their lines and home captain Sam Egerton drove home from close range to make it 3-0.

TNS loanee, Josh Hmami had the last shot of the first half, his effort rattled the bar before the referee brought a disappointing first half for the Rams to a close.

HALF TIME - Trafford 3 Rams 0

Just before the hour mark, Greg Daniels took an opportunistic shot from 30 yards out, it went just over beforeTrafford put the game to bed with a fourth just five minutes later. The ever-dangerous Palma notched his second of the evening having received the ball from Amado, he was able to walk through the Rams defence with ease and slot home.

As if to make a fight of the contest, the Rams then scored two goals in a minute, the first of which was an own goal by Trafford skipper Sam Egerton after his defensive header curled passed his own keeper. The second came from the penalty spot after Gooden was fouled just inside the box, and substitute Nic Evangelinos stepped up to take it and he buried it well to give the Rams a chance in this cup tie.

Rammy should have had a third just two minutes later, after more good work from Evangelinos on the left saw him thread an excellent cross to the unmarked Eddie Moran but his close range effort was somehow saved on the line by the Trafford keeper when it looked as though a goal had to result.

Shortly after that the Rams had another penalty claim that was waved away by the referee.

Mason Fawns had a good chance nine minutes from time. He took a shot from 20 yards out and if it had been a few inches lower it would have been in the roof of the net. Then two minutes later, Rams loanee keeper Bradley Wade was called upon to make a double save, first to deny Hazeldine then Palma.

The Rams spirited fightback was ultimately to fail as Trafford added a fifth on 84 minutes. Sam Baird rose above everyone in the box and headed home from a corner, after the goal there was a couple of minutes of deliberations between the three officials, after claims of an off the ball incident as the ball came in from the corner but no action was taken and the goal stood.

The Rams were unable to get back into the game, so they fell to their first defeat since November 2nd against Marine.

So the League Cup no longer holds ant interest for the team but it’s back to the more important bread-and-butter of the League where the Rams sit in second spot just one point behind leaders Workington. Next up for Chris Willcock's team is a trip up the M62 to face Brighouse Town, who sit in 10th place, 12 points off the play-offs.

Ramsbottom United - Wade, Moran, Naidole, Baker, Thompson (Evangelinos 46’), Lugsden, Gooden, Fawns, Daniels (Jerome 76'), Hmami, Jones. Unused subs - Kennedy, Rother, Hampson.

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Trafford 1 Rams 2

Bet Victor Northern Premier League North West Division

Wednesday 1st January 2020

Trafford 1 Ramsbottom United 2

Attendance: 243

Report by Jon Haslam

With the festivities completed for another year and after their resounding 7-1 Boxing Day demolition of Mossley Ramsbottom United were on the road with a New Years Day visit to Shawe View hoping to begin the new decade as they had finished the last.

The starting eleven showed just one alteration from the previous outing with Jamie Rother returning in place of Luke Thompson, the change resulted in a new central defensive partnership with Richie Baker stepping in alongside Kelvin Lugsden with the ever reliable Rother returning to the Rams engine room.

The opening minutes of the contest were fairly uneventful and did little to liven up the assembled crowd on a murky afternoon until the visitors produced the first notable effort when good work down the left from Nic Evangelinos gave Reuben Jerome a sight of the target but the effort was blocked by a retreating Trafford defender.

Then with the encounter eleven minutes old the Rams would take the lead when a surging run and cross from full back from the ever impressive Reece Fishwick found top scorer Evanglinos and despite the forwards first effort being blocked by home stopper Matt Cooper the striker was alert enough to prod the ball over the line to have the honour of scoring Ramsbottom United first goal of the new decade.

A point worthy of note is that the Rams have only failed to find the net in one league game this term, a two nil defeat at Pontefract in late August.

Trafford then responded with their first effort on target when the lively looking Walters sent a skidding shot from distance but visiting keeper Tom Stewart gathered comfortably at his near post.

With the Mossley performance, one which live long in the memory still in the forefront of their minds the Rams supporters almost had a further goal to celebrate when just shy of the twenty minute mark good link up play down the left wing between skipper Tom Kennedy and Evangelinos saw Josh Hmami presented with a chance for the midfielder to continue his excellent recent form but again a home defender got in the way of the goal bound attempt .

As the contest continued towards the half hour mark both keepers were relatively untroubled but it was the visitors that carried the bigger threat with the left hand side proving a particularly fruitful area for the Rams with Kennedy and Evangelinos linking up on numerous occasions. With the Rams on top and looking to replicate some of their outstanding home form away from The Riverside the away side had a penalty claim rejected by referee Morland when livewire Evangelinos went down under a challenge but the official decreed no offence had been committed.

The remaining ten minutes of the first period belonged in the main to Trafford as they began to ask more questions of the Ramsbottom defence with raiding full back Kenny sending a cross to the far post where a white shirted home forward headed towards goal but the tame effort was dealt with comfortably by Stewart. The hosts then began exert some pressure by winning a series of free kicks in promising areas but thankfully the visitors kept their clean sheet intact.

With the half time break imminent home forward Walters set off through midfield towards the Rams penalty area before being fouled by Richie Baker in a promising position 20 yards from goal, the number five then picked up a caution for his troubles before Jordan Johnson's well struck free kick evaded the flying Tom Stewart but clipped the woodwork before bouncing to safety and the visitors held a narrow advantage at the interval.

As the contest resumed Trafford started the second period with much more gusto than they had shown in the first half and created their clearest opportunity of the contest when a Rams free kick was cleared to Laurence Taylor who broke away beyond the retreating Rams rearguard and towards the edge of the penalty area before squaring the ball to an unmarked teammate who inexplicably with the goal gaping and just Tom Stewart to beat fired a shot into the side netting much to the relief of the away side.

The hosts then had their best period of the game when firstly a rasping effort from Darius Palma flew across the face of goal with no home player able to get a decisive touch before the hosts left wing again caused defensive flutters in the Ramsbottom backline after a well timed Lugsden clearance fell to Jake Kenny but the skimming effort flew wide of the target as the away side needed to be at their resolute best.

With Trafford visibly gaining in confidence and the Rams defence facing a thorough examination a couple of substitutions were made twenty minutes into the second period with Mason Fawns and Daniel Naidole replacing Karl Jones and Reuben Jerome respectively as manager Chris Willcock looked to alter the flow of the match.

Moments later and after a good piece of play from the Rams attacking midfield player Josh Hmami appeared to be tripped in the penalty area when he was about to shoot at goal but again the official turned away the loud appeals.

With Ramsbottom United being the highest scorers in the league hopes were high amongst the travelling Rams supporters that their side would be able to add to their slender lead and give them some breathing space as Trafford continued to look an attacking threat.

Trafford had replied with two changes of their own but it was the visitors who almost registered the second goal of the match when Nic Evanglinos burst beyond the home defence before the ball fell at the feet of Jamie Rother and the fans favourites delicate floated effort beat Cooper in the home goal but brushed the top of the bar, the substitutions certainly had the desired positive effect as the Rams began to play some progressive football whilst looking like an attacking threat.

Then, with fifteen minutes remaining the Rams doubled their lead when excellent skill and a clever pass from the increasingly influential Mason Fawns gave Nic Evangelinos a sight of goal and the prolific forward sent a well struck effort bursting into the roof of the net giving home keeper Cooper no chance as the visitors leading scorer added another goal to his seasons tally much to the delight of the majority of the Rams supporters congregated behind the goal.

As the minutes ticked away Trafford began to throw caution to the wind and in doing so left more space for the visitors to exploit and they almost did so on more than one occasion with Cooper called upon to make a fine save to deny Josh Hmami after a well constructed counter attack before a well flighted cross from the impressive Eddie Moran found goalscorer Evangelinos at the far post who then cleverly headed back across goal to Hmami but the header bounced agonisingly wide of the target.

With three points looking probable and additional time being played and at a time of year songs about old acquaintances being forgot are particularly relevant an ex Ramsbottom United player recently arrived from the subs bench halved the deficit for Trafford when Max Hazeldine got off the mark for his new side by firing in an impressive goal from distance to give the day trippers a nervous couple of minutes to negotiate.

The final incident of the contest came with only seconds remaining when Trafford won a dangerous looking free kick tight to the byline and with temperatures plummeting the heart rate of the Ramsbottom supporters was increasing but mercifully the set piece was cleared to safety and the referees whistle brought proceedings to a conclusion and a three point haul to start the New Year for Chris Willcock's men.

As players, management and supporters acknowledged a valuable victory it is worth making mention that since the arrival of the versatile Richie Baker some nine games ago the Rams haven't tasted defeat whilst winning six of those matches, a coincidence? I think not.

As the half way stage of the league season was reached Ramsbottom United are handily placed in third position for a promotion push and hopes are high that the second half of the season could well eclipse the first.

Ramsbottom United:- Stewart, Fishwick, Kennedy (Capt), Moran, Baker, Lugsden, Jones(Fawns 64mins) , Rother, Jerome (Naidole 64 mins), Hmami (Daniels 89 mins) Evangelinos

Subs not used- Thompson & Hampson.

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Tadcaster 2 Rams 2

Saturday 7th December 2019

Tadcaster Albion v Ramsbottom United

Bet Victor North West Division

Att 352

Report by Damien Barlow

As the December programme got underway and we march headstrong towards another festive period, Ramsbottom travelled into neighbouring county to do battle with a Tadcaster team situated just outside the playoffs and within striking distance of their guests, however with a new found form over the last few games and with the goals starting to flow again, confidence around the HWRS was on the rise, and sights were set firmly on another 3 points.

An unchanged Ramsbottom took their positions on the pitch as Tadcaster got the game underway.

The opening fifteen minutes were typical of two teams in close proximity in the table, which was not conducive for free flowing football. Both sets of midfield players already showing they would not be settling for second best, and with any ball forward being easily mopped up by comfortable defences, neither attacking line were having much opportunity to shine. Only a cleared Rams corner on seven minutes offered any sniff of goal mouth action.

The home crowd had to wait for the twenty minute mark for their team to register an opening. Good work down the left from Chimalilo found Lebrun-M'beke unmarked in the D but his shot was as wayward as you'll see.

The first bit of excitement shortly followed as Alfie Beestin moved forward through the centre circle only to be nonchalantly tripped from Jerome. His name was taken and fine will be on its way to him for his troubles. The resulting free kick presented the Brewers with their second half chance with number 3 Jack Walter's finding space down the left but his powerful effort from a narrow angle flew agonisingly over the bar.

The first attempt on target finally arrived on twenty five minutes, after good quick play allowed Gooden to send a ball towards the edge of the area for Moran to help on which fell perfectly for Rother to smash a first time volley which Burn was more than equal to and the danger was averted by the home side.

The breakthrough did, unsurprisingly arrive on the half hour. Effective wing play from Dos Santos freed him from Kennedy and his low cross evaded more than one, and Lebrun-Mbeke couldn't believe his luck as his scuffed shot crept into the far corner beyond the desperate lunge of Stewart.

30 minutes Tadcaster 1 Ramsbottom 0

The closing stages of the half continued in the same vein with little attacking options, so a second goal before the break seemed unlikely, however, after a hopeful ball in from the right was left by Fishwick, Chimalilo had the simple task of lifting the ball over Stewart and sent the hosts in with an unnasilable 2-0 lead at the interval.

45+1 minutes Tadcaster 2 Ramsbottom 0

Half time Tadcaster 2 Ramsbottom 0

The second half started with no changes from either side. The feeling around the ground was the next goal would be hugely important, and Ramsbottom set about making sure it was theirs. A little more tempo and controlled possession created a couple of half chances for the visitors, of which one would result in a corner on fifty minutes, and when Richie Baker climbed the highest to deftly flick home Tom Kennedys inswinger, the rams did have their goal and with the deficit halved and almost a full half to play, this was game on.

A Tadcaster free kick moments later almost restored the two goal cushion as Leburn-Mbeke sent his header clear of the Rams goal. With the game finely balanced and Ramsbottom showing more authority in the search for an equaliser, the brewers were starting to concede more freekicks, non more so than Ioan Evans dragging Jerome to the ground on half way preventing a dangerous breakaway. The afore mentioned challenge resulted in the games third booking of the day.

Nic Evangelinos thought he had levelled things up on sixty five minutes, only to have his joy dashed by the assistant referees flag. Ruben Jerome had strayed in his attempts to follow up a Baker free kick which had been knocked back accross the box by Thompson for Rother to try his luck from outside the area again. As the half wore on Ramsbottom were growing as was the pressure on the hosts backline. Eddie Moran, was again unlucky as his shot rattled back off the upright following more good play down the left from Kennedy and Evangelinos.

In a bold attempt to really take a stranglehold on the game, Chris Wilcock made a triple substituion on sixty seven, replacing Rother, Moran and Jerome with Naidole, Hmami and Fawns, with the latter taking up a wide right berth and Gooden switching to the left and Evangelinos through the middle. More frustration from the home side saw Wiles cautioned for another seemingly needless challange, a pattern that was becomming more repetative as Ramsbottoms energy and confidence was beginning to restrict the air supply to Tadcaster.

With three quarters of the game played, Ramsbottom did deservedly level things up. powerful play from Thompson released Reece Fishwick who inturn layed the ball into Evangelinos' path, who expertly teed up recently introduced Naidole who made no mistake, rifling a low shot that was to hot for Burn who let the ball through his hands.

Tadcaster 2 Ramsbottom 2

The closing moments became more frantic and open than the previous eighty or so minutes. Ramsbottom continuing their push for what seemed forty five minutes ago, unlikely, but now very possible. Tadcaster trying to respond in applying their own pressure, resulted in passes being rushed, players being hurried as both camps would feel hard done to should they come away empty handed. Ramsbottom had two chances in stoppage time to take the honours. Firstly a free kick in a central position after Fishwich had been felled, was sent over by Naidole. This was followed by Gooden, who found himself back on the right managed to work a cross low and hard towrads the near post, and when Burn's handling again looked questionable, Evangelinos just wasnt quick enough to react, and lines were cleared.

As the referee brought the game to an end, two good, hardworking teams shared the spoils. After a largely uneventful first half, the second livened up, but with neither being able to deliver a 'coup de grace', a point a piece most would say was a fair outcome.

Full Time - Tadcaster 2 Ramsbottom 2

Team: Stewart, Fishwick, Kennedy(c), Moran, Thompson, Lugsden, Gooden, Rother, Jerome, Baker, Evangelinos.

Subs: Fawns, Hmami, Naidole. Not used Jones, Hampson.

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Rams 1 Runcorn Linnets 1

Bet Victor Northern Premier League North West Division

Saturday 16th November 2019

Ramsbottom United 1 Runcorn Linnets 1

Attendance: 359

Report by Aaron Benson

A second-half Nic Evangelinos goal was enough to earn Ramsbottom United a point in a one-all draw with Runcorn Linnets. Evangelinos hit back with a second-half strike after Zachery Aley had given Runcorn the lead.

Chris Willcock made two changes to the side beaten 4-3 by Marine a fortnight ago. New signing Richie Baker made his debut while Mason Fawns dropped to the bench, while the other change saw Kelvin Lugsden replaced Daniel Murphy who was replaced in the last game after 25 minutes.

Runcorn made the brighter start to the encounter and could easily have opened the scoring within the opening 10 minutes. A Jack Hinnigan cross found Aley who could only head wide of the target. Playing in an unmissable orange strip Linnets continued to threaten the Rammy goal and the hosts were fortunate not to concede again when Paul Shanley found himself one on one with Tom Stewart. Fortunately for the Rams Shanley saw his effort deflect wide as the ball trickled towards the corner flag.

Ramsbottom were shown to be lacking a killer touch in the final third although their efforts were hard to fault. The nearest goalmouth action came when left winger Iywrah Gooden sent a flying header wide after making a clever run to the back post. Gooden then saw an effort blazed ever the bar after latching onto an Evangelinos pass.

Then in the 40th minute, Runcorn broke away and took the lead. Unmarked, left-back Aley made a marauding run into the six-yard box meeting a cross with a header that flew past the outstretched Stewart. The left-backs goal meant Rammy went into half time behind which on the balance of play was tough to stomach.

The home side came out firmly on the front foot in the second half through Jamie Rother and Reece Fishwick. Rother’s run from the midfield fed his fellow midfielder who was unable to hit the target. As the half progressed, the Rams looked short of quality in key moments. After winning a free-kick 20 yards out, Evangelinos blazed the ball onto the railway line out of the ground and Rother also fired a shot wide. When Evangelinos’s left foot shot again drifted over the bar from close range, it was looking like one of those days where the ball just wouldn’t find the net.

Yet Evangelinos was not to be beaten and the number 11 soon levelled for the men in blue. Gooden’s deflected effort found the striker who from burst the net with a fine finish. Deep into stoppage time, Kelvin Lugsden was denied a winner with an effort straight at Emery. It meant the rams had to settle for just the point despite their efforts.

Rams manager Willcock was pleased with the performance of his side even though they missed out on the win.

‘I thought we were excellent from start to finish. We limited them too few chances and our keeper has had nothing to do. The Linnets goal was a half-chance really, but it was a great header. Defensively we looked more solid and the work rate was fantastic, we deserved to win the game’.

‘I can’t get carried away with the result today. Hopefully, we can kick on from this as we looked more solid. I’ve got a lot of thinking to do with regards to the forward line and I haven’t said that for a while’.

‘What happened against Marine hurt them. We’ve had some great training sessions in midweek and we’ve limited our mistakes. Only conceding one goal will give the lads much-needed confidence going forward. Everyone can be more buoyant- the team and the fans. Today is a start, now let’s see if we can build on it’.

Ramsbottom United: Stewart, Hampson, Kennedy (Capt.), Moran (Hmami 90'), Thompson, Lugsden, Fishwick, Rother, Gooden (Naidole 76'), Baker, Evangelinos Subs not used: Fawns, Jones

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: City of Liverpool 2 Rams 5

Bet Victor Northern Premier League North West Division

Saturday 11th January 2020

City of Liverpool 2 Ramsbottom United 5

Attendance: 382

Report by Aaron Benson

Iywrah Gooden scored a hat trick as Ramsbottom United continued their unbeaten run in fine style with a 5-2 win at the City of Liverpool. Goals from Gooden along with a Josh Hmami brace was enough to seal all three points for Chris Willcock’s side. Liam Hynes and Elliot Nevitt were on target for the City of Liverpool.

Four changes were made in the starting eleven that beat Bamber Bridge in the previous game. Tom Kennedy, Luke Thompson, Josh Hmami and Nic Evangelinos came into the side replacing Will Alberto, Ben Stanton, Greg Daniels and Daniel Naidole.

Ramsbottom flew straight out of the traps and could easily have led within the first minute. A Jamie Rother pass split the home defence playing a ball out wide to Gooden where the right-wingers cross found Nic Evangelinos. Despite making a dangerous run over to the back post, the number 11 was unable to convert firing an effort over the bar.

Despite the early blemish, the visitors didn’t let it affect them and were soon ahead in the 7th minute. A dangerous ball from Kennedy was flicked on towards Evangelinos who smuggled a pass for Gooden to score at the back post.

As the half continued the home side slowly grew into the game and equalised in the 24th minute as Rammy failed to deal with a dangerous free-kick from Kevin McEllin. The crossfield delivery was headed back across goal and converted by Liam Hynes. However, only six minutes later the Rams were ahead once again. An Evangelinos cutback was miskicked by Eddie Moran yet fortunately for the central midfielder Gooden picked up the loose ball and scored his second of the game.

The Purps continued to look dangerous from set-pieces and perhaps should have levelled a second time when Nevitt headed wide as Bradley Wade failed to claim the ball from a tricky cross. Reuben Jerome was denied a third goal following a terrific save from Wheeler at the other end, yet the keeper was to be beaten moments later when Josh Hmami scored from another Evangelinos cross. Hmami’s goal meant Rammy went into half time with a commanding lead.

The second half began with a possession exercise which featured a near miss from Gooden. Rother delivered another magnificent ball out onto the right where the number seven was unlucky not to score with an effort that flew over the bar.

In the 67th minute, it was the Rams turn to score from a corner where a Kennedy ball from the left was touched home by Hmami, who added his second of the afternoon to the scoreboard and sent his side on the way to another thumping victory.

To give the home side credit, Craig Robinson’s side never gave up and continued to create chances, no matter what the scoreline was. Following Hmami’s goal, substitute Jamie McDonald forced Wade into a save palming the ball out for a corner. From the resulting delivery, McDonald saw a further chance flash wide.

Gooden confirmed his hat-trick in the 85th minute with a smart finish past Wheeler, yet he had Moran to thank for a wonderful piece of midfield work in the buildup. Winning the ball off McEllin catching his opposite number off guard on the half-turn, Moran supplied a superb ball out to Gooden who finished the work off with ease ensuring the Rams would take all three points back down the East Lancashire Road.

There was a final goal in the game, however. The Purps gave some respectability to the scoreline in the dying moments. On the half-turn, Nevitt took advantage of a rare lapse in the Rams backline sliding the ball into an empty net.

The win kept up Rammy’s 100% record in 2020 and also extended their unbeaten run to 12 games in all competitions. Another away game brought another healthy number of travelling fans to Merseyside as Willcock’s side continued their promotion push. At the moment, they are an unstoppable force.

Ramsbottom United - Wade, Fishwick, Kennedy (capt), Moran, Thompson, Lugsden, Gooden, Rother, Hmani (Naidole 73’) , Evangelinos (Fawns 78’), Jerome (Jones 65’). Unused Subs: Baker, Hampson

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Rams 7 Mossley 1

Bet Victor Northern Premier League North West Division

Thursday 26th December 2019

Ramsbottom United 7 Mossley 1

Attendance: 410

Report by Aaron Benson

Ramsbottom ended 2019 in fine style with a crushing 7-1 win over Mossley bringing some extra festive cheer for the home supporters. In another superb home performance, goals from Tom Kennedy, Karl Jones, Nic Evangelinos, a brace for Reuben Jerome and one each from Josh Hmami and Mason Fawns ensured all three points. Jamie Rainford was the scorer for Mossley.

Two changes were made to the side held at Widnes five days previous. Jamie Rother and Mason Fawns dropped to the bench as Nic Evangelinos and Josh Hmami came into the starting eleven.

Mossley started the game the brighter side looking dangerous on the counter-attack, with wingers Raheem Hanley and Kayde Coppin especially menacing. Earning the first shot of the match, Coppin drove at the Rams defence, yet his effort was straight at keeper Tom Stewart. Playing towards their supporters which included one fan blowing a horn, Ben Halfacre scuffed a shot well wide of the post. At the other end in Ramsbottom’s first forward encounter, Nic Evangelinos was brought down in the penalty area which earned his side a penalty. Tom Kennedy tucked the ball away with ease placing the ball in the top left corner after only 10 minutes.

Hanley and Coppin were causing all sorts of problems for the home side. The latter fed Halfacre on the edge of the box yet he could only stab the ball wide. The chances were aplenty at both ends, Luke Thompson saw a header blocked on the line before Evangelinos hammered an attempt over the bar. It was third-time lucky moments later when Karl Jones tucked away a free-flowing attacking move, something the Rams have done with ease in recent weeks.

Just after the half an hour mark Mossley halved the Rams advantage. A defensive mistake at the back caught Rammy cold as former striker Jamie Rainford punished the backline as the visitors got a foothold back into the game. However, all their work was undone on the stroke of halftime as Kennedy proved once again in Mossley’s side. A superb long-range ball from the left-back spilt the defence in half with Evangelinos the receiver. Latching onto the pass, he tucked the ball away with a superb finish past Theo Roberts.

The second half was an onslaught of goals as Rammy started to turn the screw. The half started perfectly as Ramsbottom scored their fourth through Reuben Jerome inside the first two minutes. From a tight angle on the left, the number nine weaved through two defenders slipping the ball over the line with an eye of the needle finish. Constantly looking for their fifth, Hmami’s shot stung the palms of Roberts in another good chance, although Willcock’s side didn’t have to wait much longer as Jerome scored his second beating Roberts with a cool finish. The sixth soon followed as Hmami’s forward run was matched perfectly by Evangelinos’s pass. The number 11 held off several opposition players as he found the midfielder who completed the move notching up the sixth.

The Rams reached seventh heaven through substitute Mason Fawns. On in the place of Evangelinos, a dangerous run from the left wing was followed up by a finish with which Roberts was unable to stop. Mossley to their credit never gave up and Stewart was kept busy till the final whistle. Coppin forced the keeper into a strong save tipping the effort wide of the target. The seven goals were the most scored by a Ramsbottom side since 2014.

Manager Willcock was jubilant after the game. ‘’I thought we were outstanding. The lads prepared for the game well and we were well rewarded for it going forward. We are finding ways to not get beat and that is pleasing. We are now eight games unbeaten and moving forward in the right direction’.

‘Our performance levels dropped against Widnes but we managed to pick something up there which is crucial. After six games unbeaten I said can we get to 10 and that’s a big goal for us. We are not at 10 yet but we need to keep raising the bar. I need to ask more of the players and they need to ask more of themselves. However, It’s a tricky time of year this and we can’t get complacent. There’s along the way to go but we’re moving in the right direction, only focusing all the time on what we are doing’.

Ramsbottom United: Stewart, Fishwick, Kennedy (c) (Daniels 78'), Moran, Thompson, Lugsden, Jones, Hmami (Naidole 61'), Jerome, Baker, Evangelinos (Fawns 67')

Unused subs: Rother & Hampson

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Rams 5 Marske United 1

Bet Victor Northern Premier League North West Division

Saturday 30th November 2019

Ramsbottom United 5 Marske United 1

Attendance: 297

Report by Adam Clark

The Rams followed up their 5-0 midweek win against City of Liverpool with another emphatic performance against an in-form Marske United. Chris Willcock made one change from Tuesday night’s 5-star performance against the City of Liverpool, Ben Hampson missed out through injury and was replaced by Reuben Jerome, Reece Fishwick dropped to right back as he did in the second half on Tuesday and Jerome regained his position up front.

Marske United had the first chance of the afternoon inside two minutes, Andrew Stephenson played through a ball to Louis Johnson who was clean through but he put his shot wide.

The Rams put themselves ahead on the 10-minute mark, it was from the first corner of the afternoon, Tom Kennedy took it from the right and Richie Baker headed down but it was put in the back of the net by Marske’s Leon Scott. Halfway through the half Marske had a couple of chances through Curtis Round his first was dragged wide and the second was denied by the assistant’s offside flag.

Not long after that, the visitors had to make an enforced change as Andrew Stephenson had picked up an injury, he was replaced by Matthew Waters. The first caution of the game came just after the 25 minutes’ mark, Marske right back Andrew May was booked for a foul on Iyrwah Gooden, the resulting free-kick was well cleared by the Marske defence.

Rammy doubled their lead just after the half-hour mark, Gooden made a great run down the right-wing, his cross was met by Nic Evangelinos who slotted home for his seventh goal in his last eight games. Marske got a goal back three minutes later, a corner from the left was headed home at the back post by Andrew May.

Iyrwah Gooden had a chance to make it 3-1 just before half time, his shot from the left was parried wide by Jack Norton. Marske had the last chance of the half, Andrew May was free at the back post but he put his shot wide.

HALF TIME Rams 2 Marske United 1

The second half started well for the Rams, Reuben Jerome rounded the keeper but he was brought down in the process by Marske ‘keeper Norton and a penalty was awarded Club captain Tom Kennedy stepped up and put it in the top left corner. Just two minutes later the Rams were 4-1 up, Richie Baker with a goal of the season so-far his effort from 30 yards sailed into the top corner.

After those two goals, there wasn’t much of note for the next fifteen minutes or so. On 64 minutes, Marske striker Louis Johnson was sent off for violent conduct after an altercation with Rams’ centre half Kelvin Lugsden.

Nic Evangelinos could have had his second of the afternoon just four minutes later, he put a Jamie Rother ball over the bar from close range. Willcock the decided to make a triple substitution – Daniel Naidole, Josh Hmami & Karl Jones all came on in place of Eddie Moran, Iyrwah Gooden & Jamie Rother.

The Rams had a couple more chances before scoring their fifth, Jones had a shot go just wide of the right post and Jerome had a shot go across the face of goal. In the final minute, the Rams scored their fifth through Nic Evangelinos after a ball across from Karl Jones.

FULL TIME Rams 5 Marske United 1

Chris Willcock said post-match “Today’s performance was outstanding from start to finish, I thought in possession we looked very dangerous and at every opportunity we had the ball at our feet and out of possession, outside of the corner we really got sloppy with and switched off and that gave them a bit of a foothold to regroup at half-time and come out and have a go but obviously scoring the two goals as quickly as we did just after half time, it killed the contest and we went on to comfortably win the game”

RAMSBOTTOM UNITED: Tom Stewart, Reece Fishwick, Tom Kennedy, Eddie Moran (Daniel Naidole 72’), Luke Thompson, Kelvin Lugsden, Iyrwah Gooden (Josh Hmami 72’), Jamie Rother (Karl Jones 72’), Reuben Jerome, Richie Baker, Nic Evangelinos

SUBS NOT USED: Mason Fawns & Ben Hampson

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Rams 3 Marine 4

Bet Victor Northern Premier League North West Division

Saturday 2nd November 2019

Ramsbottom United 3 Marine 4

Attendance: 301

Report by Nigel Jepson

Starting the match in ninth position, the Rams knew they needed to improve on a recent series of indifferent results if they were to sustain promotion hopes. Opponents Marine, in fourth position, were bound to provide stern opposition and so it proved.

After only four minutes, Marine took the lead with their No. 10 Mbulanda powering above defenders to head in a corner. It was certainly not the start the home team wanted but worse was to follow. Just seven minutes later, a defensive miskick ended up with Mbulanda being left a free run in on goal before slotting the ball home to make it 2-0.

Marine’s No 10 was yet again in the thick of things taking a heavy fall following a hefty tackle from Danny Murphy that the referee was well-placed in deciding to wave play on. At the same time as Mbulanda was substituted, Kelvin Lugsden came on for Murphy who also suffered from the challenge.

For the first time in the game, the home team started playing with a bit more confidence. Nic Evangelinos, in a more central striking role in the continued absence of suspended Reuben Jerome, demonstrated impressive skill in linking up play, particularly with Iyrwah Gooden who was at his penetrating best. It was a rasping shot from Gooden after 17 minutes that the Marine keeper could only parry into the goal with Evangelinos closing in, to reduce the lead to 2-1.

Again, though the Rams were to show defensive fallibility against set pieces with Marine central defender Anthony Miles taking advantage of home frailties to restore the visitors’ two-goal lead shortly after the half-hour mark. At this point, the Rams’ defence seemed in complete disarray, Marine further capitalising with a goal from their captain Niall Cummins to take it to 4-1 and no more than shooting practice.

With half-time looming, a corner from Tom Kennedy saw the Marine keeper again fumbling, palming the ball into his own net reducing the deficit to 4-2. Jamie Rother got booked for a foul just before the whistle went on an incident-packed first half.

Whatever the respective managers had to say at half-time, it was the home team that came out with the bit between their teeth. After a clever chest lay-off by Nic Evangelinos, Reece Fishwick came close to finishing off a fine team move, as his close range effort flew inches past the post.

Daniel Nadiole, replacing Mason Falls at half-time, came equally close. Meanwhile at the other end, Marine were hardly getting a look-in against last year’s central defence lynchpins of Luke Thompson and Lugsden.

Eventually on 72 minutes, it was the Rams’ go-to Kennedy- Evangelinos combo that narrowed the score-line as, following a rash tackle that caused the ref to point to the spot, resulting in Kennedy’s deft left foot reducing the margin to 4-3.

In a frenzied last twenty minutes, the home team’s passion slightly got the better of them with both Eddie Moran and Ben Hampson picking up further yellow cards.

Even if in the final event, the Rams hadn’t quite proved able to claw back from a 4-3 defeat, they had shown their mettle climbing back from a 4-1 deficit on the day.

All credit then to the team and their manager. They are still in the promotion race with everything yet left to play for.

Ramsbottom United: Stewart, Hampson, Kennedy (Capt.), Moran, Thompson, Murphy (Lugsden 24mins), Fishwick (Jones 68mins), Rother, Gooden, Fawns (Naidole 45mins), Evangelinos

Subs not used: Hmami, Osi-Efa