Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Workington 0 Rams 0

FA Trophy 1st Round

Saturday 15th December 2018

WORKINGTON AFC 0 RAMSBOTTOM UNITED 0

Attendance-298

Report by Jon Haslam

This FA Trophy First Round tie took place on a blustery and rainy Saturday afternoon in West Cumbria as Ramsbottom United took to the road to Workingtons wonderfully traditional Borough Park Stadium after being drawn away from home for the fifth consecutive time in this seasons FA Trophy competition.

The visitors starting eleven showed just two changes from the victory seven days earlier at Kidsgrove with Ruben Jerome replacing the cup tied Jamie Rainford up front and Simon Woodford slotting into central defence at the expense of the unavailable Kelvin Lugsden.

With conditions looking very likely to have a bearing on proceedings the opening ten minutes were fairly even with both teams finding it difficult to have any attacking fluidity to their play but with the strong wind in the home sides favour the visitors would need to be at their resolute best as they attempted to continue their superb recent defensive record of conceding just two goals in the last seven away matches in all competitions.

It would be Workington that perhaps just about edged the early possession stats as the contest was developing into a midfield tussle with both teams quickly coming to the conclusion that free flowing football would be something for another day as the home side appeared to be looking for longer passes behind the Rams defence to try and supply the pacey wingers in Holt and Tinnion.

The away side flickered into life from an attacking perspective just after the quarter hour mark when Nic Evangelinos linked up well with Tom Kennedy but the cross eluded the onrushing attackers.

A look at the league standings showed that the hosts were next to bottom of the league above the Rams, so, with home advantage the Reds supporters would be hoping that the higher rank side would show their superiority but as the half progressed there was no obvious sign of the two sides plying their trade in different divisions.

Workington began to garner more of the possession as the half hour was reached but the Ramsbottom United defence, which incidentally showed a third different central defensive partnership in the last three matches were ensuring that any goal scoring efforts were conspicuous by their absence as Sam Ashton in the visitors goal was untroubled, indeed the only attempt towards goal was a low effort from the Reds midfielder Cowperthwaite which flew comfortably wide of the target.

With the conditions worsening and with the rain slanting down the Rams had their first effort at goal when Nic Evangelinos went on a purposeful run towards the edge of the Workington box but his left footed effort failed to trouble Taylor in the home goal and with almost 40 goalless minutes played neither side had forced the opposing goal keeper into serious action.

As half time approached Ramsbottom United would produce their most threatening moment of the first period when a fine through ball found the quicksilver Nialle Rodney whose surging run centrally towards the Workington goal caused concern in the home defence but the wide mans right footed shot towards goal was well blocked by an outstretched leg of a retreating defender and the first 45 minutes finished with the scores level.

After the restart, and with the wind in the Rams favour the visitors began the second half positively and within ten minutes had without question the best opportunity of the match when Evangelinos found himself advancing in on goal after a goal kick had held up in the wind but the wingers shot was smothered by Taylor in the home goal.

Minutes later the away side again showed their ever increasing attacking threat when a sumptuous threaded pass from Jamie Rother connected with the run of Evangelinos in the left hand channel but again the Workington rearguard were on hand to block the promising attack.

With Ramsbottom United never having won at Borough Park the home side were finding it difficult to fashion any chances that could be categorised as clear cut, in a rare moment of concern for the visitors around the hour point a corner was cleared to the edge of the penalty are but the resultant effort flew over the top of the crossbar.

Chris Willcock then utilised his bench for the one and only time at the three quarter point of the encounter when Khalil Osi-Efa replaced the hard working Jamie Rother as fresh legs were introduced to the central midfield.

On an increasingly heavy surface not conducive to good football it was becoming more and more apparent that either a mistake or set piece would be the most likely route to settling a competitive cup tie.

Amazingly the Rams have only been behind once in the last seven fixtures away from the HWRS, this being earlier in the FA Trophy run at Yaxley where the match ended two goals apiece.

Then, with 75 minutes played the Rams almost struck the first blow of the cup tie when a surging run from Anthony Donaldson was halted around 20 yards from goal in a promising position just to the left of the "D" of the penalty area, Nic Evangelinos struck the free kick well but the diving Taylor got a finger tip to the goal bound effort and the ball clipped the outside of the post to deny the day trippers a lead their second half pressure warranted.

With the contest entering the closing stages and the Rams looking to continue their magnificent run of ten away fixtures without defeat in all competitions, the last being at the hands of Leek Town exactly three months to the day ago, the hosts responded by making all three substitutions in an attempt to change the course of a full blooded skirmish but without notable success as the Ramsbottom defence was again superb to a man with Ryan Ellison again showing his versatility with an eye catching display at right back.

A point worthy of note is that the Rams have clocked up almost 950 miles on their FA Trophy adventure this season and were in no mood to exit the competition as they continued to believe that they could grab the all important and deciding goal whilst being mindful not to give Workington any attacking encouragement.

The central defensive combination of the ever combative Luke Thompson and debutant Simon Woodford made a nonsense of this being their first match together as they contained the threat of Jason Walker and Scott Allison splendidly, the latter being in fine form with four goals from his last five appearances.

With goal scoring chances at a premium for the remainder of the contest and the swirling wind often making any hope of free flowing football very difficult the Rams negotiated the three minutes of additional time the referee had indicated and deservedly earned a replay against their higher ranked opposition. After the final whistle had blown the players and travelling supporters showed their mutual appreciation of each others efforts in challenging circumstances by exchanging warm rounds of applause which were fully earned as Chris Willcock's outfit again exhibited another side of their teams characteristics with a battling display that could and maybe should have seen the Rams leave Cumbria victorious.

Both sides will be aware of the prize on offer for the winners of the replay on Tuesday night as the draw for the next round is due to be made on Monday afternoon.and for the first time in the clubs 52 year history will proudly take their place in the Second Round draw of the FA Trophy alongside Workington.

Ramsbottom United:- Ashton, Kennedy, Ellison, Moran ,Thompson, Woodford, Rodney, Rother (Osi-Efa 65 mins), Jerome, Donaldson, Evangelinos.

Unused Subs- Rowe, Parker, Hart, Jarrett

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Pickering Town 0 Rams 0

FA Trophy 3rd Qualifying Round

Saturday 24th November 2018

PICKERING TOWN 0 RAMSBOTTOM UNITED 0

Attendance 222

Report by Jon Haslam

Mill Lane was the destination on Saturday as Ramsbottom United ventured to North Yorkshire to take on Pickering Town for the first ever meeting between the two clubs in the 3rd qualifying round of the FA Trophy

Amazingly the Rams, who are the only representatives remaining in the competition from the Evo-Stik Western Division, have been drawn away from home in each of the last six Trophy ties and lined up with just one change from the midweek victory over Yaxley with Kahlil Osi-Efa slotting into central defence in the absence of the suspended Luke Thompson.

It was the visitors that began the contest positively with Nialle Rodney getting the first shot on target but Charlie Andrew in the home goal gathered with ease, the opening ten minutes belonged to the Rams as a number of early Tom Kennedy corners put the Pickering rearguard under pressure but ultimately without success.

The hosts weathered the strong start which is now becoming a feature of Chris Willcocks team and threatened for the first time when Ryan Blott's shot failed to trouble Sam Ashton but signalled the home sides intent to continue their recent run of good form which had seen the Pikes lose just one of their last eight outings in all competitions.

With a quarter of an hour played Pickering fashioned a chance to break the deadlock when leading scorer Blott headed over the bar from a cross from the lively Taylor as the encounter was developing into an intriguing tussle. The Rams replied shortly afterwards with a shot on goal on their own after excellent approach play between Kyle Jacobs and Anthony Donaldson around the penalty area gave Rodney a sight of goal but his attempt was again gathered by Andrew.

Pickering came closest to opening the scoring with 25 minutes played when Bissett crossed to the far post and with the Rams struggling to clear their lines the ball fell to Blott whose powerful effort thumped off the woodwork and bounced to safety much to the relief of the healthy contingent of Ramsbottom United supporters in attendance.

With around half an hour played the Pikes again served notice of their attacking threat when an incisive break away lead to two goal bound efforts being blocked by the hardworking Rams defence before the ball fell to Taylor whose attempt flew wide of the target as the home side looked to take the lead in a well contested tie.

The remaining minutes of the first period swung back in the Rams favour as the all action midfield of Moran, Rother and Donaldson looked to provide the ammunition to the in form attacking trident of Rodney, Evangelinos and Jerome. It would be the latter that would force Andrew into action with five minutes of the half remaining after a good lay off by Donaldson set up the forward but his attempt was pushed to safety by the home keeper.

With half time fast approaching Ramsbottom United created their clearest sight of goal when a defensive slip up in the Pickering defence was seized upon by Ruben Jerome but the unmarked strikers effort flew wide of the target as the half way point was reached with the deadlock yet to be broken in a 45 minutes in which the Rams arguably had the better of but the hosts offered enough attacking menace to suggest that the second period would be difficult to suggest which side would progress.

The second half began in a similar vein to how the first half ended with the visitors pushing forward as Rodney again fired towards goal in the opening moments but the effort sailed off target.

With less than ten minutes played in the second period perhaps the most contentious moment of the game occurred when a ball over the top of the Rams defence saw Sam Ashton run out of his penalty area to confront and make contact with the onrushing home attacker before the ball fell kindly to a Pickering player who lobbed the ball into an unguarded net but mercifully the referee had already blown his whistle for the initial foul therefore not playing the advantage much to the obvious annoyance of the home support, to add to their sense of frustration the resultant free kick cleared the crossbar.

As the game progressed Pickering looked to build some attacking momentum but the Rams, without being at their fluent best, still possessed enough in forward areas to keep the home defence on their toes, an example of which saw Donaldson thread a pass to Nic Evangelinos whose strong run and shot brought a diving save from Andrew at his near post.

With the Rams currently on an eleven game unbeaten run and averaging over 2.5 goals per game hopes were high that the visitors could make the breakthrough and attempts from Donaldson and Evangelinos again gave hope that the superb run would continue.

As the hour mark arrived Kieran Lugsden replaced the inventive Donaldson in midfield but it would be Pickering that would create and spurn a number of opportunities, the best of which brought Ashton into action with a low save before another shot flew into the side netting as Pickering looked to edge in front.

With three quarters of an excellent cup tie completed the away side responded when a surging run from the impressive Kyle Jacobs found the full back playing a one two before striding purposefully forward and hitting a low shot which Andrew blocked with his legs as the chances continued to be created.

After the earlier disallowed goal, the Rams were again grateful for the officials intervention at the midway point of the half when Pickering were denied the opener when a cross from the right wing was turned into the net by Greening but the linesman's flag curtailed the home sides celebrations as the match remained goalless.

The remaining twenty minutes provided a real test of the Rams defensive resilience as Pickering poured forward looking to avoid the need for a replay and the home supporters were again irked at the officials as a loud claim for a penalty was denied as the frustration levels increased.

As the minutes ticked away the home team created a number of chances as they sought to end the stalemate, the closest of which was a Logan header which struck the upright with Ashton helpless as the visitors stubbornly clung on in what was perhaps proving to be their most difficult ninety minutes since Chris Willcock took the reigns.

With the pressure increasing and the Rams unbeaten run under threat Pickering continued to search for what looked like being the deciding goal with set pieces also proving troublesome but with some resilient defending and wayward finishing from the home side the nerves amongst the travelling supporters were becoming progressively frayed.

The final opportunity of an enthralling tie came to Pickering when a through ball gave Blott a chance but his low angled attempt was blocked by the ever reliable Sam Ashton and as the final whistle sounded the Rams would perhaps feel a sense of relief that they had withstood a second half barrage whilst not being at their attacking best to earn a replay at the Riverside on Tuesday night where the winners will already know who their opponents will be in the First Round of the FA Trophy, a draw which includes the National League sides.

Ramsbottom United:- Ashton, Kennedy, Jacobs, Moran ,Osi-Efa, Ellison,, Rodney(Rowe 87),Rother, Jerome, Donaldson(Lugsden 59), Evangelinos

Unused Subs- Hart,Jarrett,Parker

COMING UP: Monday 26th November FA Trophy 1st Round Draw 2pm Live on TalkSport 2

Tuesday 27th November FA Trophy Round3Q Replay RAMS v Pickering Town 7.45pm

Saturday 1st December Evo-Stik West RAMS v Runcorn Linnets 3.00pm

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Prescot Cables 0 Rams 4

Evo-Stik West Division

Tuesday 6th November 2018

PRESCOT CABLES 0 RAMSBOTTOM UNITED 4

Attendance: 243

Report by Jon Haslam

Ramsbottom United made their second visit to Merseyside in four days as they took on high flying Prescot Cables on Tuesday night.

After a comfortable looking 3-0 win against Skelmersdale at the weekend the Rams arrived at Volair Park with just one change to their starting line as Jamie Rother replaced Anthony Donaldson as Chris Willcocks' charges went in search of their fifth consecutive victory against a Prescot outfit that had won all five of their home league games to date this season.

On a blustery evening the game began at a frantic pace with the hosts almost taking the lead in the opening minute when a strong run down the Rams right hand side gave leading scorer Almond a shot at goal but the effort narrowly crept wide of the far post to serve notice that the home side would provide a stern test to the visitors recent good run of form.

The opening exchanges of the contest suggested there may be goals and on nine minutes Ramsbottom United opened the goal scoring when a good passage of play through midfield lead to the ball being fed out to Nialle Rodney on the right edge of the Prescot penalty area, the tricky wide man cut inside full back Edgar before unleashing an explosive left footed effort that fizzed past Barnes in the home goal to register his fourth goal in five appearances and the Rams had taken the lead.

Moments later the lead was almost doubled when Nic Evangelinos cut inside and curled a superb effort towards the top corner before home keeper Barnes pulled off an excellent one handed flying save to keep the home side just one goal adrift.

With confidence coursing through the Rams team the home side were struggling to create any clear cut opportunities after their initial bright start, on twenty minutes the away side again almost added to their advantage when a Tom Kennedy corner perfectly found the head of Ryan Ellison but the ball ended up in Barnes midriff rather than the back of the net.

Ramsbottom United pushed forward confidently hoping to force home their superiority with the forward line causing Prescot numerous problems and with just over five minutes of the first half remaining the visitors doubled their lead when the tireless Ruben Jerome flicked the ball into the path of Evangelinos who outpaced his marker before sending a low shot underneath Barnes to give the recent arrival his second goal in two games.

As the referee blew his whistle the visitors were deservedly in front but had to be wary of a response from Prescot who wouldn't want to surrender their 100% home record without a battle.

Perhaps predictably the hosts began the second period with renewed vigour and won a number of corner kicks which the Rams defence repelled superbly protecting Sam Ashton in determined fashion. much to the frustration of the home faithful.

Then on 56 minutes, a moment that those present will remember for a long time. The Rams won a free kick midway in their own half which goal keeper Sam Ashton struck with the sole intention of shooting towards goal and with the wind behind him the ball flew over his opposite number Barnes who was on the boundary of his own penalty area and amazingly the ball bounced over his Prescot counterpart and into the net to give the Rams a sensational three goal lead. With the goal keeper being mobbed by his team mates and Volair Park is a state of shock the Ramsbottom United management team suggested that the attempt at goal was something that had been discussed at the interval, without doubt a sensational moment to witness.

Before the crowd had time to catch their breath the visitors amazingly scored a fourth goal when good play down the Rams right hand channel found the impressive Jamie Rother free on the corner of the penalty area and the midfielders low drive found the back of the Cables net to give the away side an unassailable lead.

Chris Willock then made all three changes with Rodney, Evangelinos and Jerome being replaced by Donaldson, Rainford and Rowe respectively as the Rams took the opportunity to rest some players ahead of a busy schedule.

The remaining twenty minutes of the encounter were played with a back drop of disbelief about what the crowd of 253 had witnessed but the home side continued to push forward and gave the Rams rear guard a testing period of time with goal scoring hero Sam Ashton called upon to make a couple of fine saves, one in particular stands out when a wide free kick looked destined for the top corner but the Rams custodian acrobatically tipped the effort over the bar.

Incredibly the Rams almost grabbed a fifth goal when good link up play between the substitutes Rowe and Rainford gave the latter a great chance to open his account for his new club but his effort struck the post. This wouldn't be the last of the chances as the hosts pushed forward hoping for a consolation goal but determined defending and a couple more routine saves from Ashton preserved the away sides clean sheet and in turn gave Ramsbottom their first league victory away from home on a Tuesday night since winning at Colne in October 2016.

As the final whistle brought an end to a outstanding team performance from the Rams in which it would be difficult and unfair to single out any particular individual for specific praise as all departments of the team performed superbly as the visitors ended Prescots impeccable home record and deservedly took the 3 points back to the Riverside Stadium with their fifth win on the trot, fourth consecutive clean sheet and a tally of fourteen goals scored in an unbeaten run now stretching to seven matches under Chris Willcock.

It is worth noting that the Rams have now not conceded a goal for 447 minutes whilst compiling a quite outstanding sequence of results and performances which has seen this hugely entertaining and very watchable team rise to fourth place in the league table.

Ramsbottom United:- Ashton, Kennedy, Jacobs, Rother ,Thompson, Ellison, Rodney (Rainford 68 mins), Bembo-Leto, Jerome (Rowe 59mins), Moran, Evangelinos (Donaldson 68 mins).

Unused Subs- Osi Efa

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Trafford 1 Rams 2 - FA Trophy

FA Trophy Preliminary Round

Saturday 13th October 2018

TRAFFORD 1 RAMSBOTTOM UNITED 2

Attendance: 272

Report by Jon Haslam

Ramsbottom United began their FA Trophy campaign on Saturday afternoon as they made the short trip to a blustery Shawe View to reacquaint themselves with a Trafford team who narrowly came out on top in the league meeting less than three weeks ago at the HWRS.

The Rams starting line up showed three changes from the midweek draw at Widnes with new additions Nialle Rodney and Nic Evangelinos making their debuts for the visitors replacing Dean and Gaskell with Jack Higgs gaining a starting berth at the expense of the absent Jerome Wright as manager Chris Willcock reshapes his Ramsbottom United squad.

With only 3 minutes on the clock Trafford made the early breakthrough when a through ball found the pacey Burns whose surging run took him in behind the Rams defence to the edge of the penalty area before a confident low finish found the bottom corner of Sam Ashtons net as the hosts made an ideal start to proceedings.

As the opening stages of the encounter unfolded it was the home side that appeared to take some confidence from the early strike as Ashton was forced to block a goal bound effort after a dangerous run and cross caused panic in the visitors defence.

Perhaps not unsurprisingly, bearing in mind the alterations to the side, the Rams began to get a foothold into the encounter as the half progressed with the front three looking threatening and with just over 25 minutes played Nic Evangelinos seized on a poor back pass by O'Brien before rounding the onrushing Cooper in the home goal and cutting the ball back from an acute angle to Eddie Moran whose goal bound effort was saved by the recovering keeper to preserve Traffords slender advantage.

As the half hour mark approached the visitors deservedly drew level when recent recruit Ruben Jerome found some room outside the penalty area before floating an inviting cross to the far post which perfectly found the run of debutant Niall Rodney whose well directed downward header gave the Rams an equaliser and gave the former Notts. Forest and Hartlepool forward his first goal in a Ramsbottom United shirt.

Almost immediately Trafford looked to regain the lead as they won a free kick in a promising position, former Ram Sam Heathcote stepped up to take but thankfully his attempt fizzed wide of Ashtons right hand post as both sides, despite a swirling wind, were providing decent entertainment for the crowd of 272.

The remainder of the first half saw the Rams in the ascendancy with the visitors playing some purposeful football with the new look front three looking a particular threat to the home defence ably backed up by the tireless work rate of the midfield whilst the away sides defence blunted the hosts pacey attack.

As the opening period came to a conclusion the score line of one goal each was a fair reflection of the contest which was undeniably a half of two halves with Trafford having the better of the first quarter of the game but the Rams worked their way back into the argument with an encouraging last 20 minutes.

Trafford who boasted an impressive record of six victories from seven home matches this campaign in all competitions made a change at the break with Davidson replacing Brown but it was the Rams who began the second period as they ended the first with Ruben Jerome winning a free kick 25 yards from goal, former Bury full back Tom Kennedy showed his undoubted quality by floating the ball over the wall and past Cooper to give the visitors a lead they would ultimately hold onto.

Within minutes and with confidence coursing through the team the Rams won another free kick a similar distance from goal but Rodneys curling effort looked destined for the top corner before Coopers flying save denied the striker a second debut goal.

With an hour played the visitors had a slender advantage but regular observers of Ramsbottom's recent games would be mindful that the team had found it difficult to hold onto leading positions as twice in the last fortnight the Rams had surrendered two goal advantages.

Trafford made their second change and increased their attacking options with the angular Derbyshire replacing O'Brien as the home side looked to change the complexion of the contest, the Rams responded with another debutant, former Barnsley striker Louis Rowe replacing Ruben Jerome up front.

With almost three quarters of the contest played the lead was almost increased when good interplay down the right hand side gave Kyle Jacobs the opportunity to stride forward and the full backs well struck 30 yard angled drive looked to have beaten Cooper but flew fractionally over the crossbar as the visitors looked to give themselves more breathing space ahead of Traffords anticipated onslaught to preserve their participation in this seasons FA Trophy competition.

Trafford, who had won five consecutive matches didn't disappoint in that regard and the last twenty minutes were played mainly in the visitors half with the home side pushing hard for an equaliser, chances came and went for Trafford with Burns heading wide when well placed and Sam Ashton saving well from a well struck effort from the edge of the area.

With 15 minutes remaining Phil Dean replaced Evangelinos as the Rams resolute defending kept the hosts at bay with Luke Thompson and Ryan Ellison at their competitive best, indeed the away side almost broke away to devastating effect when a long ball over the top of the hosts defence found substitute Rowe who outpaced the home defence before rounding the goalkeeper but a prohibitive angle made it difficult to get a shot on target.

The remaining ten minutes saw Trafford fashion a couple more chances as Burns threatened to restore parity firstly flicking a header inches wide of the post before the same player forced a fine finger tip save from Ashton and despite the hosts winning a number of late set pieces Ramsbottom repelled all that the hosts could throw at them to register Chris Willcocks first victory as Ramsbottom United manager.

In summary an excellent result and encouraging team performance from Chris Willcocks' charges as Ramsbottom United progressed to the First Round of the FA Trophy whilst ensuring that the travelling Rams supporters had an enjoyable day trip to South Manchester.

Ramsbottom United:- Ashton, Kennedy, Jacobs, Osi-Efa, Thompson, Ellison, Rodney, Higgs (Rother 89 mins), Jerome (Rowe 66 mins), Moran, Evangelinos (Dean 75 mins)

Unused Subs- Gaskell, Hindle

The next round draw for the FA Trophy is expected to take place this Monday, details of the next round will be on rammyunited.co.uk as soon as we have them.


Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Kidsgrove 0 Rams 2

Evo-Stik West Division

Saturday 8th December 2018

KIDSGROVE ATHLETIC 0 RAMSBOTTOM UNITED 2

Attendance- 110

Report by Jon Haslam

Ramsbottom United made their second visit of the season to Kidsgrove the first being an August visit for an FA Cup tie and were looking for an immediate response from last weeks galling defeat to high flying Runcorn Linnets which brought to an end an unbeaten run of 13 matches for Chris Wilcocks' charges.

The Rams made two changes to their starting eleven with both Kelvin Lugdsen and Jamie Rainford starting their first games for the club at the expense of the suspended Kyle Jacobs and Ruben Jerome respectively.

The contest began in awful conditions with the rain slanting down, despite this, the pitch appeared to be in excellent condition and both sides began positively with the visitors playing an attractive passing style through midfield on a slick surface with caused the Kidsgrove back line some early problems.

With almost ten minutes of the match completed the visitors created the first moment of real significance when a goal kick from Sam Ashton deceived the Kidsgrove defence and was pounced on by Jamie Rainford who surged into the penalty area before squaring the ball to Nialle Rodney who looked certain to open the scoring by side footing towards an empty net but last man Rhodes dashed back to block the goal bound effort and deny the away side the opening goal of the day.

The hosts, with only a single league victory at home this term from seven attempts as opposed to their away league form which sees the Grove unbeaten in seven fixtures away from their well appointed stadium looked lively on the break but wide man Nic Evangelinos brought the first notable save of the game from home stopper Kurasik after a good run and shot served notice of the Rams intent to get back to winning ways.

Indeed it took the hosts midway through the first period to produce their first strike at goal but full back Thompson's effort was deflected for a corner which came to nothing but showed that even with a reshaped defence showing Ryan Ellison at right full back and Kelvin Lugsden slotting into central defence alongside the ridiculously consistent Luke Thompson the visitors were largely untroubled for the opening third of the encounter.

Then, after thirty goalless minutes had been played and the incessant rain had lessened a match defining five minutes altered the course of the contest when the Rams took control in decisive fashion.

Firstly on 32 Minutes a superb run by Nic Evangelinos cleverly sidestepping three Kidsgrove defenders on a run that took the winger into the penalty area before sending an effort towards goal which Kurasik could only parry into the path of Jamie Rainford who confidently fired home from close range to register his first goal for Ramsbottom United to give the away side a lead their early play had deserved.

No sooner had the players and supporters collective elation died down when the lead was doubled in spectacular fashion when that man Rainford received the ball tight to the touchline on the Rams left before cutting inside a couple of challenges and sending a rasping right footed effort from fully 30 yards curling past Kurasiks outstretched dive before nestling into the top corner of the net to give the away side a two goal advantage and in the process give the striker a double on his first start for the Rams and surely add this strike to the goal of the season competition at the conclusion of the campaign.

The Evo-Stik West Division club of the month for November were gaining confidence as the clock ticked towards half time with the impressive midfield trio of Moran, Donaldson and Rother continuing to have the upper hand on their direct opponents and the last noteworthy action of the half saw Rother send a low skimming shot from just outside the penalty area which looked to have Kurasik in trouble but the attempt narrowly missed the target as the Rams took a two goal advantage into the break.

The second period began in much the same way the first half finished with the visitors in the ascendancy, a good piece of attacking play again set up Rother for a shot at goal but his effort from the apron of the 18 yard box drew a fairly orthodox diving save from the Kidsgrove keeper before moments later a sumptuous through ball from Eddie Moran gave Jamie Rainford a chance of his hat trick as he went one on one with Kurasik but the effort missed the upright as the hosts could quite easily have found the match beyond them with over 40 minutes remaining.

Even though Kidsgrove were trailling, the Rams rearguard were doing an excellent job of protecting Sam Ashton who wasn't called into any serious action until half way through the second period when a Baker cross from the right found substitute Saxon but his low drive was palmed to safety at his near post as the hosts searched for a route back into the contest.

Ramsbottom United were limiting the hosts to very few clear chances with Kelvin Lugsden looking assured on his first starting appearance for the visitors and the lead was almost increased further when Nic Evangelinos found himself with a sight of goal to put the result beyond any doubt but the winger was denied by the home goal keeper who was quickly off his line to block the clever effort and the score remained at 2-0 for the away side.

The substitutes bench was utilised for the first time for the visitors with 15 minutes remaining as Ruben Jerome replaced Nialle Rodney. In truth, both goal keepers had little to trouble them with long distance efforts the main route to goal although some good interplay around the area from the hosts between Malbon and Saxon gave the latter the opportunity to shoot at goal but the attempt barely extended Ashton.

The final ten minutes yielded a number of free kicks in promising position for Grove but again the Rams defence repelled what was thrown at them and despite not being at their fluent best from an attacking perspective in the second period the travellers from Lancashire were managing the second half very well quelling any momentum the hosts could muster whilst still offering a threat on the break themselves.

Two goal hero Jamie Rainford was replaced by Khalil Osi-Efa for the closing few minutes denying the striker the opportunity of a hat trick on his first start for the away side but the days work was done as the happy travellers saw out the five minutes of injury time to record a degree of retribution for Kidsgroves victory on penalties which knocked the Rams out of the FA Cup earlier in the campaign.

With the rain subsiding for the majority of the second half huge credit must be given to the Kidsgrove ground staff for preparing such an excellent surface which held up superbly especially given the huge amount of rain that had fallen in recent days which allowed this match to be completed when other games in the area were either called off or abandoned.

A point worthy of note is that the Rams have conceded only one goal away from The Riverside in the five league matches under Chris Willcock, a fourth consecutive league clean sheet and despite what was an untried back line demonstrates the strength and depth of the squad as the team look to begin another unbeaten run.

As proceedings came to a conclusion and three more points were added to the ever increasing tally meaning that Ramsbottom United have clocked up a hugely impressive run of ten away matches without defeat in all competitions and the league table showed the Rams had jumped a place to seventh as the team responded admirably to last weekends setback ahead of Saturdays intriguing looking FA Trophy First Round tie at Workington.

Ramsbottom United:- Ashton, Kennedy, Ellison, Moran ,Thompson, Lugsden, Rodney (Jerome 74 mins) ,Rother, Rainford (Osi-Efa 82 mins), Donaldson, Evangelinos

Unused Subs- Rowe, Hart, Foulds

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Rams 5 Yaxley 1

Ramsbottom United made it 10 games unbeaten under new boss Chris Willcock and booked a place in the third qualifying round of The FA Trophy with a comfortable 5-1 victory over Yaxley in the second qualifying round.

Tricky left winger Nic Evangelinos grabbed his first hat-trick for the club on a brilliant Tuesday night for Rammy as their superb form continued.

The Rams made just one change to the side that won 1-0 at Colwyn Bay the previous Saturday, Joel Bembo-Leto was cup tied and he was replaced in the starting eleven by Ryan Ellison.

The Rams came straight out of the blocks as left winger Nic Evangelinos’s effort was saved smartly by Yaxley keeper Oliver Sutton.

Seconds later Evangelinos got his rewards for his earlier effort and was brought down in the box under a challenge from the Yaxley defender. Nialle Rodney tucked the ball home to give the Rams a perfect start.

The following minutes saw a flurry of chances at both ends. Yaxley number ten Daniel Cotton provided the biggest threat, cutting inside past Tom Kennedy yet only saw his chance fly over the bar.

Nialle Rodney and Anthony Donaldson both had chances to double the Rams lead. Against the run of play it was the visitors who struck the leveller. Cotton again proved troublesome down the right, his cross turned into the net by Rams centre back Luke Thompson.

Thompson's own goal was unfortunate for The Rams, coming at a time when the home side were dominant. Rodney, Donaldson, Ruben Jerome caused havoc throughout as the woodwork was struck more than a few times in the opening forty five minutes.

The Rams response was just what Willcock would have wanted, doubling their advantage ten minutes later. Evangelinos got his first of the night ten minutes later, his first attempt coming off the cross bar before firing home as Rammy retook the lead.

The killer goal came just on half time as the Rams pocket rocket Evangelinos got his name on the scoresheet again as Rammy went into half time with a two goal advantage.

HT: Ramsbottom 3-1 Yaxley

The second half was rather one sided as the home side began to turn the screw. Anthony Donaldson had the first attempt but Yaxley keeper Sutton was equal to it and saved the shot with ease.

The Rams could have had another shortly after, only for Nialle Rodney’s effort to be chalked off for offside.

Ramsbottom got a fourth on 61 minutes, Luke Thompson made amends for his first half mishap with a goal at the right end this time, heading home from a corner. The Rams number five was later subbed shortly after and will miss the game at Pickering due to suspension.

The men in blue made it five ten minutes later as Greek international Evangelinos got his third and Rammy's fifth of the game, converting a trio of goals and of course a hat-trick, something that hasn’t been seen in these parts for a while!

The Rams enjoyed a keep ball exercise in the final moments and as expected boss Willcock was rather pleased with his sides display.

‘The players have settled into the club very well, trying to take on board the philosophy I’m trying to encourage them to do and as you can see it’s working out very well on the pitch’.

Despite the current form, Willcock was rather reserved about the sides chances of a cup triumph.

‘To take the lads to Wembley will be a tough ask in this competition, a really difficult task when the conference and Conference North teams come into it’.

‘But can we take the team a couple more rounds, I'd like to think so, maybe if we can get a plumb tie then that would be a nice end to the competition’.

Should Nic Evangelinos continue to show this level of performance, anything is possible for this ever improving side.

Team vs Yaxley; Ashton, Kennedy, Jacobs, Moran, Thompson (Osi-Efa 64') , Ellison, Rodney (Lugsden 77') , Rother, Jerome, Donaldson, Evangelinos (Jarrett 71')

Unused Subs: Rowe, Hart

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Skelmersdale United 0 Rams 3

Evo-Stik West Division

Saturday 3rd November 2018

Skelmersdale United v Ramsbottom United.

Report by Damien Barlow

On a blustery afternoon in Merseyside where hosts Skelmersdale's more boisterous and physical approach seemed to work for much of the first half in an attempt to stop the visitors from playing eventually caught up with them in the second half as Ramsbottom pulled away and ultimatley ending the game with 10 men.

As the game got underway, it was the away side who enjoyed more of the ball, and repeatedly tried their luck down the right through Nialle Rodney. It was the number 7 who managed to get the games first cross away which only found the home keeper. Skelmersdale's first attempt on Sam Ashtons goal came as a result of a free kick in the corner after a strong coming together where Thompson was deemed the guilty party. The resulting kick was easliy dealt with and cleared by Moran to the edge of the box where Anthony Donaldson was impeded challenging for the second ball and winning his side a free kick - a pattern that would become only too familiar as the game developed.

The opening minutes continued in the same veign with freekicks a plenty, and little chance of any notable string of passes being put together as the game struggled to wriggle free of the scrappy start that had been served up thus far.

It was the home side who ended up fashioning the best chance of breaking the deadlock, as full back Charles Duke turned Evangelinos in his own half and brought the ball forward before sending a well delivered 40 yard ball looking for No9 Declan Daniels which cleared the Rammy back line and found its intended target. Daniels worked enough space and got his effort away on the half volley, but lacked real purpose and Ashtons positional acumen made the save a simple task. However in his attempt at goal the challenge which hampered a more powerful shot seemed to have caused the front man some pain, and as both physios attended to him on the pitch, he finally left the playing area on a stretcher - hopefully this is nothing too serious and a speedy recovery is wished by all.

As the free kick count rose with intent, Tom Kennedy sent the latest award wide right to Kyle Jacobs who took a couple of rare allowed touches before sending in a teasing cross for Thompson to attack but his effort was short of power and direction and bobbled wide. As the half progressed, Ramsbottom number 10 Donaldson was coming under more and more scrutiny from Skelmersdale who seem to have taken a dis-like to him, and a fourth 'clever' foul drew another free kick. Again in was Kennedy who sent the kick towards the back post for Thompson who won the header but Skelmersdale cleared their lines without too much trouble.

The breakthrough did finally come on the 22nd minute as Donaldson worked his way from his man down the left and managed to work the ball towards the 6 yard line for Ruben Jerome to make no mistake and smash his attempt past the static Smith.

SKELMERSDALE 0 RAMSBOTTOM 1

The goal and lead now gave the vistors the confidence to try and play more football, and again it was Rodney who worked down the right, away from his man and into the area, only for his in-box pass to be cleared. His sheer tenacity though, and with help from Jacobs, the ball was back in Rammy possession. Skelmersdale seemed to take offence at the wingers trickery, and so another free kick was awarded, and Tom Kennedys left foot, which by now must have been on overtime, sent another in-swinger towards the back post for Ellison to powerfully thunder a header inches over the bar.

The 26th minute finally saw the referees goodwill run out with the over zealous approach from Skelmersdale and the yellow card came out to play as James Ohara needlessly hacked down Niall Rodney who was a yard from the touch line. The favour was returned minutes later, and just as needlessly, Rodney found his name taken for challenge that had more than a hint of retribution about it.

As the half time whistle thankfully blew on a 45 minutes which was littered with free kicks, mis-placed passes and 2 very different game plans, Ramsbottom did hold the advantage and with something to hold on to would hopefully build on in the second half.

HALF TIME SKELMERSDALE 0 RAMSBOTTOM 1

The second half started without any changes from either side.

If anyone was wondering if a change in approach would greet the on-lookers for the 2nd period they were left in no doubt, as Ramsbottom were awarded their first re-start set piece within 10 seconds of the half. This was quickly followed up with another foul on Donaldson who took a friendly knock to the back of his head. Back on his feet and ready to go, the referee allowed him the pleasure of the 40 yard trip to the touch line and then immediatley making the return trip back to where he started.

52 minutes saw the next decent half chance for the visitors, as Jacobs intercepted a wayward pass and travelled forward looking for Jerome but unfortunatley the covering defender mopped up any danger. The vigour and energy from Ramsbottom allowed them to chase the ball down on several occasions and as Tom Kennedy held the ball for a second too long, William Dunne mis-timed his challenge and became the second Skelmersdale player to aquaint himself with the referees book.

The bookings count was levelled up again shortly after as Ryan Ellisons challenge on the recently booked Dunne was frowned uopn by the man in the middle and after giving himself a few moments to be sure, duely issued the warning of the yellow kind.

On 55 minutes the away side had a half hearted appeal for a penalty as Jerome rolled his man on the right hand side and sent in a low cross which was blocked by the covering defender who was lying on the floor. The offical waved away any appeals coming his way, suggesting no intent.

Tom Molyneux became the latest player in the book, arguably the most harsh of the day as the ball was played in field to Bembo-Leta he dummied the oncoming Molyneux who had already, in fairness, commited to the challenge and had no way of pulling out.

The hour mark brought a great chance for the visitors to double their lead and probably put the game to bed. Ruben Jerome again showing great skill and ability to brek free on the right side. A half challenge offered him the opportunity to chance his arm for a penalty claim but rightly chose to stay on his feet and found Evangelinos who showed equal ability to work an opening and got a shot away which beat the keeper only to be thwarted by the covering man on the line, his clearence only found Bembo-Leta and from 7 yards somehow with the goal gaping sent his effort wide.

The second goal for Ramsbottom did arrive minutes later, as Evangelinos picked the ball up just in the Skelmersdale half and immediatley looked to run at the back tracking defence. With only Jerome ahead he lifted a perfectly weighted ball into the path of the eager striker and once he had muscled his man off the ball he clinically despatched the ball in the top corner leaving the keeper well and truely beaten.

SKELMERSDALE 0 RAMSBOTTOM 2

The 70th minute saw yet another cynical challenge on Donaldson, this time from home captain Phil Mooney. The challenge had a comparable similarity to the first 2 of the day, being down near the dug out touchline, and as Donaldson dropped his shoulder one way and was ready to set off the other Mooney sythed him down waist height. This needless booking would prove very costly later.

Chris Willcock made his first changes of the day on 72 minutes seeing Rodney and Jerome leaving the field and Rainford and Rowe replacing them, and on 80 minutes saw Donaldson finally given some respite from the constant attention from the hosts and he was replaced by Khalil Osi-Efa.

Recently introduced sub, Louis Rowe showed good footwork on 82 minutes in the area, and with Rainford begging for the pass which would leave him with a free hit at goal, decided to go alone and tried his luck only for the keeper to parry, this time the rebound was turned in by Evangelinos, and the game was now safe.

SKELMERSDALE 0 RAMSBOTTOM 3

On 86 minutes the Skelmersdale captain was given the un-welcome privilege of an early bath as another reckless challenge, this time on the Ramsbottom no11 led to a second yellow card. After a brief consultation with his assistant, the referee was happy this was the correct decision.

As the full time whistle was blown, Chris Willcock and his team can look back on a very well earned victory, a day when football won the war against the battle. Skelmersdale's in your face approach did not intimidate or de-rail Ramsbottoms game plan, and the individual as well as team quality ensured the 3 points came back to the Riverside.

FULL TIME: SKELMERSDALE 0 RAMSBOTTOM 3

RAMS: Ashton, Kennedy, Jacobs, Moran, Thompson, Ellison, Rodney (Rainford 75'), Bembo-Leta, Jerome (Rowe 75'), Donaldson (Osi-Efa 81'), Evangelios

Unused subs: Rother, Foulds.

Attendance - 118

Referee - Jake Topp

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Widnes 1 Rams 1

On a cool night in Cheshire, Ramsbottom managed to come from behind to snatch a point against an organised Widnes side.

Rammy started brightly and took a direct approach to the game. In the 2nd minute Ryan Ellison connected with Phillip Dean’s freekick, but his header was glanced just over the crossbar.

The bright start could be put down to an effective 4-5-1 formation in which Moran was placed just behind Gaskell and was winning every header. However, Gaskell was struggling to latch on to these flicks and meant chances were at a premium. Rammy would rue their lack of chance creation in these early stages when, in the 8th minute, Dale Korie-Butler put the home side into the lead; a freak mistake by the Rammy defence saw a misplaced header fall into the path of Korie-Butler who lofted the ball over Ashton and into the goal.

The visitors immediately tried to hit back. The ball went down the right wing and Jerome worked his way back the left back to hit a low cross into the 6-yard area. Unfortunately, there was no on in the box to latch onto the teasing ball.

The goal had certainly knocked the confidence of Ramsbottom and they looked particularly vulnerable down their right side. Widnes tried to exploit the space here and it proved troublesome to the visitors; in the 18th minute Widnes went close with a shot from inside the box on the left-hand side – this attempt went just wide of the right side of the goal.

Ramsbottom had their best chance of the game so far in the 31st minute. The ball was played into the left channel and chased by Gaskell. There was a mix up in communication between Widnes defender Michael Burke and goalkeeper Ryan Nield and Gaskell pounced, Burke fell but the experienced striker just couldn’t connect properly with the ball and it went just right of the goal.

In the 37th minute, Ryan Ellison was booked for a hard tackle and the resulting freekick was dealt with confidently by Sam Ashton.

Widnes walked in 1 – 0 up at half time and looked good value for their lead.

The second half took some time to get going, with neither side really managing to take control of the game. The first chance of the half fell to Widnes. The Whites won a corner in the 54th minute following a promising attack and the ball was played perfectly to the back post, but Grogan headed just over the bar. The big defender really should have doubled their lead.

A change of approach following this chance saw Rammy return to the direct approach they started the game with and began to push forward more. In the 73rd minute they were finally rewarded for this thanks to a magnificent strike from Jerome Wright. The captain picked up the ball in midfield, set himself and struck a low hard shot that the keeper couldn’t stop from nestling in the bottom right corner, despite getting a hand to the ball.

A common theme through the game was Ramsbottom’s difficulties in dealing with the Widnes long ball and this was seen again in the 81st minute when Ben Hodkinson was released down the left side of the penalty and unleashed a venomous shot that forced a tremendous save from Sam Ashton; who kept the scores level.

The final 5 minutes of the game proved some of the most entertaining, with Widnes taking a more direct approach. A well worked move in the 90th minute left the Ramsbottom fans feeling nervy as the resulting attempt flew over the bar.

Chances were at a premium for Rammy in added time, but the defensive line held strong probing passes and several shots from Widnes. The Rams saw the game out professionally and walked off the pitch with a well-earned point.

FULL TIME: Widnes FC (Korie Butler 8’) 1-1 Ramsbottom United (Wright 73’)

Ramsbottom United: Ashton, Kennedy, Jacobs, Osi-Efa, Thompson, Ellison, Dean (Jarrett 62’), Moran, Gaskell (Higgs 62’), Jerome, Wright ©

Unused subs: Hart, Rother


Category: Match Reports

REPORT & REACTION: Rams 2-3 Runcorn Linnets

RAMSBOTTOM UNITED 2-3 RUNCORN LINNETS

Saturday 1st December 2018

Evo Stik 1st Division West

Attendance: 274

Report by Adam Clark

The Rams were unchanged from the 2-1 win against Pickering Town in midweek.

The Rams conceded an early foul on Paul Shanley by Tom Kennedy it gave Runcorn a chance from around 20 yards but Luke Thompson was there to head it away

Two minutes later, Kyle Jacobs fouled Shanley just inside the area. Louis Corrigan stepped up to score from twelve yards out.

In the next 20 minutes the Rams had a few half chances through Rodney & Kennedy but the equaliser was scored on 25 minutes.

Eddie Moran was fouled 25 yards out, Tom Kennedy stepped up and put it in the top left hand corner of the net to bring the Rams on level terms with there promotion rivals.

Two minutes later, Runcorn got back in-front, Peter Wylie headed in from a great in-swinging free kick.

Towards the end of the first half, Donaldson & Jacobs both had shots well saved by Foyth.

Four minutes from the break, Corrigan was booked for a late trip on Nialle Rodney.

HALF TIME Rams 1 Runcorn Linnets 2

Rams boss Chris Willock looked to freshen it up in the second half when at half time he made a double sub bringing on Jamie Rainford & Kieran Lugsden in place of Ruben Jerome & Anthony Donaldson.

Eight minutes into the second half, Kyle Jacobs was sent off for a 50/50 challenge with a Runcorn player, but the Rams didn’t let that affect them they scored from the spot five minutes later through Nialle Rodney after Evanglinos was fouled.

For the final 30 minutes the Rams saw Kelvin Lugsden replace Jamie Rother. Jamie Rainford had a chance for the Rams a couple of minutes later but it sailed over the bar.

It only got worse for the Rams from here on in, with thirteen minutes to go Kieran Lugsden was sent off for a reaction to a challenge made by a Runcorn player on the midfielder.

Runcorn scored the what turned out to be the winner, two minutes later. Freddie Potter the scorer he put it into the bottom right corner from close range

The Rams had a couple of chance in the final five minutes but nothing came of them and the Rams lost for the first time since Trafford on the 25th September

Chris Willcock post-match said “We’ve got to lick our wounds and go again”.



The next game for the Rams is a trip to Kidsgrove next Saturday

FULL TIME Rams 2 Runcorn Linnets 3

Rams – Ashton, Kennedy, Jacobs, Moran, Thompson, Ellison, Rodney, Rother (Kelvin Lugsden 60’), Jerome (Rainford HT’), Donaldson (Kieran Lugsden HT’), Evangelinos.

Unused subs – Osi-Efa & Hart

Referee: Conor Brown

Quick stat, Conor was the referee of the first game of the unbeaten run & the last game of the unbeaten run.
Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Colwyn Bay 0 Rams 1

Evo-Stik West Division

Saturday 17th November 2018

COLWYN BAY 0 RAMSBOTTOM UNITED 1

Attendance-248

Report by Jon Haslam

Ramsbottom United continued their gruelling series of away fixtures with a visit to North Wales on Saturday afternoon to take on Colwyn Bay in what was their seventh game on the road from their last eight matches played.

The trip to the Welsh coast saw the Rams make one enforced alteration to the team that gained a creditable draw in Tuesday nights FA Trophy match against Yaxley with Joel Bembo-Leto replacing the suspended Ryan Ellison at the heart of the visitors defence.

The early exchanges of the match saw both trade attempts at goal with Nialle Rodney testing Coughlin and Pritchard for the home side replying with a low shot which Sam Ashton gathered comfortably.

Colwyn Bay began the tussle in a fairly confident manner utilising the width provided by Pritchard and Barrigan as the hosts looked to start the game positively, indeed the former was on the receiving end of a strong tackle from Anthony Donaldson on ten minutes which resulted in the first yellow card of the match for the Rams midfielder.

Ramsbottom began to look more dangerous as the half wore on and perhaps had a legitimate shout for a penalty as Nic Evangelinos appeared to have been brought down in the penalty area but referee Rooney waived away the pleas of the visitors.

With almost twenty minutes played the home side fashioned the clearest chance to open the scoring when a strong burst through midfield from McCready was halted by a strong challenge from Luke Thompson towards the edge of the penalty area but the ball fell kindly to Pritchard who shot wide of the target when well placed.

Both sides were looking to utilise the excellent playing surface in what was an even opening half hour for the crowd of 248 at Llanelian Road, despite the contest having an end to end feel about it neither team could fashion what could be described as a clear cut opportunity with defences having the better of their attacking counterparts.

Nialle Rodney was looking lively for the Rams as he appeared to have the beating of his full back but any crosses that were played into the Colwyn Bay penalty box were being dealt without too much alarm.

The hosts were forced into a substitution with ten minutes of the first period remaining as injury curtailed McCreadys increasingly influential promptings for Bay as Alex Downes, a Ramsbottom loanee from earlier in the season replaced the stricken schemer.

With the interval only minutes away Colwyn Bay manufactured the last noteworthy attempt of the half when a deep free kick found the head of Woods but his headed effort was easily gathered by Sam Ashton and as the referee brought a halt to proceedings the encounter was goal less at the midway point despite lots of endeavour from both teams.

The second period was only minutes old when Jamie Rother became the second Rams player to pick a caution as a strong tackle on Pritchard incurred the referees wrath. Ramsbottom United began strongly after the restart and efforts from Evangelinos and a stinging long range attempt from Rother brought former Wrexham goalkeeper Coughlin into action as the away side looked to apply some pressure on the home defence.

As the contest edged towards the hour mark the Rams were taking control of the match with Tom Kennedy becoming more and more influential as the minutes ticked by and on more than one occasion delivered a number of sublime crosses from both open play and set pieces that caused panic in the hosts defence but sadly the visiting forwards couldn't quite get on the end of.

The Rams made two substitutions in quick succession as firstly Bembo-Leto limped out the action on 61 minutes to be replaced in central defence by Khalil Osi-Efa before ex Colwyn Bay player Jamie Rainford took the place of the ever reliable and hard working Jamie Rother as Chris Willcock searched for the breakthrough.

With twenty minutes of the second half played the Rams did break the deadlock when, after a Kennedy corner had been cleared the ball found its way to Eddie Moran wide on the right touchline and the midfielder sent in a delicious cross which perfectly found the head of the onrushing Luke Thompson whose bullet header found the bottom corner of the net to give the fans favourite his third goal of the season.

The opening goal was really no more than the visitors deserved for their dominant second half showing and the lead could have been increased as Evangelinos and Rainford both had presentable efforts to add to the day trippers advantage.

Then with fifteen minutes remaining on the watch a potentially game changing incident occurred when a long goal kick from Bay goalkeeper caught out the Rams rearguard and with home striker Woods running through on goal and about to take a shot Luke Thompson brought down the forward and the referee had little choice but to issue a red card to the visitors goal scorer.

With a man advantage Colwyn Bay saw their opportunity to wrestle back the momentum and began to utilise their extra player cleverly putting the unfamiliar looking Rams defence under severe pressure, The first of a number of chances that fell to Colwyn Bay came on 81 minutes when ex Ram Downes forced an excellent save from Ashton before a succession of free kicks and corners gave the travelling supporters cause for concern as the slender lead was becoming increasingly at risk.

As the minutes ebbed away the hosts laid siege to Sam Ashtons goal, with some wayward finishing and heroic defending from the whole Ramsbottom side the hosts were becoming frustrated as the visitors repelled everything Colwyn Bay could throw at them.

With two of the four minutes of injury time signalled elapsed the Rams had one last scare to negotiate when a match winning double save from Sam Ashton denied Pritchard and Mendes in quick succession to ensure that after a resolute defensive display, ten men for the last 15 minutes and a reorganised defence it would be the visitors that would leave North Wales with all 3 points.

As the players and supporters celebrated a fine victory, the manner of the win encapsulates the growing confidence and team spirit this group of players and staff have generated in a short period of time.

After an unbeaten run of 10 matches in all competitions and a testing week which has seen the team travel over 500 miles in just a few days,the manner of this triumph must give all involved a huge amount of pride and confidence going into Tuesday nights FA Trophy replay against Yaxley at the Riverside.

Ramsbottom United:- Ashton, Kennedy, Jacobs, Moran ,Thompson, Bembo-Leto (Osi-Efa 61 mins), Rodney, Rother (Rainford 64 mins) , Jerome, Donaldson, Evangelinos

Unused Subs- Rowe, Foulds, Hart

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Frickley Athletic 0 Rams 3

FA Trophy First Qualifying Round

Saturday 27th October 2018

FRICKLEY ATHLETIC 0 RAMSBOTTOM UNITED 3

Attendance: 127

Report by Jon Haslam

West Yorkshire was the destination on Saturday afternoon as Ramsbottom United took a break from league action to take on a Frickley side in an intriguing looking FA Trophy tie at the Westfield Lane Stadium.

With the departure of leading scorer Jerome Wright to Hyde United in the lead up to the match the visitors starting eleven showed three alterations from the victory against Glossop seven days earlier with Luke Thompson, Jamie Rother and latest new recruit Antony Donaldson replacing the aforementioned Wright, Bembo-Leto and the injured Jack Higgs respectively.

It would be the Rams that would make the ideal start to the contest when on just seven minutes Rother sprayed a pass out to the right wing to Nialle Rodney who skilfully skipped past Algar before the wide mans tantalising low ball across the six yard box was diverted past home keeper Warhurst by the lunging Jameel Ible and into the back of the net to give the away side an early boost.

The early goal was no more than the visitors deserved as they dominated the opening twenty minutes with the Rams attacking players proving a headache for the Frickley defence as they struggled to contain the rampant visitors.

Firstly Ruben Jerome fired a shot just off target before superb link up play again gave Rodney a chance to test the home keeper but his effort was gathered by the home stopper. The one way feel of the contest in the Rams favour continued when Evangelinos headed straight at Warhurst from a superb cross from Kyle Jacobs before then same players shot narrowly wide of the target minutes later as the side from Lancashire dictated the first quarter of the contest.

Frickley were showing little sign of being the same attacking threat that had seen the home outfit score thirteen goals in their last four outings but did begin to offer something more as the first half wore on but with the Rams back four in fine form goal keeper Sam Ashton was being well protected and remained largely untroubled until the final notable action of the first half when a Szanto free kick from 25 yards out brought a diving save from the visiting custodian and the away side lead by a single goal at the break.

On a windy and bitterly cold afternoon in the White Rose county the second period resumed with the Frickley making two early substitutions as they looked to alter the complexion of the match but it would be the Rams that almost doubled their advantage in the opening minutes of the half when Jerome fired over when well placed.

With the home side let off the hook, Frickley then began to enjoy their best period of the match and for a ten minute period the Rams had to be at their robust best from a defensive perspective with Rowe having a header scrambled off the line before Ashton made a couple of flying saves from Smith and Hazel to prevent the home side restoring parity.

As the hour mark ticked by Ramsbottom United had repelled everything that the hosts had thrown at them as the defensive resilience shown under Chris Willcock is beginning to become evident whilst the lively attacking trio of Jerome, Evangelinos and Rodney were causing the home defence some concerns on the counter attack.

The Rams made their first change of the contest with Osi-Efa replacing the excellent Jamie Rother in midfield just after the hour point as the encounter was still finely poised with Frickley having their most sustained period of attacking play but the away team could and perhaps should have doubled their lead when Jerome shot wide of the target with the goal at his mercy.

Just two minutes later Ramsbottom United would increase their advantage when a raking 30 yard pass from Ryan Ellison perfectly connected to the run of Nialle Rodney who out muscled the Frickley right back before drilling an effort past Warhurst's outstretched hand at the near post and the Rams forward had notched his third goal in three appearances to give the visitors from Lancashire some breathing space for the final 20 minutes.

The second goal appeared to demoralise the hosts as the away side continued to look a threat on the counter attack and appeared to get stronger as the match continued. Indeed the visitors almost added to their goal tally when Evangelinos brought an excellent save from Warhurst before the tie clinching strike arrived with just ten minutes remaining when another incisive Rams breakaway saw Ruben Jerome go through one on one with the home keeper before confidently slotting home his first goal in Ramsbottom United colours thereby sealing the tie and progression to the next round was confirmed.

The remaining ten minutes were fairly comfortable for the visitors with Jerome and Evangelinos being replaced by Rowe and Jarrett, the final chance of a comprehensive looking victory fell to new recruit Donaldson who almost capped off a promising debut with a goal but the outstretched foot of Warhurst denied the midfielder.

With the four minutes of the signalled injury time played the referee brought an end to proceedings as a convincing team performance deservedly sent Ramsbottom United into the next round of the FA Trophy with a scoreline that certainly didn't flatter the visitors on the day.

The result made it five matches unbeaten under Chris Willcock as the new manager continues to reshape the Rams squad whilst the team continues to play some very watchable and entertaining football.

The players and travelling supporters showed their appreciation of each others efforts after the final whistle as they headed back over the Pennines looking forward to the next fixture away to Skelmersdale with hope that the recent form continues.

Ramsbottom United:- Ashton, Kennedy, Jacobs, Donaldson ,Thompson, Ellison, Rodney, Rother (Osi-Efa 60 mins), Jerome (Rowe 82 mins), Moran, Evangelinos (Jarrett 84 mins)

Unused Subs- Foulds, Gaskell

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Rams 2 Chasetown 2

A new era began at the HWRS as new manager Chris Willcock made his first appearance in the Rammy dugout, taking over from Mark Fell who resigned only five days previous.

Willcock made four changes to the side held at Kendal a week previous. Jack Higgs, Tom Brooks, Nathan Brown and Curtis Jones were replaced by Ryan Ellison and new signings Khalil Osi-Efa, Ruben Jerome and returning to the HWRS was midfielder Eddie Moran.

The Rams began the new era on the front, the Rams players looking to impress both manager and fans alike. The start was lively, visitors Chasetown were under the cosh from the word go.

The Rams had an early sight at goal as early as the third minute with Jerome Wright almost charging down a loose Chasetown backpass.

The first proper chance for the Rams came on twelve minutes when new signing Ruben Jerome beat the offside trap to find himself through on goal one on one with Chasetown keeper Curtis Pond.

Yet It wasn’t the perfect start for Jerome as the shot was expertly saved by Pond. From the corner, Wright could only fire wide.

However the dominance soon payed off as the home side were ahead minutes later. Eddie Moran let fly from distance yet Pond could only turn the ball out for a corner.

Luke Thompson headed higher than anyone in the box to send the ball past Pond in the Chasetown net, handing Rammy a deserved one nil lead on the fifteen minute mark.

It should have been two less than ten minutes later, but Lee Gaskell’s shot on the turn was comfortably saved.

Vistors Chasetown were living dangerously and their afternoon was made far worse when Lee Gaskell was brought down in the box. Referee Darren Brown having no choice but to point to the spot.

Jerome Wright converted with a finish straight down the middle to give Rammy a seemingly healthy lead.

Chasetown came roaring back in the thirty-eighth minute with a goal of their own. George Cater turned the ball home from a goalmouth scramble, the team in red going into halftime back in the game.

Second half:

The second half began role reversal from the first. Chasetown spent the majority of the half on top, yet Ruben Jerome could have restored Rammy’s two goal cushion midway threw the half, only to be denied by Pond.

The final fifteen minutes saw a charge at goal by Chasetown and brought a wonderful array of saves from Sam Ashton. Sub Muzzy Nduna was denied by Ashton at point blank range.

Then minutes later Jonathan Beaumont had a header which also couldn’t beat Ashton. Cater thought he had leveled the scores only moments later, but Ashton was able to keep the Rams at a one goal advantage.

However Chasetown’s dominance soon prevailed as Rammy threw away the lead. Another mix up in the Ramsbottom goal area concluded with Cater firing home a deserved leveller, a goal that turned out to be decisive.

The visitors could have completed an extraordinary comeback yet the home side held on for a point. The way the second half went, new manager Chris Willcock will probably have settled for one by the end.

Rams team: Ashton, Jacobs, Kennedy, Osi-Efa, Thompson, Ellison, Dean, Moran, Gaskell (Stott 65'), Jerome (Higgs 79'), Wright

Unused subs: Brooks, Hart, Foulds

Attendance: 165

Referee: Darren Brown


Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Rams 2 Pickering Town 1

FA Trophy 3rd Qualifying Round Replay

Tuesday 27th November 2018

RAMSBOTTOM UNITED 2 PICKERING TOWN 1

Attendance-117

Report by Jon Haslam

Ramsbottom United and Pickering Town took to the field in this FA Trophy third qualifying round replay at The Riverside after a competitive, yet goalless meeting on Saturday knowing that the prize on offer would be a visit to Workington in the first round proper of this popular cup competition.

Both starting elevens showed just a single alteration from the weekend with Luke Thompson returning in central defence at the expense of Khalil Osi-Efa for the home side with Lund starting in place of the injured Bissett for the visitors.

The opening moments of the match began in lively fashion with Pickering almost taking the lead after just three minutes when a speculative attempt from around 25 yards by Taylor struck the woodwork with Ashton motionless, this would serve notice that the away side fancied making progress in a cup competition they were participating in for the first time.

With the contest having an open feel to it the Rams began putting some pressure on the Pickering goal but needed to be wary of the counter attack as the sprightly Pikes front line began the match in confident fashion despite drawing a blank in the initial tie at the weekend after creating numerous second half opportunities.

The deadlock would be broken on the quarter hour mark in favour of Ramsbottom United when a surging run from Eddie Moran gave the midfielder a chance to perfectly play the ball into the path of Nic Evangelinos who strode purposefully into the penalty box before sending an accurate left footed shot across Andrew and inside the far post to register the attackers fifth goal in the last four FA Trophy ties and seventh strike overall for the Rams.

With the confidence that the opening goal brought, the hosts set about looking to improve on their lead with some devilish deliveries from the cultured left foot of Tom Kennedy again proving a valuable weapon for the Rams, one such free kick finding the head of Luke Thompson but the popular defenders effort was scrambled to safety before he could add to his recent goal tally of scoring in his last two appearances prior to his enforced absence on Saturday.

Ramsbottom United began to look the more likely team to add to the score line with Eddie Moran testing Andrew with a low drive from the edge of the box just prior to the half hour mark before minutes later a blistering effort from a similar area from Jamie Rother left the Pickering stopper helpless but the ball thumped into the woodwork as the pressure began to build towards the visitors goal.

The complexion of the contest continued in the hosts favour towards the half time break with the surging runs of Kyle Jacobs adding to the Rams attacking threat. With around ten minutes of the first period remaining lively attacker Nialle Rodney almost doubled the home sides advantage when his well struck effort hit the goal frame for a second time in a matter of minutes as the chances began to increase for the hosts.

The final action of note arrived just before the interval when an excellent through ball to Ruben Jerome found the striker surging towards the edge of the penalty area before a Pickering defender was adjudged to have brought down the burly forward and the referee deemed that the incident had occurred fractionally outside the box so a free kick rather than a penalty was awarded. The resulting set piece was curled accurately around the assembled wall by Nialle Rodney before Charlie Andrew flung himself to his left to tip the goal bound effort wide as the Rams finished the half strongly.

As the half time whistle blew Pickering would perhaps have felt fortunate to not be more than a single goal in arrears as an impressive first 45 minutes from the Rams could easily have generated a bigger lead to enjoy had it not been for some good goalkeeping from the Pickering custodian and also the woodwork denying the hosts on more than one occasion.

The visitors made their first change of the evening at the break when Dalton replaced Barkway and almost immediately made a contribution as the recently arrived substitute was adjudged to have been fouled in an almost identical position where the Rams where awarded a free kick before the interval but this time the referee decreed in was inside the box and Blott confidently equalised from twelve yards to restore parity.

With Pickering on a run that had seen them lose just one of the last nine outings the equaliser didn't noticeably alter the pattern of the encounter as a couple of set pieces caused panic in the visitors defence with the ball refusing to be forced over the line as both Ryan Ellison and centre back partner Thompson were foiled as the Pikes battled to keep the contest level.

As the match progressed to the three quarters point it was Ramsbottom that were having the majority of the possession with the midfield trio of Donaldson, Moran and Jamie Rother working tirelessly as the hosts were looking the more likely team to create the decisive moment to win the tie but Pickering sporting what could only be described as an "interesting" pink coloured kit were still possessing a threat on the break without calling Sam Ashton into any serious action.

Despite having the better of the second period the Ramsbottom perhaps weren't at their fluent best but were still creating some noteworthy efforts with Jacobs and Moran firing efforts from distance off target but the visitors hadn't managed a shot of note on target since the leveller but as the game entered the final ten minutes both teams were fully aware that one defensive slip or a moment of quality could curtail their involvement in the competition.

Then, as the watch was ticking towards the ninety minute mark and with extra time looking more a probability rather than a possibility the pivotal moment of the contest arrived when a patient attack lead to Ruben Jerome firing an effort goalwards which was blocked by Andrew before the ball fell to Eddie Moran in the penalty area before the all action midfielders astute pass to the edge of the box found the marauding full back Kyle Jacobs whose thunderous right footed effort from 20 yards flew past Andrew and exploded into the back of the net for the defenders first goal in Rams colours.

With the last gasp goal fitting to win any match, the Rams repelled some late Pickering pressure as the visitors threw men forward in the hope of taking the contest into an extra thirty minutes whilst a well worked counter attack almost brought a third goal for the hosts as Rodney and Evangelinos linked up before the latter had an attempt that flew wide of the target.

Nevertheless, as the final whistle sounded Ramsbottom United progressed to the First Round proper of the FA Trophy for the first time since 2014 and a trip to the west coast of Cumbria awaits on the 15th of December with a narrow, yet deserved victory against a tough and well organised Pickering Town outfit and the Rams unbeaten run under Chris Willcock ticks onto a hugely impressive twelve matches.

Credit should be given to both teams as each contributed to a couple of competitive old fashioned cup ties played within a few days of each other which were full of effort, determination and very watchable football as perhaps in the end the Rams just deservedly edged out their opponents from North Yorkshire as momentum and anticipation builds ahead of this weekend’s visit of second placed Runcorn Linnets to the HWRS.

Ramsbottom United:- Ashton, Kennedy, Jacobs, Moran ,Thompson, Ellison, Rodney,Rother, Jerome, Donaldson, Evangelinos

Unused Subs- Lugsden, Osi-Efa, Parker, Hart, Jarrett

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Yaxley 2 Rams 2

FA Trophy Second Qualifying Round

Tuesday 13th November 2018

YAXLEY 2 RAMSBOTTOM UNITED 2

Report by Jon Haslam

Ramsbottom United embarked on a 300 mile round trip to Cambridgeshire on Tuesday evening to take on Evo Stik Southern league side Yaxley as the clubs FA Trophy adventure continued at the wonderfully named Leading Drove Ground.

The visitors showed just a single alteration to their starting eleven from their previous fixture at Prescot Cables a week ago with Anthony Donaldson replacing the cup tied Joel Bembo-Leto in midfield as the Rams looked to continue their excellent recent form of five successive victories in all competitions.

The hosts began the contest strongly as they looked to take advantage of home surroundings with the familiarity of the 3G surface and the visitors having to endure a punishing journey of over 3 hours conditions that were clearly in the home sides favour.

With barely a minute on the clock Yaxley almost made the ideal start when a quick breakaway lead to the first attempt at goal but the effort flew wide of the diving Sam Ashton and thankfully past the post.

Unfortunately Ramsbottom United would fall behind on the quarter hour mark when an incisive through ball from Butterworth sent Matt Sparrow running through one on one with Sam Ashton and the Cuckoo's leading scorer confidently notched his 12th goal of the campaign as the Rams conceded their first goal in 462 minutes.

Despite the early setback the visitors started to get more possession of the ball as they began to get to grips with the surface as the left sided duo of Kennedy and Evangelinos in particular linked up dangerously on a number of occasions but a series of crosses into the penalty area couldn't find a Ramsbottom United player and were repelled by the Yaxley rearguard.

The Rams fashioned their first shot on target with half an hour played when a neat passage of play gave Ruben Jerome the chance to test home stopper Sutton although the strikers effort from outside the area was comfortably gathered but confidence appeared to be growing as the game continued to be an open affair.

With half time approaching and with Yaxley holding a narrow advantage the travellers from Lancashire perhaps created their best opportunity to equalise when more good play down the left hand side gave Kennedy the chance to hit a low cross which Sutton mishandled and with Evangelinos on hand to send the ball goal wards an outstretched foot from a defender denied the visitors a chance to go into the break on level terms.

The early moments of the second period began with both sides trading efforts at goal with the tricky Anthony Donaldson shooting over the crossbar before the hosts replied with a couple of attempts of their own as both teams began the half with attacking intent.

Ramsbottom United then began to take control of the tussle as both Nialle Rodney and Kyle Jacobs linked up well down the right wing as the away side continued to have a threat down both flanks as the Rams began to threaten the hosts narrow load, indeed Ruben Jerome almost drew the sides level but his low drive looked to have beaten Sutton but the effort clipped the outside of the post.

Not to be denied Ramsbottom United drew level just before the hour point when a strong run to the byline from the twinkled-toed Rodney gave the wide man the chance to pick out the onrushing Jerome who side footed into the net from close range to give the striker his fourth goal in his last four matches.

With confidence clearly coursing through the team things would get even better for the Rams just five minutes later when an incisive breakaway gave the increasingly influential Rodney chance to run at the retreating Yaxley defence before passing to Donaldson whose clever flick found the unmarked Evangelinos and the recent recruit confidently slipped the ball past Sutton to notch his third goal in his last three outings and the game had been deservedly turned on its head in a scintillating five minute spell much to the delight of the hardy band of Rams supporters who had made the trip.

A point worthy perhaps worthy of note is that Ramsbottom United have scored two or more goals in seven out of the last eight outings, a stat which indicates the attacking prowess Chris Willcock's side are continuing to show since the recent appointment some six weeks ago.

Sadly one of footballs most well worn clichés came to fruition as no sooner had the Rams taken the lead than Yaxley won a free kick which was played into the visitors box from the left hand side and as the defence struggled to clear the ball fell kindly to home forward Tom Waumsley whose effort from ten yards found the back of the net to restore parity at two goals each.

The Rams were putting in an excellent second half showing with the hard working midfield duo of Eddie Moran an Jamie Rother putting in their usual high levels of commitment as the visitors continued to look a goal scoring threat and almost regained the lead on 73 minutes when a Tom Kennedy free kick found the head of our travel companion for the day Luke Thompson whose header across goal found Nialle Rodney six yards from goal but the header was straight at Sutton.

A series of corners and free kicks for the visitors couldn't bring any reward but Yaxley were by no means out of the equation and continued to threaten the Rams defence on the counter attack without seriously threatening Sam Ashton in the final ten minutes or so.

With time ticking away the Rams continued to push forward looking for the decisive fifth goal and as in recent weeks the team continued to look strong in the latter stages of matches and with almost the final action of the night the visitors almost claimed victory when another penetrating attack opened up the Yaxley defence and despite three players having efforts at goal none of them could scramble the ball home and the contest ended even at 2-2.

As the final whistle sounded at the end of an entertaining match the Ramsbottom United players, staff and fans showed their mutual appreciation for each others efforts on a difficult night in which most present would not be getting back home until around 1am.

The result would dictate that Yaxley will have to undertake the gruelling midweek trip to Lancashire as the two sides will reconvene for a replay at the Riverside Stadium next Tuesday night with the winners due to travel to Pickering Town in the next round of the competition.

Ramsbottom United:- Ashton, Kennedy, Jacobs, Moran ,Thompson, Ellison, Rodney, Rother, Jerome, Donaldson (Rowe 88 mins) Evangelinos

Unused Subs- Osi-Efa, Jarrett, Foulds, Dwyer (GK)

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Rams 2 Glossop NE 0

Evo-Stik West Division

Saturday 20th October 2018

RAMSBOTTOM UNITED 2 GLOSSOP NORTH END 0

Attendance: 210

Report by Jon Haslam

Ramsbottom United hosted a struggling Glossop North End on a sunny Saturday afternoon at the Riverside looking to build on last weekends superb FA Trophy win at Trafford, the hosts showed two changes in the starting line up from a week ago with Joel Bembo-Leta and Jerome Wright replacing Luke Thompson and Khalil Osi-Efa respectively.

The visitors arrived with a newly installed management team making their debut in the dugout alongside the perhaps inevitable change of personnel with the Glossop line up showing four new recruits in their starting eleven.

The contest started at a frenetic pace with the away side fully playing their part but it would be the hosts that would make the breakthrough on just 7 minutes when Ruben Jerome outpaced the visitors defence down the right hand channel before sending a pinpoint cross from the byline onto the head of the unmarked Nialle Rodney who made no mistake from 6 yards to give the home debutant his second goal in two matches for the Rams and the hosts had the early lead they craved.

With the confidence of taking the lead so early in the contest the home side almost doubled their advantage when a deep cross found the head of Jerome Wright before the ball fell kindly to Ruben Jerome but the strikers effort hit the upright as the pressure began to mount on the Glossop rearguard. Minutes later recent recruit Rodney showed his skills when a spectacular overhead kick narrowly missed the target as the home side started the match very much in the ascendancy.

Glossop were forced into an early substitution midway through the first half when Boyle was replaced by former Ram Darryl Mason, as the half continued the visitors began to get more of a foothold in the contest as they looked to impress their new joint managers but it took till just after the half an hour mark for Sam Ashton to be tested when a well struck free kick from Thornton was comfortably held by the Rams stopper.

The home outfit responded with a swift counter attack but with Jack Higgs in a promising position to strike at goal the Rams midfielder fell to the ground injured, sadly the Rams midfielder was unable to continue and had to be replaced with Jamie Rother taking to the field, hopefully the injury isn't a serious one for the talented midfielder.

The remainder of the half would be a fairly even, yet watchable contest with neither team seriously testing the oppositions goal keeper and as the first forty five minutes ended it was the Rams that held a single goal lead.

With no changes made at the break the home side began the second period with some attacking intent and created a flurry of chances in the early minutes of the half, firstly a superb cross from Kyle Jacobs found the head of the well placed Jerome but the header sailed wide of the target before efforts from distance from Ellison and Wright failed to test Saunders in the Glossop goal.

With the hour mark reached and the lead a slender one there was still a feeling that the Rams would need another goal to ensure the three points stayed in Lancashire as Glossop pushed forward looking for an equaliser, it is worth noting that before today Ramsbottom had only kept one clean sheet in the league this campaign so the lead was far from secure.

With the match finely poised it was the home side that almost increased their advantage when an inswinging free kick from the lively Evangelinos hit the crossbar before Kennedys fine cross found the head of Bembo-Leta whose header looked destined for the net before a superb flying save Saunders denied the Rams a second goal.

Midway through the second period Chris Willcock made his second change with Louis Rowe replacing the hardworking Ruben Jerome, minutes later the Rams grabbed a decisive second goal when the combination of Kennedy and Bembo-Leto worked perfectly when after a free kick was cleared Kennedys inviting left footed cross matched the run of the towering defenders run into the box and the debutants well placed header beat the diving Saunders to give Ramsbottom United a two goal lead much to the delight of the majority of the crowd of 210 who were treated to a spectacular somersault celebration from the former Glossop player.

The remainder of the match seemed to be played mainly in the Glossop half and despite obvious effort from the visitors they found it difficult to fashion any clear cut chances in no small part down to the excellent work done by the Rams industrious midfield and well marshalled defence protecting Sam Ashton superbly.

Indeed the Rams forward players created a number of goalscoring opportunities in the final 15 minutes with Evangelinos and Rother both denied in quick succession by some superb saves from Saunders before Glossops day got worse when central defender Thornley was perhaps harshly adjudged to have fouled Louis Rowe and the young defender received his second yellow card leading to the inevitable red card and the visitors had to play the final ten minutes with ten men.

As regular observers of Ramsbottom United this season would know, the side has lost two goal leads in two of the four previous outings after late comebacks away at Kendal and at home to Chasetown denied the Rams the three points, the fact that the remaining minutes were navigated without any serious threat to the hosts goal shows the progression this team is making.

Ramsbottom had the chance to increase their lead even further when Bembo-Leta's goal bound header from a Kennedy corner was blocked before Rowe was denied with the final chance of the match when his effort from close range was blocked on the goal line.

As the final whistle blew Ramsbottom United had gained a well deserved three points, winning consecutive matches for the first time this season whilst rising to ninth place in the league standings and just two points outside the play off places on Saturday evening although defeat for Glossop dropped the side from Derbyshire to the foot of the table. In truth the margin of victory could and maybe should have been greater but supporters of Ramsbottom United hopefully can look forward to many more entertaining afternoons at the Riverside as this new look team continues to impress.

The Rams will be looking to extend their unbeaten run under the stewardship of Chris Willcock in their FA trophy tie at Frickley next Saturday as hopes of successful campaign at the HWRS gathers momentum.

Ramsbottom United:- Ashton, Kennedy, Jacobs, Moran ,Bembo-Leta, Ellison, Rodney, Higgs (Rother 39 mins), Jerome (Rowe 68mins), Evangelinos, Wright

Unused Subs- Thompson, Osi Efa, Gaskell

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Kendal 2 Rams 2

Evo-Stik League West Division

Saturday 29th September 2018

KENDAL TOWN 2 RAMSBOTTOM UNITED 2

Attendance: 104

Report by Jon Haslam

It was Kendal calling as Ramsbottom United made the journey up the M6 to Cumbria on Saturday afternoon with the home side looking to exact some revenge on their visitors from Lancashire after an injury time winner gave the Rams the three points less than three weeks ago at the HWRS.

The visitors gave a debut to new recruit Curtis Jones who slotted into the back line from the midweek loss to Trafford at the expense of Alex Downes , the other change saw Tom Brooks replacing Jamie Rother in the Rams midfield.

With both sides finding victories difficult to come by in recent weeks the contest began in a cagey fashion with neither goalkeeper being called into action until just after the ten minute mark when Clarke and then ex Ram Aaron Fleming brought a couple of routine saves from Ashton in the visiting goal.

After a dozen goalless minutes it was Ramsbottom United that would edge in front when a tantalising inswinging right wing cross from Nathan Brown fractionally evaded Lee Gaskells head before finding Jerome Wright at the far post, the midfielders first attempt bounced off the post before falling kindly to the same player who bundled the ball over the line from around two yards out despite the valiant attempts of the Kendal defence to keep the ball from entering their net.

With the Rams gaining the early advantage hopes were high that the away side would consolidate their position which was almost improved midway through the first period when a well struck 25 yard free kick from Nathan Brown beat Dixon in the Kendal goal but clipped the top of the crossbar much to the relief of the home fans in a crowd of just over 100.

As the half progressed and kicking down a significant slope the hosts won a couple of free kicks just outside the Rams penalty area, the first of which hit the side netting from Thomas before Fleming brought a comfortable low save from Ashton and despite Kendal having perhaps more possession of the ball the hosts found it difficult to create any clear goal scoring opportunities with half time approaching.

Ramsbottom United would double their lead on the stroke of the interval when a well worked corner by Jack Higgs found Jerome Wright whose unchecked run generated enough room for a low left footed shot which found its way between a couple of sets of legs before squirming underneath Dixon in the home goal and over the line with Tom Brooks claiming the final touch but the Rams leading scorer from last season had his second goal of the game and the visitors had a two goal lead to enjoy at the half way stage.

As expected Kendal returned after the break seeking to rectify the situation and it would be a test of the Rams resolve if they were to leave Cumbria with all the three points on offer.

Within ten minutes of the restart the Mintcakes had halved the arrears when a quickly taken free kick seemed to catch out the Rams rearguard with the subsequent cross finding Harries at the back post and the strikers cross shot fell kindly for the unmarked Gardner who had the simple task of tapping past Ashton and the visitors lead had been halved.

After four matches without a goal the strike appeared to give Kendal all the encouragement they needed to believe that there was still a chance that they could take something from the match with Ramsbottom United finding it difficult to keep possession of the ball and therefore temper the home sides attacking momentum.

Manager Mark Fell made a change shortly after the hour point of the encounter with Dean Stott replacing Jack Higgs which coincided with an adjustment in formation as the Rams looked to get more of a foothold in the contest in the hope of preserving their increasingly slender advantage.

Sadly Ramsbottom United would surrender their two goal half time lead on 73 minutes when a vicious right wing cross from full back McMahon was diverted past Sam Ashton by the outstretched boot of recent acquisition Kyle Jacobs giving the Rams stopper no chance and the home side had come back from a two goal deficit to restore parity in perhaps fortunate circumstances.

With the game entering the final ten minutes the Rams had an opportunity to regain the lead but Browns free kick sailed narrowly past the angle of post and crossbar.

With the palpable irritation of throwing away a two goal half time lead surfacing a flurry of bookings for the visitors increased the frustration levels as Kendal pushed for a winner which looked at best unlikely at the break.

As the clock showed five minutes remaining the Rams fashioned their best chance of the half when a fortunate ricochet fell kindly for Nathan Brown who surged past his marker and into the penalty box before firing an angled shot past the diving Dixon but agonizingly also past the far post for a goal kick. This incident was maybe an indication of how the second forty five minutes had gone for the Rams as they failed to trouble the home keeper in the second period.

With almost the five minutes of signalled injury time played Kendal almost snatched a winner when substitute Chilufya seized on a defensive slip before crossing into the penalty area where a goal bound effort was blocked by the ever reliable Luke Thompson and both sides had to settle for a point apeice as the referee brought proceedings to a conclusion.

The Rams made their way home surely feeling a huge sense of frustration and that this was two points dropped rather than one point gained as a seemingly commanding two goal interval lead was squandered with a disappointing second half performance, credit must be given to Kendal who never gave up and arguably deserved a share of the spoils over the 95 minutes.

Ramsbottom United:- Ashton, Kennedy, Jacobs, Higgs (Stott 63 mins), Thompson, Jones, Brown, Brooks, Gaskell, Wright, Dean

Subs not used- Rother, Downes, Foulds , Henry