Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Rams 1 Colne 3

Buildbase FA Trophy Preliminary Round

Saturday 5th October 2019

Ramsbottom United 1 Colne 3

Attendance - 375

Match report by Adam Clark

The Rams made three changes from last Saturday’s win against Brighouse, Josh Hmami, Karl Jones & Eddie Moran returned to the starting eleven in place of Daniel Naidole, Jamie Rother & David Maher. Ryan Ellison, who returned to the club this week was named on the bench.

The Rams keeper was in action in the opening two minutes, William Harris’ shot was tipped round the post by Tom Stewart. Colne were also the first side to get a set-piece, a free-kick was awarded to them around 30 yards out but the free-kick was well blocked by Kelvin Lugsden.

Rammy’s first chance came just before the half-hour mark, Ruben Jerome’s low shot was saved well by Hakan Burton. Just two minutes later Colne had another chance, Sefton Gonzales slipped a ball through to Harris, but the Colne number ten couldn’t get on the end of it.

The Rams took the lead five minutes later through Nic Evangelinos who rose well to head home a Peter Doran cross. Nico’s goal sparked the game into life just two minutes later, Josh Hmami fouled Colne’s centre mid, Joseph Coveney.

The vastly experienced striker, Gonzales was the man to take it he stepped up for it only to be saved by the feet of Rams keeper Stewart. There wasn’t much else of note at the end of the first half and Chris Willcock’s side went it 1-0 up at the break.

The second half started like the first ended at a quite fast pace and within two minutes of the restart the referee was pointing to the spot again, this time for a handball by Kelvin Lugsden but this time the penalty was slotted home to the right of Stewart in between Rammy’s sticks.

Colne took the lead for the first time in the game on 57 minutes, A free kick was whipped into the box and after a scramble, Sefton Gonzalez fired home from close range to put Colne 2-1 up.

The Rams made the first sub of the game just two minutes later, Iyrwah Gooden came on in place of Karl Jones, Moran put an adventurous ball into the box shortly after but it was headed away for a corner that came to nothing.

The first card of the afternoon was produced on 64 minutes when Colne winger Waqas Azam was booked for kicking the ball away. Azam was replaced for minutes later by Jack Lynch.

Talk about an impact sub from Colne just two minutes later, Lynch has the ball in the back of the Rammy net after a collective defensive error from the Rams.

Former Ram Max Hazeldine came on with 13 minutes to go and he replaced the scorer of the second goal William Harris and at the same time, Teddy Perkins replaced Peter Doran for the Rams.

Colne made their final change on 79 minutes, Bradley Knox replaced the penalty scorer Sefton Gonzales. With eight minutes to go, the Rams were trying to get back into the game Gooden was caught just offside by the assistant on the near side after a through ball from Mason Fawns.

Then three minutes later, the Rams were reduced to ten men after Reuben Jerome was sent off for a late challenge on former Rammy midfielder Anthony Donaldson and that sparked a brawl between both sets teams including the two benches. Rams keeper Tom Stewart, Colne keeper Hakan Burton and Rammy winger Iyrwah Gooden were all booked in the aftermath. Referee, Alan Bennett also had words with individuals from both dugouts.

That ended the Rams FA Trophy campaign for the 2019/20 season and Rams manager Chris Willcock spoke to the media following the game.

‘I thought we edged it first half, their keeper made a good save from Reuben and second half I just felt we were still in the changing rooms, I was disappointed with the response after half time, first 15 minutes of the second half was a shambles, we got done by two stray balls and a set-piece, it was poor so we have to look back on it and get back to working hard on our defensive shape and see whether we can defend better as a group and we’ll see what the next game brings’

Chris also talked about the absence of Daniel Naidole & Jamie Rother ‘Naidole was injured and Jamie Rother has been in bed with tonsillitis all week’ Willcock then went onto talk about how he’d fill the next few Saturday’s with the players. ‘We’ll be working hard it’s as simple as that, we’ve now got an unforeseen gap in the season where we aren’t going to be playing for a couple of weeks and that gives us the opportunity to work on a few things and hopefully get things right for the Marine game’

Ramsbottom United (4-5-1) – Stewart; Doran (Perkins 76’), Murphy, Lugsden, Kennedy; Jones (Gooden 59’), Hmami, Moran, Evangelinos, Fawns; Jerome.

Unused subs – Osi-Efa, Norris & Ellison

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Ossett United 1 Rams 1

BetVictor Northern Premier League North West Division

Saturday 14th September 2019

Ossett United 1 Ramsbottom United 1

Attendance: 419

Report by Jon Haslam

Ingfield was the destination on Saturday afternoon as Ramsbottom United made the foray into Yorkshire for the third consecutive away league match this term looking to continue their encouraging start to the campaign as the Rams took on Ossett United for the first time since the newly formed club was created in 2018.

The visitors showed one alteration from the midweek victory over Clitheroe with Khalil Osi-Efa replacing Eddie Moran in the Rams engine room and began the match positively winning a couple of early corner kicks, the second of which was poked wide by Chukwu.

Ossett then responded and proceeded to put the visiting defence under some pressure with the lively Andrew Ijiwole looking as if he could pose a threat to the Rams. The first effort on goal came the way of Ossett on seven minutes when Gregory found some room on the edge of the penalty area but the shot was easily gathered by Tom Stewart in the visitors goal.

With the quarter hour point almost reached it would be the hosts that opened the scoring when a well worked move found the tricky on loan Huddersfield youngster Ijiwole who skipped past full Sam Adetiloye before getting to the byline and delivering an inviting cross perfectly onto the head of the onrushing Nick Guest whose unmarked header from close range found the back of the net much to the delight of the home supporters in a healthy attendance of 419.

The goal appeared to give the hosts an injection of confidence and Ossett were about to enjoy a period of superiority in which the Rams defence was being tested both from a number of dangerous set pieces but also when Rams stopper Stewart was called on twice in quick succession to deny Harrison and Greaves with well struck efforts which were blocked at the near post.

With the sun beating down the mood of the Ramsbottom United supporters would be lifted just short of the half hour mark when a Tom Kennedy corner wasn't dealt with by Souter in the home goal and the ball found its way to Teddy Perkins and the Burnley loanees well struck effort from an acute angle flew Souter and into the far corner to give the young defender his first goal for the club and a well deserved reward for his excellent performances since joining the Rams.

With parity restored the visitors then enjoyed their best period of the match with home stopper Souter called into action twice in quick succession as the keeper was forced to fling himself acrobatically to deny long range efforts from both Iyrwah Gooden and Mason Fawns respectively.

With a very watchable contest edging towards the break the Rams continued their positive end to the half when a cross come shot from Gooden glanced off the crossbar before shortly afterwards Nic Evangelinos broke down the left wing before beating his marker prior to sending a low shot which again the Ossett number one plunged down low to save.

As the half time whistle sounded with the scores level the opening period could be summed up as a half of two halves with Ossett having the better of things in the opening twenty five minutes but Ramsbottom finished the half the stronger and an even contest had a fair looking scoreline at the break.

The sides emerged unchanged and it would be the away side that began the second period where they had left off the first when the visitors won a free kick on the edge of the Ossett penalty box it what could be best described as Tom Kennedy territory, sadly the left backs free kick hit the defensive wall and failed to trouble the Ossett custodian.

With the contest having an open feel about it both sides would fashion efforts at goal in rapid succession as firstly a low effort from Gregory brought a fine low save by Stewart before a Kennedy cross found the head of Mason Fawns but the downward attempt was repelled at the near post by Souter in the home goal.

As the hour point was reached both managers decided on a double substitution apiece with Fawns and Gooden replaced by Josh Hmami and Kamar Moncrieffe for the visitors as they looked to continue their praiseworthy second half performances of late which has seen the side collect all their points to date without being in a winning position at the interval.

With the match fascinatingly poised the hosts began to exert some strain on the Rams defence as they looked to continue the goal scoring after a comprehensive FA Cup win in midweek when Ossett won by six goals to nil against Thornaby.

It would be the home team that threatened the next goal of the contest with goal scorer Guest firing an effort just wide and as the corner count again began to mount the Rams rearguard would be examined but the exemplary handling of Tom Stewart especially from set pieces took the pressure of the defence on numerous occasions.

As the encounter edged towards the final fifteen minutes Ossett were denying the Rams any attacking encouragement as the away side toiled to create any noteworthy efforts on goal with Chukwu looking increasingly isolated up front. Former Ramsbottom United loanee (albeit for just one game) Tom Greaves who had bagged himself four goals in midweek had been well shackled to this point by the Rams defence but the prolific forward tested Stewart from distance but the visiting custodian parried the shot to safety.

The remaining minutes were safely negotiated by the away side despite a late flurry of corners but resolute defending and some wayward finishing from Ossett kept the scores level and both sides had to settle for a point apiece which on the balance of the ninety minutes seemed to be a fair result.

Ramsbottom United closed the gap on leaders Workington by a point and thoughts now turn to the FA Cup tie away to National League North side Gateshead next Saturday with the Rams going into the eye-catching contest in good spirits.

Ramsbottom United- Stewart, Adetiloye, Kennedy (Capt), Osi-Efa, Perkins, Lugsden, Gooden (Moncrieffe 60 mins),Rother (Naidole 90 mins), Chukwu, Fawns (Hmami 60 mins), Evangelinos

Subs not used- Ozono, Bleau

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Pontefract Collieries 2 Rams 0

BetVictor Northern Premier League North West Division
Saturday 31st August 2019
Pontefract Colleries 2 Ramsbottom United 0
Attendance: 176
Report by Adam Clark

The Rams made 3 changes from the Bank Holiday win against Trafford. The New Saints loanee Josh Hmami made his debut. Nic Evangelinos & Martin Parker also came into the side to replace Karl Jones, Khalil Osi-Efa & Jamie Rother.

Rams keeper Tom Stewart was called into action early on, he claimed an early cross into the box from Pontefract, Josh Hmami had his first shot as a Rammy player his shot went into the car park behind the goal. Burnley loanee Teddy Perkins was called into action with a well-timed tackle to deny a shot from Pontefract’s Gavin Rothery on 12 minutes.

Irywah Gooden put a ball across for Ruben Jerome on 20 minutes but his shot was scuffed and it went high and wide. Nic Evangelinos had an attempt on goal 7 minutes later but Pontefract keeper Mackowski claimed it well.

Pontefract took the lead on the half-hour, Jameel Ible rose through the Rams defence to head the Yorkshire side into a 1-0 lead.

Both teams had little chances in the final 15 minutes of the half, Ruben Jerome was booked in first-half stoppage time for a collision with a Pontefract player.

HALF TIME Pontefract Colleries 1 Ramsbottom United 0

The home side doubled their lead five minutes into the second half, Michael Dunn passed across the box to Vaughan Redford who slotted home from close range.

Just before the hour mark, Pontefract had a good chance to add a third, Joe Lumsden’s shot was blazed over from close range.

Chris Willcock made his change shortly after that, Anointed Chukwu replaced debutant Josh Hmami.

In the final 20 minutes, the game started to slow down, Gooden & Kennedy both had chances but they were claimed by the Pontefract keeper Sebastian Mackowski, who has one Poland cap to his name.

Mason Fawns, who came on for the Rams in the second half, his cross into the box three minutes from time went wide of the right-hand post.

The Rams suffered there first defeat of the season and they’ll look to get back to winning ways at Winsford in the FA Cup on Monday.

FULL TIME Pontefract Colleries 2 Ramsbottom United 0

Rams team; Stewart, Adetiloye (Moncrieffe 72’), Kennedy, Moran, Perkins, Lugsden, Gooden (Fawns 78’), Parker, Jerome, Hmami (Chuku 65’), Evangelinos.

Unused subs - Doran & Ozono.

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Rams 2 Ashton United 2

Ramsbottom United 2-2 Ashton United

Tuesday 6th August 2019

Pre-Season Friendly

Report by Aaron Benson

Ramsbottom came from two nil down to draw 2-2 with fellow Non-League side Ashton in their final home pre-season game before the new season begins. Trailing by two goals at half time through a trialist and a Josh Wilson penalty, forwards Nic Evangelinos and Karl Jones earned the Rams a well-earned draw.

Summer signing Jones joined the returning Ruben Jerome, Jamie Rother, Eddie Moran, Tom Kennedy and Nic Evangelinos in the starting eleven. The remainder of the team were trialists.

Ashton made the brighter start and took the lead after just four minutes. From the midfield, a trialist took a shot from the edge of the area only for it to be turned over by the Rammy keeper, he again was an unnamed starter. From the resulting corner, Ashton’s number nine bundled the ball home from close range.

The Rams responded well and looked a real threat going forward. An Evangelinos effort was well saved by Jon Worsnop in the visiting goal, while fellow attacker Jerome and new signing Jones caused havoc for the Robins defence whenever they got hold of the ball.

The closest Rammy came to an equaliser came when a misdirected clearance by an opposition defender hit his own crossbar. Worsnop was certainly worried, backpedaling nervously towards his own goal.

Yet all of the home sides good work was wasted as the visitors doubled their lead in the 29th minute. Liam Tomsett was brought down in the penalty area and from the resulting spot-kick, striker Wilson converted, smashing his shot into the roof of the net.

The Robins did score again just before the break through Connor Hughes, although he was caught offside by the referee and linesman as he slid the ball home. Still, the visitors held a comfortable lead as the half time whistle blew.

Chris Willcock’s side, wearing their new Rosebridge home kit for the season, came out with a new lease of life after the break and halved the deficit in the 52nd minute. Jones was fouled as he made his way into the box, then from the same penalty spot as the first half, Rams number 11 Evangelinos sent Worsnop the wrong way.

Jones continued to cause all kinds of problems in the second half down the right had side, earning his just rewards with a goal of his own after 68 minutes. A deep cross from the left was spilled by the Ashton keeper, falling to the number 10 who cut inside before launching a missile like shot into the bottom left corner, bringing the men in blue level.

Both sides threatened to add a respective third to their tallies for the evening, yet they had to settle for a draw with Rammy restoring their pride after a battling second half comeback.

Manager Willcock saw the friendly as a game of two halves, sighting the second period of the match as a real positive, unlike the first which wanted improvement.

‘We were off the pace first half, with how we set up and the way we went about our business. The goals are disappointing, we made silly schoolboy errors. Our ball retention lacked quality but once we addressed it I thought we were very good, much more like usual selves.

Willcock also voiced his compliments towards goalscorer Jones. ‘He had his best game tonight, he will have so much more confidence out of this performance , especially in front of goal. First half he was a good outlet, the second a constant thorn in their side’.

The management staff begin their first full season in charge this coming year and are more than ready for the season ahead.

‘We’ll get through our last pre-season games and then prepare for Widnes next week. The excitement will build no doubt as the game approaches. The butterflies will be turning and the adrenaline will be pumping’.


Category: Match Reports

REPORT & REACTION: Rams 2 Brighouse Town 0

BetVictor Northern Premier League North West Division

Saturday 5th October 2019

Ramsbottom United 2 Brighouse Town 0

Attendance - 297

Match report by Aaron Benson

Ramsbottom United retuned to winning ways with a 2-0 win over Brighouse Town. After nearly a month away from the HWRS, goals in each half from Rueben Jerome and Nic Evangelinos was enough to earn Chris Willcock’s side all the three points.

Five changes were made after the 5-1 loss at Workington the previous week. Peter Doran, David Maher, Daniel Murphy, Mason Fawns and Rueben Jerome all came into the eleven while Khalil Osi-Efa, Teddy Perkins and Josh Hmani dropped to the bench. Sam Adetiloye and Anointed Chukwu were absent from the match day squad.

The Rams made a strong start and should have taken the lead inside the first minute. A long ball forward from the blues backline caught out the respective Brighouse defenders leaving Nic Evangelinos with a one on one against the visiting keeper Jordan Porter. Despite an admirable effort from the number 11, his attempted shot could only be deflected wide.

Continuing to knock on the door, the home side looked to be a different outfit to the one who had shipped 11 goals in their previous two games. Jamie Rother, who was named player of the month for September, saw a shot cannon off the the post while Mason Fawns looked to lob Porter yet the man between the sticks was well behind the effort.

Playing in all green, Brighouse slowly began to grow into the game and threatened the home goal on several occasions. First, a long range shot from midfield hit the goalpost leaving Tom Stewart rooted to the spot, then moments later Eddie Church failed to convert a low cross by Ousman Cham. The best chance for the Yorkshire side came when Thomas Haigh beat several Rams defenders while drifting into the box, only for his effort to be cleared off the line.

The opening goal wasn’t far away and Rammy were soon ahead through Jerome after 39 minutes. Evangelinos found the striker with a smart pass, leaving the attacker with a simple finish that found the far right corner. A welcome half time lead soon followed.

The second half began in entertaining style with chances at both ends. Haigh again was allowed time on the ball accelerating into the box, managing to force Stewart into a save at the near post.

Looking to double his sides lead and score the second of the game, Jerome was again causing trouble for the right back Joe Wilkinson, this time beating his man with a sharp burst of pace, however his shot couldn’t match the run shooting well wide of the target. At the other end, Cham drove at the defence but Kelvin Lugsden managed to deflect the wingers effort away.

Returning to the side in the second half, midfielder Eddie Moran’s left foot drive had Porter beaten but not the woodwork. Brighouse were still causing problems however. Town sub Jack Lazenby found himself free on the edge of the box but skewed his right footed attempt.

The game was sown up in the 87th minute with Evangelinos deservingly earning a spot on the scoresheet with a goal of his own. Expertly controlling a testing forward pass, the tricky winger turned striker cooly stroked the ball home, meaning that the ever strong home faithful avoided a nail biting finish.

Reflecting on the win, manager Chris Willcock remarked, ‘It’s been a challenging few weeks but I was pleased with the performance levels today. Two good finishes is always nice and backed up with Nic (Evangelinos) scoring and coming back to form. It's great to see Rueben (Jerome) back too, we’ve been missing him in the past few weeks'.

‘I’m not going to stand here and say I thought we would get a clean sheet today, I didn’t come with that thinking at all. The new players have done a great job. They’ve come in and trained really hard. We haven’t turned a corner but made a step in the right direction'.

Willcock was also asked to whether he believes his side can earn promotion, despite the previous two results. ‘I’ve always thought we can challenge, we’re not even ten games in yet. We are not off the pace and there are points being dropped all over the place. I won’t give up till it is mathematically impossible’.

The fixture came alongside the manager and coaching staff celebrating their first year anniversary with the club. After a year which has seen an incredible FA Trophy run, a 5th play play off finish last season, added to the 100% home form this time around, there is plenty to smile about where Ramsbottom United are concerned.

‘I really appreciate Harry (Williams) giving me the chance to manage this club after playing here. We had a fantastic season last time out and what we achieved in the FA Trophy was so special. I’ll never forget the Weymouth 17 for as long as I am in football’.

‘I think overall it’s been going fantastic. If somebody had said to me in the past 12 months I’d be unhappy in just two weeks, I’d have taken that’.

Ramsbottom team to play Brighouse: Stewart, Doran, Kennedy, Maher (Moran 59'), Muprhy, Lugsden, Naidole, Rother, Jerome (Jones 83'), Fawns, Evangelinos

Unused subs: Perkins, Hmami, Osi-Efa

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REACTION: Chris Willcock interview after today's game against Brighouse



Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Rams 2 Clitheroe 0

BetVictor Northern Premier League North West Division

Tuesday 10th September 2019

Ramsbottom United 2 Clitheroe 0

Attendance:217

Report by Jon Haslam

After three successive away fixtures in a hectic seven day period Ramsbottom United hosted East Lancashire rivals Clitheroe on Tuesday night looking to continue their positive start to the season.

Clitheroe arrived at The Riverside unbeaten on the road in their opening three league matches and started the game like a side brimming with confidence and almost shocked the hosts in the opening minute when a Mulgrew pass found Cummins whose well struck effort flew narrowly wide of the target.

With a dozen minutes on the clock the visitors registered the first effort on target courtesy of Jacob Gregory although home stopper Tom Stewart wasn't seriously tested but confirmed that the away side had started the local argument with more purpose especially from an attacking perspective.

The contest was developing into an interesting encounter despite the hosts finding it tough to fashion any chances that could be described as clear cut, the best efforts being a couple of long range efforts from Mason Fawns which ultimately failed to trouble Connor King in the Clitheroe goal.

As the half hour point was almost reached Ramsbottom United produced their best attacking moment of the half when progressive play down the left wing gave Nic Evangelinos a sight of goal but the well struck goal bound effort was blocked smartly at the near post by King.

Only a matter of minutes later a defensive mix up lead to goalkeeper Stewart handling a back pass from young central defender Teddy Perkins which gave Clitheroe a free kick in a threatening position just inside the hosts penalty area but thankfully the effort was rebuffed by the Rams defensive wall.

It would be the home side that responded by making headway down the left flank and excellent link up play between Evangelinos and Iyrwah Gooden lead to the latter firing in a shot which again was blocked at the near post by King in almost identical fashion to the save less then ten minutes earlier.

With the half time interval less than five minutes away Clitheroe again demonstrated their counter attacking ability when an incisive move gave Gregory a sight of goal but the clever curling attempt from the edge of the penalty box sailed narrowly wide of the target and shortly after referee Davies blew his whistle to end a goalless forty five minutes which the visitors could have been forgiven for thinking they had been the side looking most likely to break the deadlock with an energetic counter attacking display that gave the home support plenty to ponder during the interval.

As the contest resumed hopes were high that Ramsbottom United could extend their home league victories to three this term and they almost began the second half in ideal fashion by creating two presentable chances in the opening minutes, firstly Iyrwah Gooden won a strong tackle before shooting towards goal but the wingers effort bounced fractionally wide of the upright before Chukwu turned smartly in the penalty box but again the attempt failed to test King in the visitors goal.

In an increasingly open encounter both teams created concerned for the opposition defenders before the deadlock was finally broken around the hour mark when a trademark piece of pace and trickery from Iyrwah Gooden gave the winger the opportunity to send in a low inviting cross from the byline which married up perfectly with the run of Nic Evangelinos who converted from close range and the Rams had a lead they would ultimately not surrender.

Both benches made alterations shortly after the opening goal with Fawns making way for Osi-Efa in the Rams midfield whilst the Clitheroe boss responding by making a couple of attacking changes as the visitors looked for a way to level the scoreline.

The Ramsbottom United defence were being given a testing evening by the youthful visitors but the experience of Kelvin Lugdsen and skipper Tom Kennedy guided youngsters Teddy Perkins and the particularly impressive Sam Adetiloye towards a clean sheet with Stewart in the home goal called upon to make fairly routine saves despite some pacey attacking threat from the visitors.

With the result still in the balance and with less than ten minutes to play the decisive second goal arrived for the hosts when a Tom Kennedy free kick from the left was floated into the Clitheroe penalty area and the wonderfully named Anointed Chukwu skilfully controlled the ball before finishing with an angled low drive which flew past King to double the hosts and give the young striker his third goal in this last two outings for the Rams.

The remainder of the game passed without any serious threat to the home sides lead as the Rams earned a hard fought three points and third consecutive home league victory against a lively Clitheroe side who may feel they deserved more out of an entertaining match but the win lifted Ramsbottom United to second place in the early league standings

A point worthy of mention is that the Rams have not lead at half time in any of their opening five league outings this term but ultimately have registered four victories from five to demonstrate that Chris Willcocks side have the ability to grind their opponents into submission especially in the second half of games as the promising beginning to the season continues ahead of Saturdays tough looking fixture at Ossett United.

Ramsbottom United- Stewart, Adetiloye, Kennedy (Capt), Moran, Perkins, Lugsden, Gooden (Moncrieffe 84 mins),Rother, Chukwu (Hmami 90 mins), Fawns (Osi-Efa 62 mins), Evangelinos

Subs not used- Jones, Minard (GK)

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Rams 1 Trafford 0

BetVictor Northern Premier League North West Division

Monday 26th August 2019

Ramsbottom United 1 Trafford 0

Attendance:254

Report by Jon Haslam

The busy start to the new season continued as Trafford were the visitors to the Riverside on a sweltering Bank Holiday Monday as both sides lined up for their fourth match in the opening nine days of the season.

The home outfit showed four alterations to the side which drew against Winsford in the FA Cup 48 hours earlier with Sam Adetiloye, Eddie Moran, Teddy Perkins and Khalil Osi Efa gaining starting berths at the expense of Bleau, Lent, Naidole and Fawns.

It would be Trafford who began the contest positively as the Shawe View outfit looked for their point of their league campaign whilst looking to build on their FA Cup victory two days earlier but the first quarter of an hour lacked any serious attempts on goal to trouble either goal keeper.

However, moments the Rams almost broke the deadlock when Ruben Jerome collected a pass before turning smartly away from his marker and firing a low shot from just inside the penalty area but Cooper in the visitors goal was equal to the effort as the in form striker looked to continue his hot streak in front of goal.

The opening quarter of this evenly fought match struggled to live up to the early stages of previous games this season which has seen goals regularly hitting the back of the net in the opening twenty minutes or so and with Trafford looking fairly solid in defence the only other further effort worthy of note occurred when Irywah Gooden received a pass from Eddie Moran but the in form wide mans shot flew off target and with half an hour played the score line was blank.

Shortly after the thirty minute mark arrived perhaps the best chance of the contest arrived when Gooden again was at the centre of the action when Trafford played out from the back and a forward pass was intercepted by the hosts winger whose surging run took him past a couple of retreating defenders but sadly the shot lack the necessary direction to trouble Cooper in the away goal.

The remainder of the first period contained plenty of endeavour from both outfits and could best be described as a cagey encounter, the rare sight of the teams taking a water break gave the participants a welcomed if short rest. With goalmouth action at a premium the opening forty five minutes came to a conclusion with the stifling conditions maybe the winner, allied to the fact that both teams had played a match in similar conditions just two days ago it was perhaps little surprise the game was goal less at the interval.

As both sides re-emerged from the break unchanged Trafford made a bright start to the second half and fashioned their best chance of the match when Gabidon worked some space down the left wing before sending an inviting cross into the path of the onrushing Darius Palma but somehow the winger failed to convert from close range and the Rams had been given a reprieve.

The home side showed two debutants in defence with Sam Adetiloye having an accomplished bow at right back for the hosts and alongside Kelvin Lugsden in central defence was Burnley loanee Teddy Perkins who also had a promising debut for the Rams, despite the youngster picking up a booking for an over zealous challenge the former Orient player looked as though he will be a very useful addition whilst gaining some valuable first team experience during his stay at The Riverside which hopefully can benefit both parties.

With the temperature gauge rising it became more apparent that the use of both substitute benches may ultimately have a positive influence on the remaining thirty minutes with neither goalkeeper being called into any serious action, the Rams were first to dip into the replacements available when Nic Evangelinos took the place of Karl Jones but in truth the longer the game progressed the more it appeared as though one goal may prove decisive.

Trafford responded with two changes of their own as manager Tom Baker looked to introduce fresh legs around the three quarter mark of the game, Ramsbottom United perhaps looked the more likelier side to break the deadlock and Gooden had a spectacular scissor kick attempt which sailed over the crossbar after a Tom Kennedy corner fell kindly to the youngster on the edge of the penalty area.

Then, with just over a quarter of an hour remaining superb closing down by Ruben Jerome allowed the forward to dispossess visiting defender Sam Egerton and as the striker ran towards goal the recovering Trafford player brought down the Rams in form striker and the hosts had a free kick just outside the penalty area. Not only did the referee issue a caution to Egerton but things got worse for the visitors when up stepped Tom Kennedy to use his talented left foot to perfectly beat the defensive wall and also the despairing dive of Cooper to find the bottom corner of the net for the Ex Bury and Rochdale players first goal of the season.

Indeed, Trafford would have every reason to have a feeling of deja-vu as the Rams skipper has now netted in the last three meetings between the two sides having scored in both matches last season at Shawe View, the first being in the FA trophy and the second in the league fixture in February.

The remaining minutes of a tightly fought encounter saw Trafford inevitably push forward looking to restore parity but a well marshalled defence and the often overlooked continuous work rate of the Rams midfield with Jamie Rother and Eddie Moran at their industrious best the hosts restricted Trafford to just one effort on target which was easily dealt with by Tom Stewart in the home goal.

As the additional time ticked away the Rams were nevertheless delighted to hear the final whistle as Chris Willcocks charges are one of only three teams that have a 100% record after three league games but the sides first clean sheet of the season may well please the management equally as much as the 3 points on offer.

With Ramsbottom United now sitting second or joint top in the fledgling league table it is worthy of mention that this is the first time the club have claimed victories in their first three league outings of a season since 1996.

The Rams will be hopeful of continuing the excellent start to the season as they make the trip to face Pontefract Collieries on Saturday 31st August.

Ramsbottom United- Stewart, Adetiloye, Kennedy (Capt), Moran, Perkins, Lugsden, Gooden (Moncrieffe 88 mins), Rother, Jerome, Osi-Efa (Fawns 75 mins), Jones (Evangelinos 55 mins)

Subs not used- Chukwu, Doran

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Rams 2 Nantwich 2

Pre Season Friendly

Tuesday 30th July

Ramsbottom United 2 Nantwich Town 2

Ramsbottom United continued their preparations for the upcoming league campaign with the visit of Bet Victor Premier Division outfit Nantwich Town on Tuesday evening, the starting eleven for the Rams showed seven of the clubs recently announced signings with four trialists completing the line up.

The opening ten minutes of the match unfolded with both teams creating efforts at goal but neither goal keeper was called into serious action as a header from the visiting number nine Malkin sailed wide of the target before home schemer Jamie Rother responded with a low drive which that failed to test Hall in the away teams goal.

Nantwich had perhaps the best opportunity to break the deadlock midway through the first period when ex Morecambe wide man Joe Mwasile raced clear of the home defence before sending his shot wide of the upright.

Ramsbottom responded with a couple of well struck efforts from Ruben Jerome, one of which almost caught out the visiting keeper but Hall clung on to the rasping attempt and with half an hour played the game remained goal less. The Dabbers responded again in an end to end affair by almost taking the lead moments later but the linesmans flag signalled an offside much to the relief of the home defence after a smart low save was tapped home by the lively Malkin.

Then on 32 minutes the home side edged into the lead when more good work again from Ruben Jerome set up new recruit Daniel Naidole who unleashed a well struck left footed effort from the edge of the penalty area which found the bottom corner leaving Hall helpless.

As an entertaining preseason match up reached the mid way point Ramsbottom United held a single goal advantage in what was an evenly matched forty five minutes.

The second half kicked off with Tom Kennedy being replaced by a familiar looking trialist, as The Dabbers started the half on the offensive and their efforts were rewarded just three minutes after the break when a pass from Harrison found the pacey Malkin whose well struck shot levelled proceedings.

With the hour point was reached of a very watchable contest the Rams had the chance to retake the lead when a clever through ball from the impressive Naidole found Ruben Jerome in the penalty area and an ill advised tackle by Langley sent the striker to the ground and the referee pointed to the penalty spot, the usually reliable spot kick taker Nic Evangelinos saw his penalty saved by Hall in the visitors goal who then produced a superb double save to deny the hosts a second goal.

As two evenly matched sides battled for supremacy the inevitable substitutions occurred with both managers looking for the balance of giving players preseason minutes alongside casting their eyes over potential new arrivals and the match perhaps surprisingly didn’t suffer as a spectacle as is sometimes the case as both outfits continued to create opportunities.

Nantwich fashioned a glorious chance to take the lead midway the second half but a free header from six yards failed to test the Rams goal keeper, within minutes the Rams regained the advantage when recent acquisition Karl Jones found some room in the penalty box and his low drive was touched onto the woodwork by Hall before one of the unnamed trailists reacted to drive the ball home from close range.

With the match entered the final fifteen minutes the Dabbers restored parity when a sweeping move down the left hand side saw a low cross converted by substitute Jamie Reed and despite numerous late goal scoring opportunities being spurned a very watchable match ended with four goals being split evenly.

As the final whistle sounded both managers would surely have learned more about their respective squads during a well contested match which again showed plenty of promise from a Ramsbottom United perspective as Chris Willcocks side completed their third preseason match in six days.


Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Workington 5 Rams 1

Saturday 28th September 2019

Workington Town v Ramsbottom United

Bet Victor North West Division

Attendance: 469

Report by Damien Barlow

As the Rams headed off on the road for the 5th consecutive Saturday and sent the click count past the 1000 miles mark for the season, Chris Wilcocks men would be keen to shake the malaise from last week's heavy cup defeat at Gateshead, and a top of the table clash at Borough Park would seem to be the perfect antidote.

It was the visitors who got proceedings underway and could have taken the lead inside 30 seconds as Kennedy worked the ball from wide left on for Josh Hmami's glancing header to be easily collected by Atkinson in the home goal.

Anyone with a Ramsbottom persuasion may want to look away now, as the first forty five minutes turned into the Workington roadshow.

Three minutes in and the first offer of encouragement for the home sides front line was served up. A long ball forward that had initially been dealt with by Perkins was then headed back to Stewart from Adelitoye, who for some reason decided against collecting the ball and punched it towards the edge of the area and in his attempt to finally grab the ball inadvertently handled outside the box. Fortunately the direct free kick which was hit hard and low was dealt with by the wall.

Another chance for the hosts moments later, as Scott Alisson teased Kennedy down the right who worked the ball onto his left but dragged his shot wide of the near post.

Town didn't have to wait long for their deserved breakthrough, six minutes in and their early dominance and relentless tempo paid dividends as good work down the left from Symington found Allison unmarked but his shot was only parried into the path of the another unmarked Charlie Bowman who had the simple task of turning the ball home.

6 minutes Workington 1 Ramsbottom 0

As the pressure continued to grow Scott Allison was proving to be pivotal in the middle of the park and again his energy took him past a couple half challenges and he released Brad Carroll on the right channel, who looked marginally offside but fortunately sent his shot wide of the far post.

More good play from Cassington, Brockbank and Symington on fifteen minutes ended with the latter getting a shot away on the angle but Tom Stewart this time had the front post covered and the danger was temporarily averted.

Moments later and the lead was doubled. A harmless goal kick evaded Perkins and the impressive Allison with an even more impressive first touch allowed him to wrong foot the recovering defender and slot away a deft left foot shot into the far corner leaving Stewart with no chance.

17 minutes Workington 2 Ramsbottom 0

Twenty three minutes and things went from bad to worse. An in-swinging corner which wasn't dealt with fell to 4 consecutive Workington players who must all be wondering how a third wasn't added, but somehow and Rams defender was able to get something in the way and keep the score at 2. Again shortly afterwards and the Cumbrian juggernaut continued to smell blood as Jay Kelly turned Kennedy one way then the other and floated a cross to the far post, just clearing his onrushing teammate.

The half hour came and things did become more bleak for the visitors. Tinnion won a ball he wasn't really favourite to do raced forward and sought Allison who in turn found Bowman who again couldn't believe his luck wih the space he found himself in picked his spot and sent the ball past a helpless Stewart.

30 minutes Workington 3 Ramsbottom 0

With 5 minutes left on the first half clock the home side added insult to injury as a fourth goal was added. A 40 yard cross field ball from Brockbank found Symington who found himself with the freedom of the town again, beat Adelitoye with ease and after working the ball onto his left side drilled his shot away into the far corner.

39 minutes Workington 4 Ramsbottom 0

Shortly before the break and some light relief for the away side, as Evangelinos worked a ball from the left hand side and as Rother gambled at the near post, turned in the his teams first shot on target since the opening seconds.

42 minutes Workington 4 Ramsbottom 1

The normality that top of the table games can sometimes become chess like was certainly not part of the agenda in the first half with Workington swarming forward at will and Ramsbottom becoming suffocated with the intensity and incessant pressure from the home side. With more accuracy from their efforts and last week's conceded 6 could have quite easily been surpassed before Rothers consolation.

Half Time Workington 4 Ramsbottom 1

Evidence of the half time chat showed with all three substitutions being made with Chukwu, Osi-Efa and Hmami being replaced with Jones, Maher and Murphy and a change in formation with 3 at the back as the search for some positives began.

With a slightly less frantic start to the second half, the first chance still inevitably fell to the home side. An in swinging free kick from Symington found the head of Dan Wordsworth at the back post but his looping header landed on the roof of the goal.

Workingtons search for more goals continued as Symington now terrorising Murphy sent his ball in field for Allison but his shot was wayward and allowed his opponents off the hook.

Shy of the hour and Stewart should have been picking the ball out the net for a 5th time. Tinnion again winning the ball in the middle and quickly released sub Waterson in behind Lugdsen, how ever the ball slowing up in what seemed to be a longer than normal lawn forced him to check his run and momentum was lost as he sent his shot wide.

Sixty five minutes and the Rams had their third effort on goal. An Evangelinos corner was met by the head of Murphy but his effort reflected the teams performance and was way off the mark.

Brockbank who hadn't been the threat of the first half had an opportunity to dance away down the left and made the most of his time in possession and rifled a ball accross the 6 yard line. Stewart was brave and collected the ball at the feet of Waterson.

Another half chance for the Rams as Karl Jones controlled a high ball into the area, nudged towards Evangelinos who's scuffed effort left Atkinson flat footed, watch agonisingly as the ball rolled inches wide.

Ramsbottom were almost gifted a second goal as a Kennedy corner was headed against his own bar by a home defender. As everyone seemed to stop the danger was cleared.

Workingtons 5th goal did arrive on 78 minutes. Brad Hubbold lost the ball to 3 Rams players on the half way line but somehow managed to wrestle it back from their grasp and found Waterson behind the back line and this time made no mistake as he cooly slotted his effort away under the onrushing Stewart.

78 minutes Workington 5 Ramsbottom 1

Waterson again had the opportunity to add to his and his teams tally as he found himself on the 6 yard line completely alone but this still wasn't enough time for him to sort his feet out and Murphy managed to divert a potential 6th goal.

The shots off target count was rising steadily for the home side, this time Allison was the guilty party as his shot from 7 yards flew over the bar.

As the assistant referee held up 3 minutes, the visitors knew their misery would soon be put to an end. A day and performance to forget and stark realisation that with more composure and discipline from the home sides finishing and the score line could have been bordering on embarrassment.

With a return to home soil next week, a much improved showing will be the least the management and supporters alike will demand.

Full Time Workington 5 Ramsbottom 1

Team Stewart, Adelitoye, Kennedy (c), Lugsden, Perkins, Osi-Efa (Murphy 45'), Hmami (Jones 45'), Rother, Chukwu (Maher 45'), Naidole, Evangelinos

Unused subs: Gooden & Fawns

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Maltby Main 1 Rams 5

Sat 7th September 2019

FA Cup 1st Qualifying Round

Maltby Main v Ramsbottom United

Report by Damien Barlow

Ramsbottom United's reward for overcoming their preliminary round replay at Winsford United on monday night was a trip into neighbouring Yorkshire for an inaugural tie with Maltby Main. Ramsbottom came into the tie in good form, whilst their opponents not so much, but with home advantage and the romance of the cup, both camps knew previous form counts for very little.

It was the visitors who got proceedings underway at an open and windy Muglet Lane, and would encounter the uphill for the first forty five minutes. With the luxury of familiar surroundings it was the home side who settled quickest into the contest, and barring a cleared Tom Kennedy free kick the visitors struggled for any meaningful pressure or territory, and in 8th minute the wake up call that this could be a banana skin hit home as Eddie Moran was quickly dispossed in the middle of the park by Josh Ing who released Anthony Wilson into the left channel who calmly slotted home at the near post.

8 minutes Maltby 1 Ramsbottom 0

Moments later the lead was almost doubled as Aaron Moxam was released again down their left side and an attempted deft lob over Stewart was matched by the outstretched arm and a strong enough finger tip to ensure the damage was limited to a corner for the hosts. The shock of potentially having a 2 goal deficit to climb finally seemed to wake the visitors up, and more time on the ball and in the oppositions half allowed some kind of foothold in the game. A fine chance went begging for Wilcocks men as an inswinging Evangelinos free kick in the left corner was met by Rother who escaped a crowded 6 yard box but unfortunately his glancing header was the wrong side of the far post. Signs that Ramsbottom were keen to assert some attacking pressure started to tell, and some crisp interchange of play between Adetiloye and Gooden freed the right back to send an inviting ball accross the 6 yard line for Evangelinos to bundle the ball home and level the scores.

19 minutes Maltby 1 Ramsbottom 1

Ramsbottom now had the bit between their teeth and looked the most likely to add the games third goal. A half chance from Jerome from a turn and shot would be the front man's final meaningful action of the afternoon, as an earlier knock couldnt be run off and was replaced by No15 Anointed Chukwu. That effort from Jerome had fired the warning flare for the hosts and after more one touch triangle football from Adetiloye, Moran and Evangelinos, the latter sent another pin point ball into the danger area and with the impressive Fawns waiting to pull the trigger, a timely interception from the Maltby rearguard meant Ramsbottom had to settle for another corner.

Just after the half hour mark and the one goal advantage now lay with the visitors. More good work from Fawns wriggling free from his man found Gooden in the area who inturn found Evangelinos in the D who took one touch and fizzed a low shot into the bottom left corner, leaving Jamie Bailey grasping thin air.

34 minutes Maltby 1 Ramsbottom 2

As the first half clock ticked down, Maltby almost levelled things up. Wilsons goal bound shot was bravely blocked by Teddy Perkins. Almost immediatley the hosts were made to rue their missed chance, Evangelinos wheeled away down the left and with only Chukwu in support found his man perfectly and his close control allowed him the space to fire under Bailey and give the Rams an unnasailable two goal lead heading into break. After a shakey start the visitors worked their way back into the game, and after coming close to going two behind, were now two ahead.

Half Time Maltby 1 Ramsbottom 3

The second half started quite scrappy, with Maltby forcing a couple of free kicks in quick succession and Ramsbottom returning the favour with a couple of corners, all of which came to nothing, no momentum or pattern of play could be engineered by either side. The longer this continued, a safe passage to the next round would be achieved by the visitors. Handbags on the hour between Lugsden and Wilson highlighted the frustration of how the game was going, with no-one really getting hold of the game since the restart. A stern talking to from the referee brough both back into line and the game continued with no furthur punishment.

With just about twenty minutes remaining, the games main talking point arrived. A good ball in from Gooden found Chukwu seven yards out and with his back to goal, used his strength to shield the ball and somehow managed put the ball in the top corner with an audacious back heel. Players and spectators from both sides took a few seconds to let what they had seen sink in. The game now beyond doubt, anyone connected with Ramsbottom could wallow in the marvel that had just bestowed them.

69 minutes Maltby 1 Ramsbottom 4

The Rammy management felt the time to utilise the bench had now arrived, and Moran and Gooden made way for Moncrieffe and Osi-Efa. Minutes later Jamie Rother was hugely unfortunate not to add a fifth. A well worked move found the number 8 20 yards out but his ferocious shot cannoned back off the left upright, and as he reacted first and followed up his original effort he was again snuffed out by a desperate lunge from a covering defender. If at first you don't succeed try and try again, and as Evangelinos found Rother, some thirty yards from goal a minute later, this time he would not be denied and his screamer whistled past Bailey, and third time lucky never felt as fitting.

75 minutes Maltby 1 Ramsbottom 5

A chance for a consolation goal for Maltby presented itself on 80 minutes as Hopewell needed two attempts to get his cross in, which fell to Gavin King 8 yards out, and his sweetly struck effort was matched by Stewart who had become largely an onlooker for the best part of the half. As the game entered dying embers of regulation time, no other clear cut chances fell to either side, Robert Worrall found Hopewell in the area but he was quickly closed down by Stewart, and Chuckwu had an attempt to complete his hat-trick which flew harmlessly wide.

As the referee brought the game to a close, thoughts turned to what proved to be the turning point in the game, as early as the twelfth minute when Moxam was denied by Stewart's finger tip save which prevented a completely different complexion on the remaining time, and finally saw Ramsbottom get their front three into action and steadily ease their way through this cup tie.

Full Time Maltby 1 Ramsbottom 5

Team: Stewart, Adetiloye, Kennedy, Moran, Perkins, Lugsden, Gooden, Rother, Jerome, Fawns, Evangelinos.

Subs, Osi-Efa, Chukwu, Moncrieffe, (not used) Jones, Hmami, Minard

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Rams 3 Winsford United 3

Emirates FA Cup Preliminary Round

Saturday 24th August 2019

Ramsbottom United 3 Winsford United 3

Attendance 233

Report by Jon Haslam

This thrilling FA Cup tie saw six goals shared between a Ramsbottom United side that had won both league matches to date and a Winsford United outfit that sat eighth in the NWCL on a sun kissed afternoon at The Riverside.

The Rams lined up with just a single alteration from the midweek victory at Pickering with Karl Jones getting his first start and the recent arrival got the goal laden contest underway on just three minutes when Ruben Jerome laid the ball to the forward and despite having his initial effort blocked the ball fell kindly to the frontman and the well struck shot flew past Rigby to give the hosts the ideal start.

Winsford responded positively to the early setback by levelling matters just shy of the ten minute mark when a long ball forward caught out the home sides rearguard and ex Rams player Sam Madeley came back to haunt his former club by sliding it to convert an inviting cross for his sixth goal of the campaign.

The goals continued to flow and the hosts edged back in front almost immediately after the kick off when a through ball found speedster Irywah Gooden who got beyond his marker and just inside the penalty area was tripped and referee Young pointed to the spot, with usual penalty taker Nic Evangelinos on the bench up stepped Ruben Jerome to confidently convert the spot kick to register the frontmans third goal in three appearances.

In a topsy turvy encounter the home sides lead lasted until the sixteenth minute when another long ball caught out the Rams defence and with Tom Stewart off his line Winsford forward David Short was given the opportunity to lob the home stopper which he executed superbly from 25 yards to bring the sides level at two goals apiece.

As the half hour was reached a potentially pivotal moment occurred when a robust challenge between Jamie Rother and Obi Anoruo ended with referee Young deciding that the tackle was worthy of a red card and for the second time in two home fixtures this season the opposition has been reduced to ten men prior to half time.

With a man advantage Ramsbottom United looked to take control of an entertaining cup tie and almost regained the lead twice in a short period of time, firstly Mason Fawns sent in a cross which Irywah Gooden headed over Rigby but unfortunately clipped the top of the crossbar before a patient move down the left wing led to Ruben Jerome laying the ball back to Jamie Rother whose low drive narrowly missed the target.

As the first forty five minutes was almost completed the Rams grabbed the fifth goal of an absorbing encounter when a low drive from Karl Jones brought a fine save from visiting custodian Rigby but the parried effort felt kindly to Ruben Jerome who converted to continue his encouraging goal filled start to the campaign and the hosts regained their goal advantage.

A point worthy of note is that Ramsbottom United last tasted victory in an FA Cup tie back on the 17th September 2013 when defeating a Stocksbridge Park Steels outfit in a replay so with a narrow one goal lead against a team down to ten men hopes were high that that particular statistic could be consigned to the history books.

The start of the second period began with the Rams on the front foot with two early efforts which didn't seriously test Rigby in the Winsford goal but the away side served notice of their intention to test the hosts defence when a swift counter attack saw Cottrell cross for an unmarked Short but the strikers first time effort sailed over the crossbar much the relief of the home faithful.

Ramsbottom United then set about trying to find a fourth goal that may have edged the tie their way when an acrobatic clearance denied the hosts via a looping header before an incisive run and shot from the impressive Gooden crashed into the crossbar with Rigby helpless.

The home side then utilised their substitutes bench midway through the second period with Eddie Moran making a welcome return to the side alongside Khalil Osi-Efa and Will Ozono looking to add fresh legs to ensure the home side progressed to the next round of the competition.

Despite the visitors being a player down the Rams were finding it difficult to keep control of possession as they toiled to create a clear cut chance and this appeared to give Winsford hope as they continued to pose a threat on the counter attack and in truth caused the hosts more problems in attack than Widnes did whilst in a similar position some seven days earlier.

Then, with just less than a quarter of an hour remaining the sixth and final goal of an enthralling encounter arrived when an attack down the left hand side lead to a deep cross being sent into the home box before finding its way to substitute Samuel Marshall at the far post who became the Winsford hero by confidently firing past Stewart to equalise for a third time in the match.

As the final minutes slipped away the hosts toiled to create the opportunity that could lead to a late winner but credit must go to Winsford who defended doggedly repelling numerous and increasingly desperate crosses and indeed could and maybe should have won the contest with only minutes remaining when another lighting fast breakaway split open the Rams defence before the final pass found a well placed Winsford forward but the attempt sailed over the cross bar.

As the final moments ebbed away without further notable incidents both sides may feel that they deserved to win the tie and despite an enthralling contest for the neutral supporter both sides will reconvene in Cheshire on Monday 2nd September looking to progress to the First Qualifying Round.

Ramsbottom United- Stewart, Bleau (Moran 66 mins), Kennedy (Capt), Rother, Lent, Lugsden, Gooden (Osi-Efa 70 mins), Naidole, Jerome, Fawns (Ozono 70 mins), Jones

Subs not used- Evangelinos, Norris

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Rams 2 Rochdale 3

Pre-Season Friendly

Wednesday 24th July 2019

RAMSBOTTOM UNITED 2 ROCHDALE 3

Attendance: 408

Report by Aaron Benson

Ramsbottom United were beaten 3-2 by Rochdale in the clubs opening pre-season friendly. Goals from Stephen Dooley, Ryan Delaney and Ollie Rathbone condemned the home side to defeat, despite the Rams scoring twice in the first half through un-named trialists.

Only four Ramsbottom players were officially named in the matchday programme, three of the four remaining from last season, the other a new singing. Tom Kennedy, Jamie Rother and Nic Evangelinos all returned to the side whilst newly announced Daniel Naidole was making his club debut.

Rochdale were straight out the blocks and ahead after the first minute. Forward Dooley with the opener, leaving Ramsbottom with a mountain to climb straight from kick off.

The League One side had further opportunities to increase their lead immediately after Dooley’s goal, forward Rekeil Pyke and Rathbone both saw chances come and go. The first flew over the bar, the second saved by Rammy’s man between the sticks.

Yet an equalising goal wasn’t too far away coming in the 18th minute. A sweeping move down the right hand side was too hot to handle for the Dale defence. At the back post a Trialist burst the net with a low finish past Brad Wade.

In what was turning out to be an end to end pre-season friendly, Rochdale re-took the lead with some clever touches in around the six yard area which became the source of their goal. An interchange between Dooley and Rathbone found Delaney on the edge of the area, the number five doubling the visitors advantage after only 25 minutes with a smart volley.

Shortly before half time Rochdale scored another, showing their true football league ability. Rathbone burst the net with a shot from the six yard box giving Dale a comfortable lead, although Ramsbottom showed their fighting spirit hitting back just two minutes after. A Trialist hammered the ball home from close range ensuring the goal deficit going into the half time break was only the one.

The opening to the second half was met with many substitutes yet fewer goalmouth chances for either side.

Dale had the better of the play, the majority of their opportunities coming after the hour mark. First with Dooley who hit the crossbar, then Lewis Bradley took aim at goal only for his effort to be deflected off target.

Substitutes Aaron Morley and Matt Gillam could easily have added a fourth with respective chances, although the latters best chance was still to come with a shot that cannoned off the bar.

Rammy struggled to test Dale or sub Morgan Piper in the second half with Dale enjoying a keep ball exercise in the final stages, running out easy winners despite the narrow scoreline.

Manager Chris Willcock was rather pleased with his sides performance on the night, particularly with the quality of opposition Rochdale boss Brian Barry-Murphy fielded.

‘I thought it was great game of football and a real good workout for the lads, creating some great opportunities especially after looking rusty early doors’.

‘I would like to thank Rochdale for sending a really strong team and making the game competitive for us and both teams produced a great spectacle with five goals’.

‘Overall we wanted a strong and competitive pre-season ahead before the start of the season against Widnes. The clubs expectations are higher now and we’re looking to carry on from the momentum of last season, integrating the new players we have over the next few weeks. We start on the 17th and let’s see how this season goes’.

Ramsbottom team vs Rochdale: Tom Kennedy, Jamie Rother, Nic Evangelinos, Daniel Naidole, Trialists A to M


Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Gateshead 6 Rams 0 - FA Cup

Emirates FA Cup 2nd qualifying round

Saturday 21st September 2019

Gateshead 6 Ramsbottom United 0

Attendance:480

Report by Jon Haslam

Ramsbottom United were on the road for the fourth consecutive Saturday as they headed to the North East to take on Conference North outfit Gateshead in the first ever competitive meeting between the two sides in this FA Cup second round qualifying tie.

The Rams lined up with just one alteration from the side which drew at Ossett seven days earlier with Josh Hmami replacing Khalil Osi - Efa in midfield against a strong looking home side who had suffered a galling injury time loss at Hereford in midweek.

The opening moments of the contest began with the visitors starting brightly with Iyrwah Gooden forcing home keeper Bradley James into the first action of the afternoon but no visiting player could capitalise after a low cross was spilled six yards from goal.

Gateshead, with former Premier League defender Mike Williamson in central defence responded shortly afterwards when Teddy Perkins was drawn into making a foul on Kayode just outside the penalty area but the free kick by set piece specialist Nicky Deverdics was comfortably gathered by Tom Stewart in the visitors goal.

As the opening period continued in a fairly even manner the home outfit perhaps had the better of the possession without seriously threatening Stewart any further although the visitors from Lancashire served notice of their attacking intent as they fashioned their first effort on goal just after the twenty minute mark when a cross from the right wasn't cleared effectively and the loose ball fell to Nic Evangelinos but the well struck effort from inside the area was gathered by Middlesbrough loanee James.

As the stadium clock ticked towards the twenty five minute mark and the game goalless the Rams had every right to be pleased with their performance as they had more than matched the hosts who incidentally had claimed three consecutive home league victories prior to this match but the Tynesiders forward line were in the main kept under wraps as the visitors frustrated the home support alongside playing some neat counter attacking football of their own.

With a third of the game played Gateshead began to click into gear becoming more of an attacking threat and the opener soon arrived when a pinpoint cross field ball from Nicky Deverdics found Jordan Preston at the far post before the forwards deft first time ball along the six yard box found the unmarked Greg Olley who converted from close range for the former Hull City mans first goal of the season.

With the hosts in the lead and confidence levels on the rise Gateshead looked to press home the advantage of being two league higher in the non league pyramid with Dominic Tear and Josh Kayode looking significant menaces to the Rams.

Then with five minutes to the interval the Rams were made to pay for a defensive lapse when an ill advised back pass towards keeper Stewart from Kelvin Lugsden was intercepted by Rotherham loanee Josh Kayode and as the Rams stopper attempted to clear the ball the Heed forward was upended and referee Dale Baines had little choice but to point to the penalty spot.

Despite a promising half hour for the Rams the hosts doubled their advantage when Jordan Preston who was plying his trade for Halifax last season in the National League converted confidently from the spot to give the visitors an uphill task as the home forward also notched his first goal this term.

Despite the deficit a linesmans flag denied the away side a quick riposte as a Tom Kennedy corner bounced around the home area before a Mason Fawns header found its way into the corner of the net but the goal was sadly ruled out for offside.

With the half time whistle bringing the first half to a close manager Chris Willcocks superb run of just one defeat in the last fifteen cup matches since taking charge of the Rams last October appeared to be in danger.

The feeling going into the break was not only the timing of the second goal may prove pivotal but the manner in which the penalty was conceded was disappointing after a promising opening half hour for the Rams.

With both sides returning unchanged after the break the second half began with the National North side looking to put the tie beyond doubt whilst the Rams still had hopes that an early goal could shift the balance of play their way but the opening minutes had little in the way of goalmouth action for either side.

As the game began to unfold chances began to increase for Gateshead and when Olley clipped a ball towards Preston at the far post Rams full back Sam Adelitoye expertly repelled the danger heading clear, Ramsbottom United responded when Josh Hmami stole the ball from a Gateshead defender before the midfielder slid a pass through to Anointed Chukwu but the opportunity soon disappeared as the home defence closed ranks before the Salford loanee could get a clear sight of goal and a possible way back in the contest had slipped away.

With ten minutes played of the second half Kamar Moncrieffe replaced Iyrwah Gooden as Chris Willcock utilising his bench for the first time in an attempt to freshen up the visitors front line, soon after recently arrived substitute Thompson who had replaced Preston for the hosts won the ball in midfield before striding forward an sending a shot off target.

With twenty minutes of the second period played the Rams FA Cup dreams appeared to be over when some incisive passing lead to the ball arriving at the feet of Heed midfielder Liam Agnew who send a low skimming effort from 25 yards past the despairing dive of Stewart to give the home side a three goal advantage.

Minutes later things got better for a Gateshead outfit who played in the National League last season when a deep corner by Olley was met by the head of Toby Lees at the far post and the central defender nodded home from a tight angle to increase the lead further much to the delight of the home support.

Sadly things went from bad to worse and in a head spinning five minute period the lead had gone from two to five nil for Gateshead when substitute Thompson went on a rampaging run through midfield before laying a pass to man of the match Greg Olley whose angled drive flew into the back of the net to give the hosts an unassailable lead and with still a quarter of the match remaining things looked very bleak for the travelling Ramsbottom supporters gave the team good backing throughout.

With Gateshead still being a full time outfit the benefits began to show as the game progressed and the Heed would complete the scoring with a sixth goal with fifteen minutes remaining when the hosts exacted full punishment on their beleaguered visitors when a simple pass allowed an unmarked Kayode the time and space to slide under the advancing Stewart for the Rotherham loan player to grab the goal his performance deserved.

With a quarter of an hour remaining and much to the delight of the home support Richard Brodie entered the field at the expense of Chukwu and Will Ozono took the place of Josh Hmami as the remaining changes were made for the visitors.

Thankfully the scoring was at an end but both sides fired in long range efforts which failed to test the opposition goalkeepers and with the result beyond doubt some time ago the Rams would be grateful that the scoreline didn't get any worse.

As the final whistle brought an end to an afternoon and performance of few positives the Rams FA cup journey for this season ended although all the credit should be given to a ruthless Gateshead side who thoroughly deserved to progress to the next round of the competition.

It was a difficult day for Ramsbottom United but Tuesday nights league trip to Kendal gives the Rams the ideal opportunity to bounce back quickly from a game best forgotten although some context could be put on the defeat as an 8-0 result in the Premier League on the same day in Manchester proves the old adage that's there is usually someone worse off somewhere.

Ramsbottom United- Stewart, Adetiloye, Kennedy (Capt), Hmami (Ozono 78 mins) , Perkins, Lugsden, Gooden (Moncrieffe 57 mins),Rother, Chukwu (Brodie 78 mins), Fawns, Evangelinos

Subs not used- Naidole, Maher, Minard (GK)

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MATCH PHOTOS

Gateshead 6 Rams 0 - Match Action

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Winsford United 1 Rams 3

Emirates FA Cup Preliminary Round Replay

Monday 2nd September 2019

Winsford United 1 Ramsbottom United 3

Attendance: 352

Report by Jon Haslam

Ramsbottom United had a Monday night appointment in Cheshire as the two sides reacquainted themselves with each other in an FA Cup replay after sharing six goals just over a week ago in an action packed encounter.

With the Rams swiftly back in action after Saturdays best forgotten defeat at Pontefract manager Chris Willcock made four changes to the starting eleven with Harry Norris, Tommy Lent, Khalil Osi-Efa and Mason Fawns gaining starting berths.

The contest began evenly with the first effort at goal arriving in the eighth minute when Mason Fawns found some room on the apron of the penalty area but the midfielders shot flew over the bar and was the only notable attempt at goal in a first twenty minutes that failed to replicate the excitement of the original tie which provided four goals in the same time period.

With a healthy crowd in attendance Winsford almost capitalised on a mix up in the visitors defence midway through the first half with the ball bouncing dangerously close to the Rams goal but thankfully the threat was averted as the hosts gave their higher division opponents the first real scare of the game.

Then, with 24 minutes played the visitors opened the scoring when after a neat passing move down the left wing lead to the ball falling to Ruben Jerome and the powerful forward unleashed a low shot from distance which appeared to catch out the Winsford custodian Rigby at the near post before fizzing into the back of the net and the Rams had the lead for a fourth occasion in the tie overall.

The clock ticked towards the thirty minute mark before the injury ravaged hosts had their first effort on target but a long range strike was gathered comfortably by Rams keeper Tom Stewart as Winsford looked to respond to falling behind, with around ten minutes remaining of a competitive first period the home outfit perhaps had their best spell of the match winning a number of dangerous set pieces which resulted in yellow cards for both Kelvin Lugsden and Eddie Moran. With the wind in their sails the home side looked to continue their attacking momentum calling Stewart into action on a couple of occasions, the second of which caused more indecision in the Rams back line but again the loose ball couldn't be forced home by the Winsford attackers.

With the half time whistle only seconds away a potentially game altering moment arrived when a competitive tackle between two committed players around the halfway line resulted in Rams youngster Harry Norris receiving his marching orders in what referee deemed a red card offence, there appeared to be an element of surprise at the decision from some supporters but nonetheless Ramsbottom United whilst holding a slender advantage at the break would need to negotiate the second forty five minutes with one player less.

As the second period began the Rams line up saw Eddie Moran slotting into the right back role and less than a minute after the interval the visitors had an opportunity to double their lead when Ruben Jerome battled well before sending in an inviting cross to Nic Evangelinos whose shot missed the target and the hosts had an early let off.

Ramsbottom United looked the team in the ascendancy in the early minutes after the restart with the home defence being tested more thoroughly with the Rams front players Ruben Jerome, Nic Evangelinos and Irywah Gooden all looking lively but with only one goal dividing the sides Winsford looked to take advantage of their extra player and the visiting supporters had their hearts in their mouths just after the hour mark when a header from a corner was flicked goal wards but mercifully flew wide of the target but served notice that the tie was finely poised.

Despite being a man light Winsford were finding it difficult to create too many clear cut chances in free play but with Khalil Osi-Efa doing a sterling job in the holding central midfield role which gave the visitors defence an extra level of protection. The defensive reorganisation worked well with Eddie Moran again showing his versatility by putting in a typically wholehearted performance whilst Tommy Lent and Kelvin Lugsden kept the home strike force fairly quiet with Tom Kennedy his usual accomplished self at left back.

Then, midway through the second half the Rams doubled their lead and gave themselves more breathing space when a through ball was played behind the hosts rearguard which was chased by the willing Ruben Jerome, the forwards hard work bore fruit when the onrushing goal keeper Rigby and a retreating Winsford defender appeared to collide whilst running in opposite directions on the edge of the penalty area and as the ball fell kindly to Jerome who took advantage of the misunderstanding leaving the striker with the simple task of tapping the ball into an empty net for the second goal of the game.

The lead was almost increased further minutes later when Rigby pulled off a good save to repel a long range effort from the impressive Mason Fawns before the loose ball fell to Irywah Gooden whose well struck shot flew narrowly wide of the upright as the Rams looked to cement their place in the next round.

The third and tie clinching goal arrived with just under a quarter of an hour remaining when good work down the right wing from Irywah Gooden gave the winger the opportunity to roll the ball back to Eddie Moran who sent in a delicious first time cross which was met by a glancing header from the exemplary Ruben Jerome and as the ball flew past the helpless Rigby and into the bottom corner of the goal the angular striker had completed a very impressive hat-trick much to the delight of his team mates and travelling Ramsbottom United supporters at The Barton Stadium.

The forward has now scored seven goals in six appearances this term and undoubtedly Winsford would have been glad to see the back of the Ramsbottom player after five goals in his two matches between the sides as the in form striker was replaced by Will Ozono to a warm round of applause from the Rams fans in attendance.

The two games had an air of symmetry between them in regards that the side reduced to ten men appeared to be more threatening with one player less as in the original match at The Riverside saw Winsford suffer the same fate of being reduced to ten men albeit for a slightly longer period than the Rams and themselves might have felt they could have won the time at the first time of asking.

The Rams were the dominant attacking team during the second half and at the second time of asking got the job done in what was as good as anything seen this season although Chris Willcocks charges have scored three goals in three of their six games to date proving that they are likely to be an attacking outfit to be feared during the season.

The final but nonetheless noteworthy incident took place with almost the last kick of the match when Winsford full back Damian Skolorzynski let fly from 25 yards to send a superb shot which found the top corner to give the home support something to cheer in what was in reality nothing more than a consolation but may well prove to be a contender for Winsfords goal of the season show reel come the end of the season.

This well deserved victory gave Ramsbottom United their first away success in the FA Cup since August 2011 with the reward being a trip to South Yorkshire on Saturday afternoon to take on Maltby Main for a place in the Second Qualifying Round of the worlds oldest national cup competition.

Ramsbottom United- Stewart, Norrris, Kennedy (Capt), Moran, Lent, Lugsden, Gooden,, Osi-Efa, Jerome (Ozono 78 mins), Osi-Efa, Fawns, Evangelinos (Brodie 86 mins)

Subs not used- Rother, Doran, Minard (GK)

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Pickering 1 Rams 2

BetVictor Northern Premier League North West Division

Tuesday 20th August

Pickering Town 1 Ramsbottom United 2

Attendance-137

Match report by Jon Haslam

Ramsbottom United made the 200 mile round trip to North Yorkshire on Tuesday evening for their first away game of the season looking to continue the momentum from the stunning weekend comeback against Widnes.

The opening fixtures of the season saw both sides experience contrasting fortunes with the Pikes suffering a 4-1 reverse at Workington whilst the Rams edged a five goal thriller at the Riverside, the visitors showed just one alteration with Tommy Lent replacing Harry Norris in the central defensive berth.

Pickering began the match looking to respond to their weekend reverse and opened the scoring with their first attack of the contest with less then two minutes on the clock when a pass from Dalton opened up the visitors defence and Danny Earl latched onto the through ball before surging towards goal rounding the onrushing Rams stopper Stewart and slotting into an empty net to give the hosts the ideal start.

Ramsbottom reacted in a positive manner with wide men Gooden and Evangelinos looking particular threats although the home defence needed to be at their best to retain their early advantage with both Turnbull and Watson at the heart of the Pikes defence denying the visitors with perfectly times challenges when the Rams were well positioned to shoot for goal.

With almost a third of the contest played the hosts almost surrendered their narrow lead on a couple of occasions when firstly Mason Fawns sent an effort just too high of the target before the same player had an attempt cleared off the line as Chris Willcocks outfit looked to get back on level terms.

In what was proving to be an open half of football the home side almost improved their position further when a ball forward caught out the visitors defence and with the blue shirted forward through one on one with Rams keeper Stewart the effort sailed off target much to the relief of the visiting supporters but served notice that Pickering were proving a lively attacking threat on the break.

As the halfway point of this cross Pennine clash was reached Ramsbottom United frustratingly went into the interval in arrears and despite having the superiority in regards to possession and also numerous promising set piece situations the away side couldn't force Foulkes in the Pikes goal into any serious action.

With both sides beginning the second period unchanged it would be Pickering that would be the first side to threaten to add to their tally when a strong run from the half way line by goal scorer Earl opened up the visiting defence but the cross towards Jowett at the far post was intercepted perfectly by Kelvin Lugsden and further damage to the score line was avoided for the Rams.

With less than ten minutes played of the second half played Ramsbottom United had the ideal opportunity to level the game when a through ball saw Irywah Gooden surging into the penalty area before being bundled to the ground by a recovering Pikes defender and the official pointed to the penalty spot,unfortunately the usually reliable Nic Evangelinos saw his spot kick saved by the Hull City loanee Foulkes and the hosts lead remained intact.

With the hour point almost reached and the Rams looking an attacking threat the equaliser almost arrived when a quickly taken free kick from Tom Kennedy found the clever run of Ruben Jerome but the strikers flicked headed effort was tipped over the crossbar by the increasingly busy home keeper.

As the match continued the contest was developing into a familiar pattern with the visitors having the lions share of the possession and attacking menace, it should be noted however that Pickering defended their lead stubbornly with the hosts throwing their bodies in front of the ball with seemingly increasing regularity whilst the home sides attacking prowess on the counter attack certainly kept the Rams defensive players honest in what was shaping up to be a very watchable encounter.

With the contest appearing like it could be "One of those nights" a two minute spell just after the seventy minute mark turned the game completely on its head, firstly a cross from the right wing found Irywah Gooden unmarked at the far post and the youngster controlled the ball well before sending an excellent placed shot arrowing into the top corner to get the Rams back on level terms which was no more than the visitors deserved.

Then within sixty seconds Ramsbottom took the lead when a clever through ball penetrated the Pickering defensive line sending bustling forward Ruben Jerome through on goal and the injury time hero from Saturday held off his marker before confidently striding forward into the penalty area and sending a well struck shot past Foulkes and into the bottom corner to give the away team the advantage and the forward notched the decisive goal for the second consecutive match.

The remainder of the evening saw Pickering continue to push players forward looking for a leveller with Lugsden and Kennedy organising the Rams backline in familiarly vocal fashion with new goal keeper Tom Stewart looking assured between the sticks.

Ramsbottom United utilised the substitutes bench late in the match with Karl Jones making his league bow for the club and Chukwu replacing goal grabbers Ruben Jerome and Irywah Gooden respectively.

As the victory looked in sight for the Rams and the ninety minutes completed there was one last moment of concern when a cross was played deep into the visitors penalty area and a home forward was first to the ball but thankfully the headed attempt bounced wide of Stewarts goal much to the relief of all connected with Ramsbottom United

A final blast of the referees whistle brought proceedings to a close and the three points headed back to the Red Rose county as the Rams 100% start to the season continued, it should be noted that this was the first time since 2010/11 that Ramsbottom United had taken maximum points from their opening two league fixtures. Before embarking on the journey home the delighted loyal band of away supporters gave the players a warm round of applause for the efforts which was reciprocated as the Rams look forward to FA Cup action on Saturday with Winsford United the visitors to the HWRS.

Ramsbottom United- Stewart, Bleau,, Kennedy (Capt), Rother, Lent, Lugsden, Gooden (Chukwu 86 mins), Naidole, Jerome (Jones 78 mins), Fawns, Evangelinos

Subs not used-Adetiloye, Norris, Moncrieffe

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Radcliffe 3 Rams 0: Play-off semi final

Ramsbottom United saw their promotion dream come to an end as they were beaten 3-0 by Jon Macken’s Radcliffe side in The Bury Metro Derby.

Scott Metcalfe’s first half header was followed up by strikes from forwards Tunde Owolabi and Ben Wharton as Radcliffe victory booked themselves a spot in the divisions play-off final.

Chris Willcock made two changes to the side held by Kidsgrove on Saturday. Joel Bembo Leta and Iyrwah Gooden were replaced by Ryan Ellison and Jason Carey in the starting eleven.

Radcliffe made the brighter start to the game, creating numerous chances to open the scoring. Tunde Owolabi was the leading threat for Boro in the opening exchanges as The Blues began the match on the front front. Owolabi saw several opportunities come and go, first heading wide from a Craig Lindfield corner then again heading wide shortly after from a similar goalscoring position.

Wearing their red away kit, set pieces looked the most likely way of scoring for Rammy as they looked to find a way past Ollie Martin in the Radcliffe goal. From a free kick Luke Thompson rose highest in The Boro backline but failed to direct his header on target. In another attempt, Tom Kennedy sent a free kick into the wall after Nic Evangelinos was fouled just outside the Radcliffe penalty box.

From open play Jamie Rainford scuffed a shot which was well covered by Martin, but Boro would soon take the lead from a Craig Lindfield free kick. Radcliffe’s number seven’s cross was initially cleared by the Rammy backline, yet the follow up ball courtesy of Prince Haywood was headed home at the back post by Radcliffe’s number eleven Scott Metcalfe on the 40 minute mark.

The Rams saw out the reminder of the half with little trouble, although Radcliffe’s right back Kyle Harrison appealed a penalty for handball. Referee Peter Shacklady waved away all appeals as the half ended with a one goal advantage to the home side.

Radcliffe were again quicker out the blocks in the second half, the uphill slanting pitch clearly of no hindrance to Macken’s men. Harrison forced Sam Ashton into a finger tipping save, turning the ball over the bar as the right back looked for the top corner with a curling shot.

But Rammy were to be less fortunate immediately after as Radcliffe doubled their lead after 55 minutes. Owolabi was slipped a wonderful through ball by skipper Kingsley Williams and the number 10 wasn’t to be found wanting in front of goal as he rounded Ashton to take the Boro a step closer to the upcoming play off final.

The Rams were now on thin ice and another superb Ashton save prevented Radcliffe from going three up. Owolabi twisted and turned past several Rammy defenders, yet Ashton was an equal match for the frontman.

However Owolabi continued to cause problems for the Rammy back line as Radcliffe again saw a penalty call turned down.

Ashton was adjudged to have brought down Owolabi but like Harrison’s first half call Shacklady refused to award the home side a spot kick.

Ramsbottom looked brighter going forward as the second half progressed and seemed the more likely to halve the scoreline deficit. First Jason Carey’s attempt on goal was beaten away, before substitute Iyrwah Gooden saw an effort fly wide of the target.

Then against the run of play Boro scored the third and final goal of the semi final. On 77 minutes Ben Wharton coolly chipped the ball over the head of Ashton as the Rammy backline could only watch the ball trickle over the line.

Willcock’s side continued to look dangerous going forward despite Radcliffe causing problems on the counter attack. Both Jamie Rother and Nic Evangelinos had efforts blocked in and around the goalmouth, but the Blues defence was able to clear the danger easily.

Radcliffe were able to see out the remainder of the match and ran out well-deserved winners. It was Ramsbottom’s first away defeat in league action under manager Willcock as they ended the season with a feeling of disappointment. Yet the turn of form since the management takeover last October gives hope that in twelve months’ time the club will be in a similar position once again.

Ramsbottom: Ashton, Kennedy (c), Jacobs, Moran, Thompson, Kelvin Lugsden, Ellison (Gooden 70’), Rother, Rainford (Jerome 76’), Carey, Evangelinos Un-used subs: Bembo Leta, Donaldson, Osi-Efa