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: Rams 2 Kidsgrove 2

Ramsbottom United were held to a 2-2 draw by Kidsgrove in the final game to the league season. Two-nil up at half time, goals from Lee Williamson and a last gasp Anthony Malbon goal denied The Rams three points. The draw confirmed a playoff spot of fifth place and has lead to s semi-final away at Radcliffe Boro this coming Tuesday night.

Chris Willcock named an unchanged side against Kidsgrove from the goalless draw against Radcliffe in the league game on Easter Monday.

The opening ten minutes of the game brought little goalmouth action, yet Rammy were to break the deadlock in the 11th minute. Tom Kennedy’s cross from out wide found Eddie Moran, whose shot on the edge of the box flew past Kidsgrove keeper Kieran Harrison.

After some nice midfield play, The Rams striker should have doubled their lead in the twenty-third minute. Striker Jamie Rainford dribbled past several orange shirts but could only find the side netting with his effort.

The visitors had a quiet opening half an hour in the attacking third, but midfielder Kyle Blake did force Sam Ashton into a save. Blake’s shot was straight at the Rammy keeper. At the other end, Moran could have doubled the home sides advantage but failed to properly test Harrison.

The game took a huge turning point shortly before half time. The visitors were down to ten men when James Butler was given his marching orders, pulling down Rainford as he turned towards goal. The defender looked to be the last man in Grove’s line of defence.

The home side did double their lead immediately after Butler’s sending off. Midfielder Jamie Rother’s fine shot from distance was simply unstoppable, bringing out a loud cheer from the home fans behind the goal.

Rammy had the ball the net again in first-half added time too but this time the goal was disallowed. Rainford’s initial shot was beaten away before his follow up shot burst the net, yet found himself in an offside opposition.

The second half began exactly as the first half started with Ramsbottom firmly on the front foot. Rainford was unlucky not to find the net again. Identical to his first-half chance, The Rams number nine weaving through several Kidsgrove defenders but again the ball trickled wide rather than over the line.

He should have added a third shortly after. Moran’s through ball found the leading man in front of goal but was unable to take his chance failing to beat the keeper. Kidsgrove’s striker Anthony Malbon gave the home side a scare in a rare attempt for The Grove, however, fired well wide of the target.

It turned out to be an early warning for Rammy who were pegged back in sixty-second minute. Kidsgrove bounced back with a 25-yard wonder goal of their own courtesy of Lee Williamson, his shot leaving Ashton no chance as the visitors set up a thrilling final half hour.

Rainford was beginning to think it wasn’t his day in front of goal, this time drawing his latest attempt wide of the post. Another was expertly saved by Harrison before coming out to Rother who saw an effort deflected over the bar.

Nic Evangelinos also attempted to restore the Rams two-goal advantage. Latching onto a Kennedy ball, the number eleven failed to keep his effort down on goal as he missed the target by some distance.

As the game fell into added time Ramsbottom were punished for their missed chances as Kidsgrove equalised in the ninety-first minute. Grove skipper Anthony Malbon stabbed home an effort from close range and ending their own season on a high.

A tough finish for Rammy nonetheless which was no doubt tough to take after the first half scoreline. Manager Chris Willcock showed his frustration in the aftermath.

‘I didn’t know what to make of that game. Outside of the goals, I thought we were well below par, to be honest with you.

I am extremely frustrated and angry with how the second half developed. Everyone from Ramsbottom should expect more from the lads on Tuesday.

I don’t like the way we are approaching things. Since we have come back, we haven’t been at our usual level.

After admitting the sending off was correct, Willcock looked ahead to the upcoming playoff semi-final against Radcliffe.

'We can beat anybody in this league on our day. We have the quality and have caused everybody problems. The problem is our day is not here at the moment. We have achieved our main goal but I expect more. We’ve only made the top five on goal difference (ahead of Runcorn Linnets)'.

I am always pessimistic but we need to come on Tuesday with a different mindset. Let’s see what we get’.

Team vs Kidsgrove: Ashton, Kennedy, Jacobs, Moran, Thompson, Kelvin Lugsden, Gooden ( Carey 60’ ) , Rother, Bembo-Leta (Donaldson 60’) , Evangelinos, Rainford

Unused subs: Jerome, Osi-Efa, Ellison

Attendance: 297

Referee: Lewis Raper

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Rams 2 Clitheroe 0

BetVictor Northern Premier League North West Division

Tuesday 10th September 2019

Ramsbottom United 2 Clitheroe 0


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


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: Radcliffe 0 Rams 0

Evo-Stik West Division

Monday 22nd April 2019

Radcliffe FC 0 Ramsbottom United 0

Attendance 523

Report by Damien Barlow

The penultimate game of the regulation season saw the Rams make the short trip into M26 to take on neighbours Radcliffe. With the two teams placed 2nd and 4th respectively, both knew that three points today could secure a playoff spot and alleviate some pressure heading into the final weekend in six days time.

The Rams got us started, playing in their changed strip of red and black and attacking from right to left and with the up hill dis-advantage which would dictate the first forty five minutes.

With the rewards that a win would bring today, it was no surprise that the opening fifteen minutes were a scrappy affair, with no quarter given nor received, and no time on the ball for any of the outfield players. On the rare occasions anyone was able to send a meaningful ball into the area, namely two Tom Kennedy free-kicks, they were dealt with simply by the home defence.

The first test on Sam Ashtons goal came just after the ten minute mark as a Jamie Rother foul allowed Scott Metcalfe the opportunity to send an in-swinging free-kick down by the corner flag whch found Smith at the back post who won his header with ease but sent the ball into the side netting.

Shortly after that scare another was to follow, as Thompson seemed to get caught under a long ball from Radcliffe and mis-judge the flight allowing it to bounce behind him and allow Tunde Owolabi free down the left. As the recovering number 5 tried to make amends Owolabi crashed to the floor with a shot at goal beckoning, the home fans were certain of the penalty, and the away fans rueing the simplicty of how the chance was presented, only for the referee to replay the incident through his head and then issue a yellow card to the man on the floor for simulation. The reaction from the closest Ramsbottom players to Owolabi would suggest the man in the middle made the right decision, unfortuantley Kelvin Lugsden made too strong a point and joined Owolabi in the book.

The referee was called into action again minutes later as Rother found himself in a foot race with Haywood, again the coming together saw the attacking player ending up grounded, and again the protests were waved away, however the decison not to book the Rammy midfielder once again ruffled the home suporters feathers.

As the half hour mark approached, the home side were enjoying territorial supremecy, ableit without dirtying Ashtons gloves, there was the sense they felt their leverge of down-hill play needed to be profited from and began to up the tempo and regularity of balls into the final third, and as Elliot Rokka rode two challanges and established well earnt space at the edge of the area his attempt to break the deadlock left Sam Ashton flat footed, he could do nothing as the ball rolled to an open goal. Again, the gods were shining on the visitors, as the ball bounced off the bottom of the left hand post and the recovering defenders cleared the danger.

That, however, did not dis-hearten the hosts, and the next 10 minutes would become a personnal dual between Radcliffe and Sam Ashton, as he thwarted them four times to keep the scores level. Before Ashton took centre stage, there was still time for Owolabi to leave Thompson in his dust as he sped away down the left, this time Lugsden was on hand to clear the danger.

The first showing of Ashtons cat-like reactions came as a result of Rokka again getting free down the left and sending a cross towards the 6 yard line for Ben Warton to have a free point blank header only to be denied by the visiting keeper and immediatley turned the follow up header from Owolabi round the post for a Radcliffe corner.

A minute later a free kick escaped the Rammy defence which allowed Owolabi and Ashton to contest the high ball, which was punched clear, only for Williams to react first, and become the latest to find Ashton's reactions in fine fettle.

The final effort of the half came in stoppage time as Rokka tried his luck from the edge of the box, only to have his hopes dashed by the excellent Ashton.

Half-time Radcliffe Boro 0 Ramsbottom United 0

The second half began in the same veign as the first, with rushed passes and little time to express ones-self. Rother again, was adjudged to have won the ball unfairly which gave Radcliffe their first attempt on the Rammy goal. The resulting set peice was again headed into the magnetic grasp of Sam Ashton.

A free kick for the vistors on the hour which was sent long by Kennedy and cleared by the home defence, looped more up than away, had Evangelinos dreaming of tomorrows back pages as he met the falling ball full on, unfortunatley, his vollied effort was closer to smashing through a nearby greenhouse than any tabloid space.

The down-hill adavntage which was with the home side in the first half was clear to see in the away sides play in the second, as they started to enjoy more time out of their half, and began to ask half questions of Radcliffe. A good crisp inter-change of passes between Jacobs and Moran allowed a couple of crosses which were dealt with by the home backline, and for Rother to chance his arm from twenty yards but send his effort high and wide.

A rare forray into the Rammy half for Radcliffe in the second half saw a free kick awarded on the right hand edge of the area. Metcalfe again smelt an opportunity to test the score line, and his thunderous effort possibly deserved better but again, Ashton stood strong and pushed away his attempt.

Conceivably, Ramsbottoms best chance came by the way of a mix up between Radcliffes keeper and defender. As Kennedy swung in a free kick after Jacobs had been felled, the initial danger was dealt with, but when the Rams won back possession, a clever reverse pass for Moran, who was retreating from an offside position left the ball, Evangelions pounced on the uncertaintly in Radcliffes back line and somehow gained possession, but from a tight angle was only able to hit the side netting.

70 minutes in, and the first activity from the bench saw Bembo-Leto and Gooden replaced by Kieran Lugsden and Ruben Jerome.

Another half hearted appeal for a penalty came on 76 minutes when Eddie Moran felt aggrieved as he came off worse during a challenge in the box, again the referee waved away any protests and the game continued. Almost immediatley, Owolabi raced clear of Kennedy and from the by-line set a ball rolling accross the six yard line and any Radcliffe man who'd gambled would have had his easiest goal of the campaign. Much to the relief of the men in red and black that wasn't the case and Lugsden was able to bring the ball out.

The final fifteen minutes was littered with possessional errors and more mis-placed, over hit, under hit, wayward passes. Neither team found any fluency or fluidity in their play, and really was a day when both defences came out on top. Credit to Radcliife for nulifying a Rams front line who would fancy scoring against any opposition, and a final mention for Rams keeper Sam Ashton who played his part more than most in keeping Radcliffe at bay.

As the full time whistle blew and results from elsewhere filtered through, it became apparant the Radcliffe had indeed cemented their place in the end of season play offs - well done to them, and good luck. Ramsbottom, however still need one last win to guaruntee their fate, but a run of fourteen away games without defeat shows how much this side has improved since early season, and heading into the closing weekend of the season knowing a win would confirm their own place in the play offs is something most Rams fans would have found hard to comprehend as summer turned to autumn.

Full time Radcliffe Boro 0 Ramsbottom United 0

Rams team: Ashton, Kennedy, Jacobs, Thompson, Kelvin Lugsden, Moran, Rother, Bembo-Leta (Jerome 73'), Gooden (Kieran Lugsden 73'), Evangelinos, Rainford.

Not used: Osi-Efa, Ellison, Donaldson

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


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: Rams 2 Mossley 1

Evo-Stik West Division

Saturday 20th April 2019


Attendance: 392

Report by Adam Clark

The Rams continued their play-off push with a 2-1 win at home to play off rivals Mossley.

Rammy manager Chris Willcock named an unchanged for a key game in the play-off race.

It was a quiet start to the game, in the first 15 minutes there wasn’t alot to report apart from a couple of half chances a side. Kyle Jacobs got a ball into the box but it was cleared by Josh Ollerenshaw in the Mossley goal & Andy Keogh for the visitors he had his shot caught by Rams’ keeper Sam Ashton.

Mossley had a penalty appeal turned down on 23 minutes, Max Leonard was the man who was brought down but the referee said no penalty.

It was a dramatic end to the first half when an off the ball incident occurred between Kieran Lugsden of Ramsbottom & Mossley’s skipper Andy Keogh they were both sent for an early bath just before half-time.

HALF TIME – Rams 0 Mossley 0

In the early stages of the second half both Rainford & Jacobs had shots for Rammy that went over the bar.

The game looked like it had a 0-0 written all over it until the 70th minute when the Rams took the lead through Jamie Rainford, he shot from the edge of the area it looked like it was going over but it hit the underside of the bar and went in.

The Rams doubled their lead 3 minutes later through Irwyah Gooden his shot came from just inside the 18-yard box and went into the back of the Mossley net via a deflection. Rams could have made it 3-0 on 78 minutes when a ball fell to the back post for Rother he just couldn’t get on the end of it.

Mossley got a conciliation goal with two minutes of normal time left, the ball fell to Adam Jones about 3 yards out who slotted home.

The Rams held on in added time to make it 3 wins from their last 3 games.

FULL TIME Rams 2 Mossley 1

Ramsbottom United; Sam Ashton, Tom Kennedy, Kyle Jacobs, Eddie Moran, Luke Thompson, Kelvin Lugsden, Ruben Jerome (Irywah Gooden 67’), Jamie Rother, Jamie Rainford (Ryan Ellison 90’), Kieran Lugsden, Nic Evangelinos (Jason Carey 70’).

Unused subs; Anthony Donaldson, Joel Bembo-Leta

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


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

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Rams 4 Droylsden 0

Nic Evangelinos scored all four goals as Ramsbottom United took a huge step towards guaranteeing themselves a play-off spot come the end of the season, seeing off Droylsden 4-0 in a routine win for Chris Willcock’s side.

Just the one change was made to the side that beat Runcorn the previous Saturday. Spencer Harris was replaced by Kieran Lugdsen in the starting eleven.

The Rams made a lightning quick start and were soon ahead after just six minutes. Jamie Rainford was brought down by Droylsden keeper Chris Thompson, leaving Nic Evangelinos to convert the well-taken 12 yard spot kick, sending Thompson the wrong way.

Clearly enjoying their football in the spring sun, Rammy scored a second soon after. Eddie Moran delivered a pin point cross from out right, finding Evangelinos who after seeing his initial attempt blocked by the wood work, smashed home the rebound from close range.

After the early blitz from the home side, they were nearly pegged back as Droylsden were denied a goal of their own. A Chris Rigby free kick was spilled by Sam Ashton as the ball tricked over the line, only for referee Matt Scholes and his officials to call a foul on the Rammy keeper, retaining Ramsbottom’s two goal advantage.

Yet it wasn’t long before Evangelinos completed his hat trick, in a grand total of eleven minutes. He did it in style, his dead ball free kick saw the ball bounce off and under the bar, leaving the visitors playing a damage limitation exercise for the remainder of the afternoon.

Numerous opportunities were missed to add a fourth shortly following the Evangelinos hat trick. Rainford fired wide in a one on one, latching onto a cross field ball from Eddie Moran. Tom Kennedy had a set piece attempt beaten away by Thompson and Rainford saw another effort blocked by the men in red as the home side went back to the dressing room three nil to the good.

After a thrilling opening first half, The Rams could have been forgiven for their slow start to the second half. Kieran Lugsden was brought down in the box as the home side looked for a second penalty, before Ruben Jerome was unlucky not to add his name to the score sheet, his low cross turned over the bar by a Droylsden centre back.

Yet soon after the home fans had something to cheer about as Rammy won themselves a second penalty. Lugsden was brought down again by Thompson and Evangelinos tucked his second penalty home again sending the keeper the wrong way.

As the afternoon drew to its conclusion the home side could even have had a third penalty, but substitute Iyrwah Gooden’s loud appeals were quickly waved away. Down the other end The Bloods could have earned a consolation when Sam Ashton palmed away a Liam Caddick effort, then from the same attempt Domaine Rouse sliced wide in front of an open goal.

Ruben Jerome should have added a fifth too. Turning past his marker and then the keeper, the number seven found the angle too tight to add what would have been a well-deserved fifth.

Manager Chris Willcock was most impressed with his sides first half display, but believed the second half performance warranted some improvement.

“First half we were very good, back to our best from a creativity point of view, created a number of good chances and scored some very good goals.

“Second half we took the foot off the gas and didn’t play with the intensity I would have liked.

“I would’ve liked that intensity to have still been there over the 90 minutes, I didn’t enjoy the second half as much”. On Evangelinos and in particular Rammy’s front three, Willcock was again full of praise.

“I thought Jamie(Rainford) and Nico we’re brilliant today, both recently have played very well. Ruben Jerome has been getting back to his best over the past few games too.

“It’s nice not to rely on just one individual for goals. The front three have a good goal tally between them. To get the ball down as and when we can was my intention when I arrived, getting the ball out wide and creating plenty of chances.

“I’ve only been here since October and we’ve had a brilliant run. When I came into the club we were in 18th place, nobody was talking about Ramsbottom for promotion. Since I’ve been here, home and away, the lads have been fantastic”.

Ramsbottom team: Ashton, Kennedy, Jacobs, Moran, Thompson, Kelvin Lugsden, Jerome, Rother (Donaldson 70’ mins) , Rainford (Gooden 63’ mins), Kieran Lugsden, Evangelinos (Jack Kay 73’ mins)

Un-used Subs: Bembo-Leta, Schofield