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