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