Rams get first league win at Albion

In a game that started at a whirlwind pace, Ramsbottom United collected their first league win of the season, despite a late fight back by the home side.

The game was barely three minutes old when the Rams took the lead.

A fine cross from the left behind the defence from Joel Pilkington found Lee Gaskell who bundled it home from close range.

The home side replied almost immediately when Adam Muller broke through only to see Grant Shenton deny him with a fine save.

A minute later an identical move resulted in a speedy equaliser. A through ball again split the visitors' defence, and this time Dale Kelly made no mistake as he fired in a fierce drive that gave Shenton no chance.

Ryan Harrison then went close with a header for the Albion as the early action swung from end to end.

Jordan Hulme let fly from 20 yards which Ossett keeper Adam Rhodes tipped over the bar, and from the subsequent corner, Andy Dawson saw his header and Danny Warrender's follow-up hacked off the line.

The action continued when a mazy run into the area by Grant Spencer, on 14 minutes, saw him up-ended, leaving the referee with no choice other than to point to the spot.

The usually reliable Phil Dean stepped up to take the penalty, but he clipped the crossbar and the ball sailed high over.

However, that was forgotten sixty seconds later, as the Rams did manage to regain the lead with an almost identical goal to the first.

This time the cross came from the right. Warrender fed Dominic Smalley down the wing, and he sent in another cross behind the defenders which again found Gaskell who had the simplest of tasks of slotting it home.

Dawson was again on the end of a Smalley cross but this time the keeper was equal to it, but the big central defender must have known his luck was out, as three more times in the first half he was involved but unable to help increase the lead.

He headed a corner back in only to see Hulme head over from close range, before having another header cleared off the line, and a further nod back found Warrender whose attempt ricocheted back off the bar.

The Rams went in at half-time good value for the lead, but with a little more luck, would have had the game sewn up by then.

The second half saw a much more determined effort from the home side, although it was the visitors who looked lively at the start.

Smalley's fine run into the area saw his shot blocked, and Joel Pilkington could only fire the rebound over the bar.

Dawson, on a night of frustration, saw yet another header scooped off the line, whilst a long cross from Smalley found Gaskell near the far post, but he couldn't quite get his angles right.

Albion substitute Adam Hayton began the fight back, but his shot was easily gathered by Shenton, whilst at the other end, Hulme saw his header from another Smalley cross brilliantly tipped round the post by Rhodes.

The home side began to up the pressure, and almost grabbed an equaliser when a corner was only half cleared and Niall O'Brien's cheeky overhead kick crashed against the post before sailing across the face of the goal to be eventually cleared.

The Rams soaked up the pressure as the minutes ticked down, but the home side failed to penetrate the rearguard, and the visitors picked up a deserved three points to begin their ascent of the table.

RAMSBOTTOM UNITED: Shenton, Warrender, Pilkington, Morley(Warburton 83mins), Dawson, Robinson, Smalley, Spencer(Bradbury 90mins), Gaskell, Hulme, Dean(Toth 74mins). Subs not used: Prickett, Johnson