Another game, another eleven for the Rams. Pre-match in the dressing room must resemble an episode of Blind date at the moment. Perhaps Mark Fell should draft in Paul O'Grady for the tactical talks.
TRAFFORD 2 RAMSBOTTOM UNITED 2
Saturday 18 March 2017
Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Division One North
Of course the current spate of injuries and angst makes the rotation of players and last minute drafting of players to fill holes all but unavoidable but it does not make sense of a confident mid-table finish building towards next season anything more than an illusion. Despite that, any level was a very good point against third in the table Trafford that mid table finish is now assured with the news of a harsh four-point deduction for, at worst, a very minor alleged administrative error.
The Rams' displays these days are taking on a recurring familiarity with their goals emanating from a combination of persistent running into the box by Darrhyl Mason and calm efficiency by Lee Gaskell at the penalty spot. Trafford might have found themselves in front early on when a shot from 15 yards was volleyed over before on 25 minutes Mason forced his way into the box and was bundled over. Gaskell strolled up and sent the keeper one way and the ball the other to put the Rams in front from the penalty spot.
The Rams were looking good for a half time lead until Trafford got their own penalty. From some distance young stand in full back Tom Murphy was doing his best to avoid contact with Kingsley Williams moving away from the direction of the ball. The Trafford winger went down in more instalments than it used to take to buy a fur coat from Littlewoods catalogue and the ref pointed to the spot so it was all square of the break.
Another persistent theme has been slow starts by the Rams on the re-start. Three minutes into the second period a short corner routine resulted in a goalmouth scramble. The Rams could not clear and Josh Granite chiselled the ball in to put Trafford in front.
As might be expected this put the Rams on the back foot. If they continued to try and play a bit of football and where rewarded when a mirror image of their first penalty saw Gaskell equalise from the spot.
From there it was end to end stuff. Trafford crashed a shot against the bar as a prelude to frantic final moments. Gaskell was able to get round the keeper but from a narrow angle could only chip just wide and then Trafford broke to the other end and it took a fine save from Martin Fearon to keep the ball out.
A win by either side would have been harsh on the other.
Trafford: Terry Smith, Liam Brownhill, Lee Neville, Anthony Griffith, Alex Frost, Josh Granite (capt), Kingsley Williams, Chris Palmer, Ash Woods, Andy Keogh, Craig Lindfield. Subs: Luke Horrocks, Greg Daniels (for Brownhill 87mins), Ally Brown (for Williams 76mins), Aaron Burns (for Woods 62mins), Andrew Langford
Ramsbottom United: Martin Fearon, Bradley Roscoe, Thomas Murphy, Dean Stott (capt), Luke Thompson, George Melling, Grant Spencer, Damian Green, Ronaldo Pearson, Lee Gaskell, Darrhyl Mason. Subs: Jack Corcoran, Kevin Monteiro (for Pearson 55mins), Mark McKay (for Green 68mins), Regan Jarrett, Oliver Crankshaw.
Referee: M Crusham (Orrell).
PICTURES FROM THE GAME (courtesy of Frank Crook)
PICTURES from the game here