Third defeat on spin for insipid Rams

Ramsbottom United slipped to a disappointing home defeat to ten man Ossett Town on a sunny yet crisp Saturday afternoon at the Riverside.

RAMSBOTTOM UNITED 0 OSSETT TOWN 2
Harry Williams Riverside Stadium
Saturday 24th February 2018
Evo-Stik North
Attendance: 156

The home side showed a couple of changes from the midweek loss to Scarborough with Ryan Ellison making his debut in place of Zehn Mohammed with Eddie Moran replacing Chinedu Uche in midfield.

The opening exchanges were fairly even with both sides looking to gain the upper hand but the only moment of note in the first quarter of an hour was the yellow card rather harshly dished out to the home sides' Greg Daniels.

Ossett Town who would be making their final visit to Ramsbottom in their current guise due to the highly publicised merger with Ossett Albion at the end of the current season and had an opportunity to make the breakthrough just before the twenty minute point with a free kick on the edge of the Rams box which fortunately was blocked by the home sides defensive wall.

Ramsbottom United were finding it difficult to create many clear chances until a superb cross fizzed across the Ossett six yard box from Sam Madeley just evaded the onrushing Daniels.

With both sides finding it difficult to put together any sustained periods of possession, the contest was developing into a midfield battle with neither goalkeeper seriously tested as the 30 minute mark was reached with the game goalless.

Ramsbottom United perhaps had their best attacking spell as the encounter drifted towards the break with Ellison scuffing his shot when well placed before raising full back Jay Sheridan hit the outside of the post after a good link up with Jerome Wright down the hosts left flank.

As the half way point was almost reached the contest appeared to swing towards the Rams when Ossett midfielder Bingley who had been booked ten minutes earlier for a shirt pull received his second yellow card for preventing a quickly taken free kick and was subsequently sent off to reduce the visitors to ten men for the second half.

The home side, with a man advantage began the second period in the ascendancy and signalled their intent with Moran firing over the bar in the opening moments after the restart followed closely afterwards with a shot with Jamie Rother which again failed to test Overton in the Ossett goal.

To Ossett's credit they kept two forwards on the pitch despite being a man down and almost paid the price when a well struck effort from Moran forced a good save from the Ossett stopper and the rebound looked to have fallen kindly for Daniels but his attempt was blocked and cleared to safety.

With 60 goalless minutes played, the home side made two substitutions with Lee Gaskell and Phil Dean replacing Daniels and Madeley respectively as they looked to capitalise on the extra player.

The first goal of the contest did arrive midway through the second half when a free kick into the Ramsbottom box was initially cleared but the attack was kept alive and the ball found its way to Jason Yates who hooked the ball beyond Sam Ashton and Ossett had the lead.

The Rams then looked to respond with Sam Heathcote replacing Rother on 77 minutes in the first change of the match for the home side but this failed to ignite the hosts attacking play as the minutes ticked away the frustration was beginning to surface.

Sadly things would get worse for Ramsbottom United minutes later when another free kick was launched into the penalty area before again being repelled, the ball was then chipped back into the danger area where an unmarked Freeman lashed home despite frantic claims of offside from the Rams defence.

Ossett remained organised as they looked to see out the remaining minutes and even though the home team had much of the possession they didn't threaten to reduce the arrears until Dean burst through with two minutes left on the clock but his effort was smuggled away to safety.

As the referee blew the final whistle the Rams had succumbed to a frustrating defeat which makes for a worrying sequence of results showing one win in the last twelve league outings and collecting just six points in that run of games meaning Ramsbottom United dropped a place to 18th in the league table ahead of the scheduled visit of Colwyn Bay on Tuesday night.

RAMSBOTTOM UNITED: Ashton, Brownhill, Sheridan, Stott, Thompson, Ellison, Madeley (Dean 68mins), Moran, Rother (Heathcote 77mins), Daniels (Gaskell 65mins), Wright.  Subs not used: Mohammed, Uche.

COMING UP:
Tuesday 27th February - Evo-Stik North - RAMS v Colwyn Bay (7.45pm)
Saturday 3rd March - Evo-Stik North - Brighouse Town v RAMS (3pm)
Tuesday 6th March - Evo-Stik North - RAMS v Kendal Town (7.45pm)
Saturday 10th March - Evo-Stik North - RAMS v Ossett Albion (3pm)

FRANK CROOK's PICTURES FROM THE GAME
CLICK HERE