Rams suffer heavy away day loss

Title favourites South Shields produced an impressive performance to end the recent Rams revival, inflicting a 4-0 drubbing on the East Lancashire side in front of over 1,500 spectators in the North East.

SOUTH SHIELDS 4 RAMSBOTTOM UNITED 0
Mariners Park, South Shields
Saturday 24th March 2018
Evo-Stik North
Attendance: 1,552

Ramsbottom United made the long trip to the North East on Saturday to take on high flying South Shields looking to build upon two consecutive victories.

The visitors showed just one change in their starting line up from Tuesdays home win against Atherton with Sam Madeley replacing the unavailable Phil Dean.

It was the Rams that started positively in front of a bumper crowd of over 1,500 at the superbly appointed Mariners Park when on five minutes Madeley turned sharply on the edge of the box before rifling a shot at goal which home keeper Connell palmed away to safety.

South Shields, with ex Sunderland and Middlesbrough midfielder Julio Arca in their starting eleven had started the contest brightly yet with ten goalless minutes played Ramsbottom United again forced Connell into action when Greg Daniels picked up a loose pass before striding forward but his low effort was gathered by the home keeper as the away side showed their intent to attack their opponents rather than sit back and defend.

As so often happens when one team fails to take their chance the opposition makes them pay and almost immediately South Shields took the lead when a long ball over the Rams defence caused confusion in the visitors defence and as Zehn Mohammed and goalkeeper Sam Ashton converged on each other the formers cushioned header bounced past Ashton and rolled into an unguarded net to give the hosts the early advantage.

As so often happens when one team fails to take their chance the opposition makes them pay and almost immediately South Shields took the lead when a long ball over the Rams defence caused confusion in the visitors defence and as Zehn Mohammed and goalkeeper Sam Ashton converged on each other the formers cushioned header bounced past Ashton and rolled into an unguarded net to give the hosts the early advantage.

Sadly things would get worse for the away side with a quarter of the match played when a free kick from the left found the head of Shaw whose header crashed against the bar before the rebound was superbly kept out by Ashton only for the ball to fall to Storey who lashed home and the hosts had a lead that perhaps slightly flattered them.

The home side then began to play some excellent passing football on a surface conducive to doing so and carved out a couple more presentable chances which the Rams rearguard repelled with a mixture of wayward finishing and solid defending.

As the contest edged towards half time Jamie Rother tested Connell with a free kick from 25 yards as the Rams looked for a way back into the fixture but the home side looking to gain promotion at the first time of asking looked a very accomplished outfit and lead by two goals at the interval.

Luke Jordan a new loan signing from Morecambe was introduced in place of Madeley after the break with South Shields beginning the second half as they had ended the first with the lively Finnigan testing Ashton in the early stages with the home crowd urging their side forward at every opportunity.

Although the home team looked threatening it was the Rams that created another chance with good link up play between Jerome Wright, Daniels and Tom Brooks before the latter tested Connell with a well struck shot showing that the visitors still had the attacking capabilities to concern the hosts.

Luke Jordan a new loan signing from Morecambe was introduced in place of Madeley after the break with South Shields beginning the second half as they had ended the first with the lively Finnigan testing Ashton in the early stages with the home crowd urging their side forward at every opportunity.

Although the home team looked threatening it was the Rams that created another chance with good link up play between Jerome Wright, Daniels and Tom Brooks before the latter tested Connell with a well struck shot showing that the visitors still had the attacking capabilities to concern the hosts.

Unfortunately a two minute spell around the hour mark confirmed the points would be staying in the South Tyneside when firstly Finnigan received a pass in the left hand channel before finding some room inside the penalty area and his accurate low drive beat Ashton to increase the lead to three.

Two minutes later the contest was over when an excellent run and cross from sub Cogden was met by Holmes whose astute flick sent the ball into the corner of the net and the hosts has an assailable 4-0 lead. The Rams then made their second change as Chris Rushworth replaced Jamie Rother, and shortly afterwards a Daniels corner was met by Ryan Ellison but the defender’s header sailed over the crossbar but the away side continued to create some problems for the home defence.

South Shields continued to push forward looking to add to their tally and almost increased their lead further on 70 minutes when a Briggs free kick brought a fine save from Ashton.

With ten minutes of the encounter remaining the Rams handed youth prospect Harry Foulds his first team debut and the youngster acquitted himself very well despite picking up a yellow card but surely will benefit from the experience of playing in front of such a large crowd.

As the game ticked towards its conclusion the Rams fashioned another presentable chance when  Brooks fired over the bar when well placed confirming that it wasn't to be the visitors day in front of goal.

The final whistle brought an end to the match and South Shields deservedly took the points in their quest to gain promotion when the season comes to an end in 5 weeks time.

To the credit of the Ramsbottom United team they worked hard throughout the ninety minutes and played their part in a well contested game in which the home side were more clinical with their goalscoring chances and few if any of the travelling Rams supporters could ultimately argue about the final outcome whilst acknowledging that South Shields will most likely be playing their football in a higher league next season.

Ramsbottom United:-  Ashton, Mohammed (Foulds 80 mins), Brownhill, Stott, Thompson, Ellison, Madeley (Jordan 45 mins), Rother (Rushworth 59 mins), Brooks, Daniels, Wright.  Subs not used Stinca, McGreavey

COMING UP:
Thursday 29th March      Integro Cup Quarter Final        Atherton Colls v RAMS       7.45
Saturday 31st March       The Evo-Stik North                     RAMS v Mossley                   3.00
Monday 2nd April             The Evo-Stik North                     Atherton Colls v RAMS       3.00  

FRANK CROOK's PICTURES FROM THE MATCH
CLICK HERE FOR THE PICTURES