REPORT: Rams 2 Prescot Cables 0

Ramsbottom United 2 Prescot Cables 0

Saturday 23rd March 2019

Evo-Stik West

Att 300

Report by Damien Barlow

CABLES TIED UP AS RAMS PRESS FOR PLAY-OFFS

Ramsbottom's starting eleven showed 3 changes from the mid-week victory at Droylsden. Anthony Donaldson and Joel Bembo-Leto joined their team mates on the pitch along with newly accquired keeper Dale Latham who has been entrusted to keep the gloves of Sam Ashton warm in his absence.

The game started in quite a fluid manner, but the first questionable decision came afer only a minute of play as Prescot played the ball down the right, and as the visiting winger failed to beat his man and tried fervently to keep the ball from crossing the touch line, suggesting he had had the last touch, the linesman decision favoured him and so the corner count had started. The inswinger didnt cause any issues to the home defence as was easily cleared.

Ramsbottoms first pursuit on the Cables rear-guard came in the shape of a Tom Kennedy free kick which was sent long and nodded back for Donaldson, who eventually guided the ball out left for Evangelinos and in-turn to Rainford but the defence won that battle and lines were cleared. Prescot again, minutes later found a path down their right as Chris Almond fed a well weighted ball between the back line for Fishwick to latch on to, but his cross failed to match the quality of the original ball and a goal kick was the next action, which when picked up by Rother his equally fine ball searching out Evangelinos raised hopes of an early breakthrough, however, with a covering defender in close proximity the space didnt materialise enough to get the shot away and the ball was put out for a corner.

On 12 minutes the games arbiter spotted McCullochs hand had inadvertently made contact with the ball following a clearence from Latham, and as Bembo-Leto's head met Kennedys free kick and directed it towards the back post, Rainford was on hand to stab home the loose ball and indeed give the home side the breakthrough that had minutes earlier escaped them

12 minutes Ramsbottom 1 Prescot Cables 0 When Eddie Moran nipped in and stole the ball away from Klein-Davis and was wrestled to the ground in the centre circle, the first booking of the day was quickly issued. Plenty of protesting followed, and from that moment the game changed from a relativley free flowing affair to a more physical contest. Free kicks seemed to disrupt play and the visitors appeals for a home side yellow card were more animated. The battle in the middle third now showed every sign that this suited the away team more and were happy to stop Ramsbottoms attempts at getting the ball wide, with the scrappy half chances coming their way. James Edgar was able to run onto a ball played forward which momentarily flat footed the Rams defence which allowed him plenty of space to exploit and cause damage, but once again, the cross was high and wayward.

Prescots wishes were answered in 3 minutes either side of the half hour as Jerome and then Moran both picked up a booking. Jeromes for a robust challenge and then Moran for blocking a clearence with a high arm. The remainder of the half offered very little in way of goal mouth action. Prescot were arguably now enjoying more possession and territory, but play was being condensed beween both areas, and an equal measure of lack of quality from Prescot to get behind the Ramsbottom back four and a disciplined and well drilled protection of their clean sheet ensured the half ended with the hosts a goal to the good.

Half Time Ramsbottom 1 Prescot 0

The second half started with two good chances for an early second goal for Ramsbottom. The first one came from Rainford unsettling Cooper and forcing him into a rushed clearance which wasn't apreciated by Lenehan, this allowed Rother to take back the ball and find Ruben Jerome out right who retured the ball to the Rams number 8 who unfortunatley skied his effort. The second came from a ball from the left side which found its way to Jerome who found himself with space and time to assess his options. His well struck shot was turned onto the bar from Ollie Taylors out-stretched finger tips.

The 56th minute presented the hosts with the games most clear cut chance, again, was instigated by a vibrant Rother who was first to a loose ball and sent Jerome towards the area. His first time pass released Rainford with a one on one but his effort which was intended for the far post was caught with ease by Taylor.

The away bench blinked first in a bid to alter the scoreline, as Jordan Southworth replaced the earlier booked Klein-Davies. The hour mark brought the third booking for the homeside, as Thompson hacked down the attacking Prescot man on the edge of the box, luckily it was deemed just outside and the resulting free kick as dealt with and cleared.

65 minutes saw the first Ramsbottom substitution, with Donaldson being replaced by a second debutant, Spencer Harris. Harris's more physical presence would certainly lend itself more to the cause and help defend from the front and match up more against the Cables side.

The challenges continued to mount up with Rother and Lugsden both on the receiving end of heavy tackles, which the travelling Prescot supporters passionatley disputed, and even suggested that the free kicks should have been theirs.

A rasping effort from Moran almost put the game to bed. A cross from Kennedy was flicked to the edge of the box by Jerome perfectly for Moran to meet on the volley and was bravely blocked by McCulloch, whos thigh will still be stinging at the start of their next game.

78 mins saw the introduction of Tom Schofield at the expense of Jamie Rother.

82 minutes did see the game put beyond doubt, an inswinging corner from Evangelinos was met powerfully by the head of Harris. His effort was sent into the top corner of the goal and the sprawling keeper had no chance.

A final change on 85 minutes brought Iywriah Gooden into the action to replace Jamie Rainford.

In a game that started so easy on the eye, it was a shame it turned into such a physical battle. A battle though that Ramsbottom were more than equal to, who defended from the front and allowed no real encouragement to Prescot. The paucity of chances didnt make for a great spectacle, but with 6 games left of the season, its not necessarily how you play the game, but how you win the game, and the Rams found a way despite not being allowed to be their entertaining best.

Full Time Ramsbottom United 2 Presoct Cables 0

Team ; Latham, Kennedy, Thompson, Lugsden, Bembo-Leto, Moran, Rother, (Schofield) Donaldson,(Harris) Jerome, Evangelinos, Rainford (Gooden).

Subs not used Osi-Efa, Carey.