Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Rams 2 Kidsgrove 2

Ramsbottom United were held to a 2-2 draw by Kidsgrove in the final game to the league season. Two-nil up at half time, goals from Lee Williamson and a last gasp Anthony Malbon goal denied The Rams three points. The draw confirmed a playoff spot of fifth place and has lead to s semi-final away at Radcliffe Boro this coming Tuesday night.

Chris Willcock named an unchanged side against Kidsgrove from the goalless draw against Radcliffe in the league game on Easter Monday.

The opening ten minutes of the game brought little goalmouth action, yet Rammy were to break the deadlock in the 11th minute. Tom Kennedy’s cross from out wide found Eddie Moran, whose shot on the edge of the box flew past Kidsgrove keeper Kieran Harrison.

After some nice midfield play, The Rams striker should have doubled their lead in the twenty-third minute. Striker Jamie Rainford dribbled past several orange shirts but could only find the side netting with his effort.

The visitors had a quiet opening half an hour in the attacking third, but midfielder Kyle Blake did force Sam Ashton into a save. Blake’s shot was straight at the Rammy keeper. At the other end, Moran could have doubled the home sides advantage but failed to properly test Harrison.

The game took a huge turning point shortly before half time. The visitors were down to ten men when James Butler was given his marching orders, pulling down Rainford as he turned towards goal. The defender looked to be the last man in Grove’s line of defence.

The home side did double their lead immediately after Butler’s sending off. Midfielder Jamie Rother’s fine shot from distance was simply unstoppable, bringing out a loud cheer from the home fans behind the goal.

Rammy had the ball the net again in first-half added time too but this time the goal was disallowed. Rainford’s initial shot was beaten away before his follow up shot burst the net, yet found himself in an offside opposition.

The second half began exactly as the first half started with Ramsbottom firmly on the front foot. Rainford was unlucky not to find the net again. Identical to his first-half chance, The Rams number nine weaving through several Kidsgrove defenders but again the ball trickled wide rather than over the line.

He should have added a third shortly after. Moran’s through ball found the leading man in front of goal but was unable to take his chance failing to beat the keeper. Kidsgrove’s striker Anthony Malbon gave the home side a scare in a rare attempt for The Grove, however, fired well wide of the target.

It turned out to be an early warning for Rammy who were pegged back in sixty-second minute. Kidsgrove bounced back with a 25-yard wonder goal of their own courtesy of Lee Williamson, his shot leaving Ashton no chance as the visitors set up a thrilling final half hour.

Rainford was beginning to think it wasn’t his day in front of goal, this time drawing his latest attempt wide of the post. Another was expertly saved by Harrison before coming out to Rother who saw an effort deflected over the bar.

Nic Evangelinos also attempted to restore the Rams two-goal advantage. Latching onto a Kennedy ball, the number eleven failed to keep his effort down on goal as he missed the target by some distance.

As the game fell into added time Ramsbottom were punished for their missed chances as Kidsgrove equalised in the ninety-first minute. Grove skipper Anthony Malbon stabbed home an effort from close range and ending their own season on a high.

A tough finish for Rammy nonetheless which was no doubt tough to take after the first half scoreline. Manager Chris Willcock showed his frustration in the aftermath.

‘I didn’t know what to make of that game. Outside of the goals, I thought we were well below par, to be honest with you.

I am extremely frustrated and angry with how the second half developed. Everyone from Ramsbottom should expect more from the lads on Tuesday.

I don’t like the way we are approaching things. Since we have come back, we haven’t been at our usual level.

After admitting the sending off was correct, Willcock looked ahead to the upcoming playoff semi-final against Radcliffe.

'We can beat anybody in this league on our day. We have the quality and have caused everybody problems. The problem is our day is not here at the moment. We have achieved our main goal but I expect more. We’ve only made the top five on goal difference (ahead of Runcorn Linnets)'.

I am always pessimistic but we need to come on Tuesday with a different mindset. Let’s see what we get’.

Team vs Kidsgrove: Ashton, Kennedy, Jacobs, Moran, Thompson, Kelvin Lugsden, Gooden ( Carey 60’ ) , Rother, Bembo-Leta (Donaldson 60’) , Evangelinos, Rainford

Unused subs: Jerome, Osi-Efa, Ellison

Attendance: 297

Referee: Lewis Raper

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Rams 1 Newcastle Town 2

Evo-Stik West Division

Tuesday 26th March 2019

RAMSBOTTOM UNITED 1 NEWCASTLE TOWN 2

Attendance: 200

Report by Adam Clark

The Rams made 4 changes from the win against Prescot Cables at the weekend; Kelvin Lugsden, Ruben Jerome, Jamie Rother & Anthony Donaldson dropped out of the side. Spencer Harris came in for his first league start alongside Tom Schofield, Khalil Osi-Efa & Kyle Jacobs. A couple of milestones were reached tonight Luke Thompson made his 125th appearance for the Rams tonight while Jamie Rother made his 100th.

The visitors started brightly, they took the lead within 5 minutes. They caught the Rams on the counter-attack. James Steele was the man that made a great run into the box he passed to Chris Smith to slot home from close range. It’s not the start Rammy wanted.

Kyle Jacobs had a shot on goal just three minutes later but it just cleared the crossbar. Evangelinos had a chance on 21 minutes but the visiting defence blocked his shot. The Rams had many chances in this period of the game, Schofield had a shot from the right and it flashed across goal to go wide of the left post.

Newcastle Town nearly made it 2-0 after 33 minutes after their striker Jordan Cole beat Joel Bembo-Leta and was one on one with Dale Latham but the assistant on the near side gave Cole offside.

With 11 minutes to go to half time, Evangelinos’ shot was well saved on the line by visiting keeper Jack Livesey.

The Rams were level five minutes before half time, A Nic Evangelinos cross was headed home at the far post by Kyle Jacobs for his first goal since November.

The final chance to note in the first half came four minutes from time, Jamie Rainford almost put the Rams ahead but his header was straight at the keeper.

HALF TIME Rams 1 Newcastle Town 1

The Rams had fewer chances in the second half, firstly Jamie Rainford tried an overhead kick but it went wide & The visiting ‘keeper was easily tonight’s man of the match as he claimed Rams corners on many occasions

Newcastle Town re-took the lead on 72 minutes, Jordan Cole scored a fabulous free kick from the edge of the area and what a goal it was to re-take the lead with.

The Rams had a couple of minor chances in the final 15 minutes, Rainford had a shot saved at close range & Luke Thompson tried an overhead kick that went wide.

Overall, it was a frustrating evening for the Rams who move onto a tough game against Runcorn Linnets on Saturday.

Rams; Latham, Kennedy, Bembo-Leta (Kieran Lugsden 57’), Moran, Thompson, Harris, Schofield (Rother 77’), Osi-Efa (Jerome 57’), Rainford, Jacobs, Evangelinos

Unused subs – Donaldson, Kay

Match referee: Kieran Johnson

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Clitheroe 1 Rams 2

Evo-Stik West Division

Saturday 9th March 2019

CLITHEROE 1 RAMSBOTTOM UNITED 2

Attendance: 291

Report by Adam Clark

If there was a game to have goals in it. It would be this one, The last 5 meetings between these clubs have produced 23 goals an average of just over 4 goals a game but today’s game wasn’t the case with only 3 goals in it.

The Rams made 5 changes from the team that lost 1-0 at home to Widnes last week, Luke Thompson, Anthony Donaldson, Eddie Moran, Jamie Rother & Ruben Jerome all dropped out. Kelvin Lugsden, Jamie Rainford, Joel Bembo-Leta, Tom Schofield & Kieran Lugsden all came into the starting eleven

The hosts made 3 changes from there team that lost 3-0 to Chasetown last Saturday, Jordyn Fitton, Andreas Bianga & Harry Pratt dropped out & Ryan Botell, George West & Jacob Gregory came in.

The first shot for the Rams came in the opening minutes, Tom Schofield took a chance from the edge of the area but it was easily saved by Clitheroe keeper Ben Purdham.

Schofield had another chance 11 minutes later when he headed a Tom Kennedy corner just wide of the right-hand post.

Clitheroe had there first set piece on 19 minutes when they had a free kick just inside the Rammy half but as the ball floated into the box referee Michael Herzog spotted a foul on a Rams defender.

The Rams were knocking on the door for a goal within the first 30 minutes, Evangelinos could have had a hat trick, two of his previous shots went over the bar but this one on 29 minutes was saved easily by Clitheroe’s keeper.

The Rams finally got their breakthrough on 36 minutes when Jamie Rainford broke the deadlock with a close-range shot after he brought it down well in the area to put the Rams 1-0 up.

Clitheroe were back on level terms within 3 minutes, former Ram Max Hazeldine looped the ball over the head of Sam Ashton from around 12 yards out.

Nothing much happened in the final five minutes of the first half, Tom Kennedy had a free kick easily saved and both teams went in level at the break.

HALF TIME: Clitheroe 1 Rams 1

Clitheroe had a free kick within the opening three minutes of the first half, it was well saved by Ashton but the Clitheroe attacker was offside.

Antonie Reizac wanted a penalty just two minutes later but his appeals were turned down by the referee.

The Rams got back in front on 56 minutes when Jamie Rainford got his brace, his shot came from just outside the box and into the bottom corner.

The Rams made the first sub on 61 minutes, Kyle Jacobs came off for Eddie Moran & shortly after that the second sub was made Jason Carey came off in place of Ruben Jerome.

The Rams nearly had a chance to put themselves 3-1 up when the referee gave a penalty for a handball against Michael Wilson but then the referee & his assistant had a discussion on the touchline and it was deemed a Ramsbottom attacker was offside as the ball travelled into the box.

Jamie Rainford went for his hat-trick, four minutes from time but his shot was just wide.

Nothing to note happened in additional time apart from a Tom Kennedy booking for a late foul on Clitheroe sub Harry Blackburn.

The Rams could head back across Lancashire with all 3 points and moving up two places to 4th in the Evo Stik West Division.

FULL TIME: Clitheroe 1 Rams 2

Rams boss Chris Willcock said post-match that “I was pleased, we've got back to winning ways after a couple of defeats, I thought overall the in first half we generally controlled the game, created some good half chances, we look a threat from set pieces & we were pleased to get our noses in front and I was then hoping for us to kick on"

“Second half we came out and the conditions played quite a part today it was a stiff breeze, both teams found it difficult to get out and play some decent football, I thought the pitch let us down at times when we got ourselves into good areas, but obviously they made a mistake and Rainford does what he’s been doing well over his career and gets a brace which is pleasing and we come away with the points which overall we thoroughly deserved

Full reaction page is avalible at the top of this page

Rams: Ashton, Kennedy, Jacobs (Moran 63’), Bembo-Leta, Ellison, Kelvin Lugsden, Carey (Jerome 66’), Schofield, Rainford, Kieran Lugsden,Evangelinos

Unused Subs: Rother, Donaldson & Osi-Efa

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Newcastle Town 0 Rams 6

Evo-Stik West Division

Tuesday 19th February 2019

NEWCASTLE TOWN 0 RAMSBOTTOM UNITED 6

Attendance-162

Report by Jon Haslam

Ramsbottom United continued their quest for a play off berth with a visit to Staffordshire on Tuesday night to take on a mid table Newcastle Town in a rearranged fixture showing two alterations to the starting eleven from Saturdays hard fought victory over Colwyn Bay with Khalil Osi-Efa and latest recruit Tom Schofield taking their place in the visitors midfield at the expense of Jamie Rother and Kieran Lugsden.

The opening minutes of the contest were fairly even on a good looking surface with the hosts having the first, if albeit wayward effort of the match as they looked to build on their weekend win at Trafford. The Rams responded and with ten minutes on the clock leading scorer Nic Evangelinos had a low shot blocked by home keeper Johnson before shortly after a late tackle by Lugsden to subdue a Newcastle breakaway incurred the wrath of referee Richard Cattell who issued a yellow card for the Ramsbottom defender.

It was the visitors from Lancashire who had the bulk of the possession and attacking threat in the first quarter of the game with Newcastle threatening the play off chasers on the break with Mike Conlon and Matt Ward in particular causing the away side some moments of anxiety.

New signing Schofield showed his shooting capabilities with a well struck 20 yard effort which flew into the midriff of Johnson as Ramsbottom United looked to turn their promising attacking play into tangible reward but it would be Newcastle Town who should have opened the scoring with the best chance of the contest midway through the first period when a cross from the left hand side found an unmarked Josh Glover but the midfielders header from no more than 8 yards out sailed wide of Sam Ashtons goal much to the relief of Chris Willcocks side.

The let off appeared to stir the away side into action and a period of sustained pressure saw the Rams denied an opener when a speculative cross shot from Khalil Osi-Efa looked to have beaten the home goalie Johnson but bounced off the crossbar to deny the midfielder just after the half hour point.

A flurry of dangerous looking corners for the Rams failed to produce the breakthrough before the woodwork came to the hosts rescue ten minutes prior to the interval when Evangelinos was on the end of a flowing move down the left channel before unleashing a powerful effort which thundered off the crossbar which left Johnson grateful for the woodworks assistance in keeping the game goalless.

Minutes later the breakthrough arrived when a characteristically exemplary cross from the left hand side from Tom Kennedy found leading scorer Evangelinos whose well placed header found the back of the net to give the Rams a deserved lead on 38 minutes, the visitors was almost strengthened with five minutes of the first half remaining when Osi-Efa sent in a superb cross which found the head of the onrushing Eddie Moran but again the goal frame came to the rescue of Newcastle for the third time in the first forty five minutes as the ball bounced off the post and to safety.

The final notable action of the first period almost brought an equaliser for Town when a corner was headed wide of the target and despite having the better of the opening period a slender single goal advantage for the Rams didn’t give any real indication of what would occur during an action packed second half.

Newcastle manager and former Port Vale and Derby player Robin Van Der Laan made two alterations at the interval which would have decisive implications later in the match, however it was Ramsbottom that began the second half in a similar vein to the way they ended the first with a couple of early chances which went begging. Then, with five minutes of the second period played wide man Irywah Gooden picked up the ball before setting off on a surging run which took the speedy winger into the penalty are before a lunging Newcastle defender tripped the Mansfield loanee and after consultation with his assistant the referee awarded a spot kick for the Rams, the ever reliable Evangelinos took responsibility and despite Johnson diving the correct way the ball squeezed between the keeper and post to double the visitors advantage and secure the popular forwards 18th goal of the season.

Things would improve further for the Rams minutes before the hour mark when the persistent hard work from Jamie Rainford paid dividends when Johnson in the home goal had the ball at his feet but the visiting forward chased down the Town stopper before nicking the ball away from the beleaguered number one before firing home in splendid fashion from the angle of the penalty area to register at least a goal in each of the last four league games the striker has featured in and ninth overall in a Ramsbottom jersey and the visitors had an unassailable three goal lead.

In response Newcastle made their final substitution of the match and pushed forward looking to reduce the deficit but again the away sides rear-guard had to be resolute in their defending with the flourishing central defensive partnership of Luke Thompson and Kelvin Lugsden needing to be at their best alongside the ultra-consistent display of full backs Kyle Jacobs and Tom Kennedy who were giving the ever-present Sam Ashton excellent protection as the hosts were struggling to seriously test the visiting goal keeper.

With the match at the three quarter point Chris Willcock responded with two alterations as Ryan Ellison and Ruben Jerome entered the fray at the expense of Kennedy and Gooden respectively. Moments later things went from bad to worse for the home side when half time substitute Lint limped out of the action leaving Newcastle down to ten men for the remaining quarter of the encounter having utilised their full complement of changes,

With Ramsbottom United three goals to the good and the opposition a player light the remainder of the contest was played out with the away side pushing forward relentlessly for more goals whilst the hosts laboured to keep the rampant visitors at bay whilst struggling to make any serious attacking impact.

The final substitution of the contest saw the excellent Eddie Moran being replaced by Tony Donaldson in the Rams engine room, the closing ten minutes saw the away sides single minded approach double their winning margin. Firstly a precise through ball found Khalil Osi-Efa alone 10 yards from goal with just Johnson to beat and the young midfielder registered his first goal for the club by cleverly rounding the keeper before walking the ball into an empty net for the Rams fourth goal of the match.

With the Rams controlling the match the fifth goal arrived with five minutes left as Kyle Jacobs threaded a through ball through to recently arrived substitution Donaldson who controlled the pass before firing into the far corner past the diving Johnson to also notch the first goal of the popular midfielders Rams career.

As Newcastle craved the final whistle a cleverly disguised pass from Nic Evangelinos found Ruben Jerome in on goal and the substitute confidently tucked the ball under the keeper to complete the scoring and go one goal better than the recent 5-0 win at Glossop with the side scoring a hugely impressive tally of 24 goals in the last 7 fixtures in all competition.

As the final whistle blew on another well merited seventh consecutive league away from home for the Rams the players receiving a well deserved and rousing reception from the visiting supporters for a scintillating second half performance full of six appeal.

An excellent all round team display in which it was difficult to select an obvious man of the match performance but new recruit Tom Schofield showed up well on his debut and was an additional bonus as the strength of the Ramsbottom United squad continues to impress.

The loyal band of fans who made the trip had plenty of time to dissect the evenings events as lane closures on the M6 North bound dictated that most arrived through their front doors around midnight tired but very happy having witnessed a ruthless and powerful performance from Chris Willcock's outfit.

Ramsbottom United:- Ashton, Kennedy (Ellison 68 mins) , Jacobs, Moran (Donaldson 74 mins ) Thompson, Kelvin Lugsden, Gooden (Jerome 68 mins), Schofield, Rainford, Osi-Efa, Evangelinos

Unused Subs- Rother , Carey


Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Radcliffe 0 Rams 0

Evo-Stik West Division

Monday 22nd April 2019

Radcliffe FC 0 Ramsbottom United 0

Attendance 523

Report by Damien Barlow

The penultimate game of the regulation season saw the Rams make the short trip into M26 to take on neighbours Radcliffe. With the two teams placed 2nd and 4th respectively, both knew that three points today could secure a playoff spot and alleviate some pressure heading into the final weekend in six days time.

The Rams got us started, playing in their changed strip of red and black and attacking from right to left and with the up hill dis-advantage which would dictate the first forty five minutes.

With the rewards that a win would bring today, it was no surprise that the opening fifteen minutes were a scrappy affair, with no quarter given nor received, and no time on the ball for any of the outfield players. On the rare occasions anyone was able to send a meaningful ball into the area, namely two Tom Kennedy free-kicks, they were dealt with simply by the home defence.

The first test on Sam Ashtons goal came just after the ten minute mark as a Jamie Rother foul allowed Scott Metcalfe the opportunity to send an in-swinging free-kick down by the corner flag whch found Smith at the back post who won his header with ease but sent the ball into the side netting.

Shortly after that scare another was to follow, as Thompson seemed to get caught under a long ball from Radcliffe and mis-judge the flight allowing it to bounce behind him and allow Tunde Owolabi free down the left. As the recovering number 5 tried to make amends Owolabi crashed to the floor with a shot at goal beckoning, the home fans were certain of the penalty, and the away fans rueing the simplicty of how the chance was presented, only for the referee to replay the incident through his head and then issue a yellow card to the man on the floor for simulation. The reaction from the closest Ramsbottom players to Owolabi would suggest the man in the middle made the right decision, unfortuantley Kelvin Lugsden made too strong a point and joined Owolabi in the book.

The referee was called into action again minutes later as Rother found himself in a foot race with Haywood, again the coming together saw the attacking player ending up grounded, and again the protests were waved away, however the decison not to book the Rammy midfielder once again ruffled the home suporters feathers.

As the half hour mark approached, the home side were enjoying territorial supremecy, ableit without dirtying Ashtons gloves, there was the sense they felt their leverge of down-hill play needed to be profited from and began to up the tempo and regularity of balls into the final third, and as Elliot Rokka rode two challanges and established well earnt space at the edge of the area his attempt to break the deadlock left Sam Ashton flat footed, he could do nothing as the ball rolled to an open goal. Again, the gods were shining on the visitors, as the ball bounced off the bottom of the left hand post and the recovering defenders cleared the danger.

That, however, did not dis-hearten the hosts, and the next 10 minutes would become a personnal dual between Radcliffe and Sam Ashton, as he thwarted them four times to keep the scores level. Before Ashton took centre stage, there was still time for Owolabi to leave Thompson in his dust as he sped away down the left, this time Lugsden was on hand to clear the danger.

The first showing of Ashtons cat-like reactions came as a result of Rokka again getting free down the left and sending a cross towards the 6 yard line for Ben Warton to have a free point blank header only to be denied by the visiting keeper and immediatley turned the follow up header from Owolabi round the post for a Radcliffe corner.

A minute later a free kick escaped the Rammy defence which allowed Owolabi and Ashton to contest the high ball, which was punched clear, only for Williams to react first, and become the latest to find Ashton's reactions in fine fettle.

The final effort of the half came in stoppage time as Rokka tried his luck from the edge of the box, only to have his hopes dashed by the excellent Ashton.

Half-time Radcliffe Boro 0 Ramsbottom United 0

The second half began in the same veign as the first, with rushed passes and little time to express ones-self. Rother again, was adjudged to have won the ball unfairly which gave Radcliffe their first attempt on the Rammy goal. The resulting set peice was again headed into the magnetic grasp of Sam Ashton.

A free kick for the vistors on the hour which was sent long by Kennedy and cleared by the home defence, looped more up than away, had Evangelinos dreaming of tomorrows back pages as he met the falling ball full on, unfortunatley, his vollied effort was closer to smashing through a nearby greenhouse than any tabloid space.

The down-hill adavntage which was with the home side in the first half was clear to see in the away sides play in the second, as they started to enjoy more time out of their half, and began to ask half questions of Radcliffe. A good crisp inter-change of passes between Jacobs and Moran allowed a couple of crosses which were dealt with by the home backline, and for Rother to chance his arm from twenty yards but send his effort high and wide.

A rare forray into the Rammy half for Radcliffe in the second half saw a free kick awarded on the right hand edge of the area. Metcalfe again smelt an opportunity to test the score line, and his thunderous effort possibly deserved better but again, Ashton stood strong and pushed away his attempt.

Conceivably, Ramsbottoms best chance came by the way of a mix up between Radcliffes keeper and defender. As Kennedy swung in a free kick after Jacobs had been felled, the initial danger was dealt with, but when the Rams won back possession, a clever reverse pass for Moran, who was retreating from an offside position left the ball, Evangelions pounced on the uncertaintly in Radcliffes back line and somehow gained possession, but from a tight angle was only able to hit the side netting.

70 minutes in, and the first activity from the bench saw Bembo-Leto and Gooden replaced by Kieran Lugsden and Ruben Jerome.

Another half hearted appeal for a penalty came on 76 minutes when Eddie Moran felt aggrieved as he came off worse during a challenge in the box, again the referee waved away any protests and the game continued. Almost immediatley, Owolabi raced clear of Kennedy and from the by-line set a ball rolling accross the six yard line and any Radcliffe man who'd gambled would have had his easiest goal of the campaign. Much to the relief of the men in red and black that wasn't the case and Lugsden was able to bring the ball out.

The final fifteen minutes was littered with possessional errors and more mis-placed, over hit, under hit, wayward passes. Neither team found any fluency or fluidity in their play, and really was a day when both defences came out on top. Credit to Radcliife for nulifying a Rams front line who would fancy scoring against any opposition, and a final mention for Rams keeper Sam Ashton who played his part more than most in keeping Radcliffe at bay.

As the full time whistle blew and results from elsewhere filtered through, it became apparant the Radcliffe had indeed cemented their place in the end of season play offs - well done to them, and good luck. Ramsbottom, however still need one last win to guaruntee their fate, but a run of fourteen away games without defeat shows how much this side has improved since early season, and heading into the closing weekend of the season knowing a win would confirm their own place in the play offs is something most Rams fans would have found hard to comprehend as summer turned to autumn.

Full time Radcliffe Boro 0 Ramsbottom United 0

Rams team: Ashton, Kennedy, Jacobs, Thompson, Kelvin Lugsden, Moran, Rother, Bembo-Leta (Jerome 73'), Gooden (Kieran Lugsden 73'), Evangelinos, Rainford.

Not used: Osi-Efa, Ellison, Donaldson

Category: Match Reports

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.

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Rams 0 Widnes 1

EVO-STIK WEST DIVISION

SATURDAY 2ND MARCH 2019

RAMSBOTTOM UNITED 0 WIDNES 1

Attendance 147

Report by Aaron Benson

Ramsbottom suffered back to back home defeats as they were beaten 1-0 by a resolute Widnes side on a frustrating afternoon in front of goal for Chris Willcock’s side.

Three changes were made to the team beaten by Colne the previous game. Ryan Ellison was recalled to the side along with Anthony Donaldson and Jason Carey whilst Kieran and Kelvin Lugsden dropped to the bench. Jamie Rainford was unavailable.

Having excelled at times under Willcock this season, the opening 45 minutes will be easily forgotten as few clear cut chances were created.

It took till the 20th minute for an attempt on goal, that coming from Kyle Jacobs. The Rams right back cut inside from the right to unleash a shot yet Widnes keeper Owen Wheeler matched the attempt with a well-drawn save. Midfielder Eddie Moran looked to build on the early momentum built by Jacobs, however the number four could only fire wide of the post.

Then in the 25th minute Jason Carey tried his look on the visiting goal, misfiring his shot wide of the post before from the following move, his latest attempt with a header failed to test Wheeler who was kept quiet during the first half.

Despite the home side enjoying the lion’s share of possession, Widnes had the best chance of the half. A Michael Grogan through ball found striker Ben Hodkinson, yet Sam Ashton kept the scoreline goalless with a brilliant double save. Widnes did put the ball over the line, but a handball in Ramsbottom's favour meant the sides went into half time with the scoreline level.

Rammy came out firing in the second half and should have taken the lead in the 59th minute. A Jamie Rother cutback found Nic Evangelinos who saw his first effort blocked before drilling his second attempt wide of the post.

Rammy’s best chance came through striker Carey. Through on goal his effort failed to hit the target in a real let off for the visitors defence.

And Rammy were made to pay shortly after as Widnes took the lead in the seventy fourth minute. A defensive mix-up at the back led to Widnes striker Hodkinson intercepting the misplaced pass then followed up with a smart finish that beat Ashton at the far post.

Ramsbottom responded in strong fashion, but were left with a ‘what might have been feeling’ by the time referee Carl Rooney had blown the whistle for full time. Tom Kennedy tried his luck with a free kick and Ruben Jerome saw a header cleared off the line. With time ticking by, Evangelinos again blazed an effort over the bar before a last ditch Widnes challenge denied Jerome an equaliser which on the balance of play, the home side probably deserved.

Instead Rammy fell to another defeat and manager Willcock was not best pleased with his fourth league defeat as boss, all of which have come at home.

‘I thought first half we created one or two decent half chances when in previous games we would have taken them. Second half we upped the tempo and put the pressure on. Then they cleared a couple of chances off the line too.

‘But second half our quality was lacking at times, we rushed things far too often when another pass was needed’.

Defeats since Willcock’s arrival have been a rarity and the manager was not overly worried with the results of the past two games.

‘The lads were looking forward to the game today, ready to go out there and play. Next Saturday we go to Clitheroe, this is not a crisis of any sorts.

‘To be in with a shot at promotion the lads have done really well just to get to this point. All the other teams up there have had a three month start over us.

‘We’ve had a couple of defeats that’s all. But if we want to win next Saturday we’ll have to play a bit better in order to win. We’ll have two good training sessions this week. It’s all about winning and if we can, do it in style’.

Ramsbottom United team vs Widnes:- Ashton, Kennedy, Jacobs, Moran, Thompson, Ellison, Carey, Rother (Kieran Lugsden 70’), Jerome,Donaldson(Kelvin Lugsden 70’), Evangelinos

Unused Subs: Osi-Efa, Bembo-Leta, Schofield

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Rams 1 Colwyn Bay 0

Evo Stik West Division

Saturday 16th February 2019

RAMSBOTTOM UNITED 1 COLWYN BAY 0

Attendance: 276

Report by Adam Clark

The Rams made 2 changes from the 4-1 FA Trophy defeat to AFC Fylde on Tuesday, Jamie Rainford & Kelvin Lugsden returned in place of Ruben Jerome & Ryan Ellison who both dropped to the bench.

Rammy started well in a very even game, Irywah Gooden had a shot saved by Colwyn Bay’s keeper Andrew Coughlin on nine minutes, Less than a minute later Kelvin Lugsden’s shot made the keeper make a diving safe to deny the Rams an early lead.

Kennedy had a good effort eight minutes later, his shot from the edge of the box went over the bar.

In the final 20 minutes of the first half, it was very even. Ashley Woods had Colwyn Bay’s best chance of the half on 32 minutes his header bounced off the bar for Eddie Moran to chest down for Sam Ashton to collect safely

HALF TIME Rams 0 Colwyn Bay 0

Into the second half now, Rammy had chances before they eventually took the lead. The first came nine minutes into the second half when Moran’s cross was headed just over the bar by Colwyn Bay defender Will Bell, if it had been a couple of inches lower it would have been an own goal.

Fourteen minutes into the second half, Irywah Gooden had a penalty appeal turned down by referee Liam Corrigan. Gooden then produced some good footwork six minutes later it was challenged well by the Bay defence.

Carey had a good chance from 30 yards with 18 minutes to go that was pushed wide by Andrew Coughlin.

The best chance for the visitors came with 5 minutes to go, Pritchard shot was saved well by Rams number 1 Sam Ashton.

Rams took the lead with 3 minutes to go, Nic Evangelinos played the ball to Ruben Jerome who squared to Jamie Rainford who slotted home from 6 yards out.

That goal 3 minutes from time was the winner for the Rams to put them up to 7th in the Evo Stik West Division

FULL TIME: Rams 1 Colwyn Bay 0

Ramsbottom United – Ashton, Kennedy, Jacobs, Moran, Thompson, Kelvin Lugsden, Gooden, Rother (Donaldson 60’), Rainford, Kieran Lugsden (Carey 70’), Evangelinos

Subs not used – Ellison & Osi-Efa


Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Rams 2 Mossley 1

Evo-Stik West Division

Saturday 20th April 2019

RAMSBOTTOM UNITED 2 MOSSLEY 1

Attendance: 392

Report by Adam Clark

The Rams continued their play-off push with a 2-1 win at home to play off rivals Mossley.

Rammy manager Chris Willcock named an unchanged for a key game in the play-off race.

It was a quiet start to the game, in the first 15 minutes there wasn’t alot to report apart from a couple of half chances a side. Kyle Jacobs got a ball into the box but it was cleared by Josh Ollerenshaw in the Mossley goal & Andy Keogh for the visitors he had his shot caught by Rams’ keeper Sam Ashton.

Mossley had a penalty appeal turned down on 23 minutes, Max Leonard was the man who was brought down but the referee said no penalty.

It was a dramatic end to the first half when an off the ball incident occurred between Kieran Lugsden of Ramsbottom & Mossley’s skipper Andy Keogh they were both sent for an early bath just before half-time.

HALF TIME – Rams 0 Mossley 0

In the early stages of the second half both Rainford & Jacobs had shots for Rammy that went over the bar.

The game looked like it had a 0-0 written all over it until the 70th minute when the Rams took the lead through Jamie Rainford, he shot from the edge of the area it looked like it was going over but it hit the underside of the bar and went in.

The Rams doubled their lead 3 minutes later through Irwyah Gooden his shot came from just inside the 18-yard box and went into the back of the Mossley net via a deflection. Rams could have made it 3-0 on 78 minutes when a ball fell to the back post for Rother he just couldn’t get on the end of it.

Mossley got a conciliation goal with two minutes of normal time left, the ball fell to Adam Jones about 3 yards out who slotted home.

The Rams held on in added time to make it 3 wins from their last 3 games.

FULL TIME Rams 2 Mossley 1

Ramsbottom United; Sam Ashton, Tom Kennedy, Kyle Jacobs, Eddie Moran, Luke Thompson, Kelvin Lugsden, Ruben Jerome (Irywah Gooden 67’), Jamie Rother, Jamie Rainford (Ryan Ellison 90’), Kieran Lugsden, Nic Evangelinos (Jason Carey 70’).

Unused subs; Anthony Donaldson, Joel Bembo-Leta

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Droylsden 2 Rams 3

Evo-Stik West Division

Tuesday 19th March 2019

DROYLSDEN 2 RAMSBOTTOM UNITED 3

Attendance-191

Report by Jon Haslam

After Saturdays four goal thriller at Chasetown the Rams were back in action on Tuesday night with with a trip to the wonderfully named Butchers Arms to take on a Droylsden outfit for the first of two meetings within a three week period as the season reaches its inevitable exciting conclusion.

Ramsbottom United began the contest showing three changes from the battling point from the weekend visit to Staffordshire with Luke Thompson, Eddie Moran and Ruben Jerome replacing Joel Bembo-Leto, Tom Schofield and Iyrwah Gooden.

The encounter began positively for the away side when with less than five on the watch the visitors made the ideal start and opened the scoring when a threaded through ball from Ruben Jerome picked out the perfectly timed run of Jamie Rainford who broke through the Droylsden offside trap before confidently placing a low shot past the onrushing Thompson to give the Rams the perfect start to an important looking fixture.

After taking such an early lead the confidence began to course through the side as Chris Willcocks men looked assured as they attempted to press home their advantage with a second goal with the Rams playing some slick and attractive football which forced the hosts onto the back foot in the opening twenty minutes.

Shortly after the midway point of the first period Droylsden began to get more of a foothold into the encounter with home forward Sefton Gonzales looking a threat for the Bloods, a quick home breakaway was halted by Kieran Lugsden which resulted in a yellow card for the combative midfielder in a contest which would quickly turn sour for the Lugsden twins.

With the home side beginning to look more of an attacking threat the contest took a potentially decisive twist on 26 minutes when the hosts number ten Oli Ford dispossessed Kelvin Lugsden before setting off towards the Rams penalty area and the retreating defender tangled with the speedy forward which referee Evans deemed to be a red card offence and for the second time game in succession Ramsbottom were down to ten men.

From the resultant free kick Rigby tested Sam Ashton but the visiting custodian was equal to the effort and palmed the stinging effort to safety, almost immediately the Bloods almost levelled when another set piece was launched into the Rams penalty area before being a couple of free headers gave Gonzales a chance but the angular strikers downward header was gathered by Ashton much to the relief of the visiting supporters.

After the sending off of Kelvin Lugsden it was the turn of Kieran to leave the match prematurely when injury ended the midfielders evening early and Tom Schofield entered the fray to play at right back with Ryan Ellison joining the returning Luke Thompson in the centre of defence.

With half an hour played the hosts restored parity when a strong run down the left hand side from Liam Caddick opened up the Rams rearguard before an astute pass found Oli Ford unmarked just inside the penalty area and the forwards well struck low effort flew past Ashton and the scores were level.

The remaining minutes of the opening period saw the visitors fashion a couple of presentable chances to regain the lead when the energetic Jamie Rother tested Thompson with a long range effort before good link up play between Jerome and Evangelinos saw the latter play in Eddie Moran but the schemers well struck effort was again blocked by the hosts number one as the depleted Rams looked to take the initiative in an well contested first half of football which ultimately ended all square at the interval.

With both sides unchanged the contest restarted and the first incident of note was a yellow card for Ruben Jerome for a late challenge just in front of the home bench.

The opening minutes of the second half saw Droylsden create a promising opening when another strong run from the lively Caddick set up the recently arrived substitute Burgess and the somewhat wayward effort not only cleared the crossbar but also the stand roof much to the astonishment of both sets of supporters.

Despite being at a numerical disadvantage Ramsbottom United continued to play their high tempo football and almost re-established the lead when a long ball over the Droylsden defence was seized upon by Jamie Rainford and with the in form striker through one on one the hosts were grateful to their goal keeper Thompson who came out on top as the former Clitheroe number one blocked the well struck effort and a glorious chance to retake the lead had gone begging.

However just prior to the hour mark the Rams retook the lead when good build up play down the left flank allowed raiding full back Tom Kennedy the time to send in a superb cross which picked out the run of the prolific Rainford and a well directed header beat Thompson in the home goal and the striker had his 15th goal in the colours of Ramsbottom United.

The contest continued to have an open feel to it and with the hosts pushing forward looking for an equaliser and utilising the width to positive effect the away side protected Sam Ashton to great effect with central pairing Luke Thompson and Ryan Ellison needing to be at their combative best to retain their sides narrow advantage whilst the threat on the break made it highly likely that the scoring was far from finished.

A flurry of yellow cards were issued by referee Evans before the away day specialists flexed their attacking muscles again when Ruben Jerome stung the palms of Thompson from the edge of the penalty box.

Then with a fraction less than fifteen minutes remaining the Rams surrendered their advantage when good build up play down the right wing allowed the Bloods leading scorer Gonzales a sight of goal and somehow the forwards low effort found its way past Ashton before trickling into the back of the net and after battling against the odds there was a feeling of deja vu after Chasetowns late leveller just days earlier.

Despite the setback the visitors responded in a predictably confident manner and a rasping effort from leading marksman Evangelinos forced Thompson to acrobatically tip over his crossbar showed that Chris Willcocks outfit were far from content to accept a point. Then with just over ten minutes to play Jason Carey replaced Ruben Jerome and almost made an immediate impact when a through ball almost set the attacker through on goal but resolute defending kept the score line all square.

As an enthralling match entered the final minutes both sides pushed forward looking to strike the decisive blow and when a through ball caught the Rams defence out and with Sam Ashton stranded outside of his penalty area a winning goal looked inevitable but the hosts spurned the opportunity to secure the three points when an effort from distance looked to be rolling towards an unguarded net but much to the relief of the away side the ball tickled narrowly wide of the target.

Then with only little over a minute of additional time remaining substitute Carey picked up the ball on the right hand side of the pitch before driving towards the Droylsden penalty box where a superbly drilled cross along the six yard line found the perfectly timed run of Evangelinos whose first time finish won the contest for the Rams with a low effort that fizzed past Thompson to set off wild celebrations for all connected with the Rams, shortly afterwards the final whistle blew and a vital three points had been plundered in difficult circumstances which demonstrated the squads undeniable togetherness.

Incidentally this was the fifteenth time in the last twenty two league games under the current management team that the Rams had scored two or more goals which shows the progress the team has made in the five months since the arrival of Chris Willcock.

As was the case on Saturday the Rams had to compete for a large amount of the match with one man less but again Chris Willcock continued his positive approach by leaving all three forward players on the field when plenty of other managers may have chosen to introduce an extra midfield player at the expense of an attacking one in the hope of stifling the opposition and credit should be given that the brave decision was instrumental in Ramsbottom United collecting a well deserved three points in their promotion push.

Ramsbottom United:- Ashton, Kennedy, Ellison, Moran, Thompson, Kelvin Lugsden, Jerome (Carey 79 mins), Rother, Rainford, Kieran Lugsden (Schofield 32 mins), Evangelinos

Unused Subs- Donaldson, Bembo-Leta, Latham (GK)

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Rams 1 Colne 3

Evo-Stik West Division

Tuesday 26th February 2019

RAMSBOTTOM UNITED 1 COLNE 3

Attendance-257

Report by Jon Haslam

Two form sides went head to head on Tuesday night as Colne visited the HWRS hoping to halt the Rams' recent exemplary progress which showed five consecutive league victories and no goals conceded in over 480 minutes,

With an unchanged line up for the hosts from Saturdays comprehensive victory at Trafford hopes were high that a positive result would take the hosts into the top three.

However it would be the visitors that began the contest in lively fashion with midfielders Bradley Lynch, Alex Curran and Josh Hines in the midfield areas causing some concern to the home sides defence supplementing the burly Djabi who appeared to be the focal point of the away sides attacking plans.

Colne almost took the lead on seven minutes when a good advantage from the referee set Curran away down the left hand side before firing a shot on target but Sam Ashton parried the ball wide, the subsequent corner was played to the far post where former Rams defender Billy Priestley had a header blocked on the line as the visitors threatened to break the deadlock early in the match.

With just over a quarter of an hour played Colne opened the scoring and it was no more than the away side deserved when forward Djabi held up the ball before releasing the speedy Lynch towards the Rams penalty box where a well struck shot brought another fine save from Ashton but the loose ball fell to Curran whose well placed diagonal shot nestled into the bottom corner of the net.

Ramsbottom United responded to conceding their first league goal since the 5th of January with Evangelinos having an effort which flew over the bar before a Tom Kennedy cross found the head of the unmarked Kieran Lugsden but the attempt sailed wide of the target as the hosts sought a quick reply.

With 25 minutes played Colne doubled their advantage when in similar fashion to the first goal a breakaway lead to Ashton saving a well struck shot from Curran before picking up the rebound and setting up the unmarked ex Bury midfielder Richie Baker who tapped into a gaping net to give the Rams an uphill task.

Sadly things would get even worse for the Rams with less than a third of the contest played when a defensive mix up in the full back area was seized upon by Waqas Azam who passed to Hines before the winger strode through the hosts defence and confidently despatched the shot past the bewildered Ashton to give Colne a sizeable three goal lead just after the thirty minute point of the match.

With the Rams appearing somewhat shell shocked the side looked to reduce the arrears before half time with Lugsden again getting his head to a Kennedy free kick but Burton in the visitors goal wasn't concerned as the effort flew off target.

As the first period came to a close even the most ardent Ramsbottom United supporter would have found it difficult to argue with the fact that Colne were the better of the two sides and in truth the three goal advantage didn't really flatter the visitors as the Rams struggled to reach the form that had seen them reach a play off position due to some excellent performances of late.

Perhaps surprisingly the hosts returned after the half time interval unchanged, although the team were sent out early from their half time break undoubtedly with some strong words ringing in their ears from manager Chris Willcock who would have been hoping for a much improved second half showing from his charges.

The second period began with the Rams showing some desire to reduce the arrears as they sought to put the a disappointing 45 minutes behind them. With no alteration to the scoreline ten minutes into the second half the hosts made a double substitution with Anthony Donaldson and Ryan Ellison replacing Eddie Moran and Kelvin Lugsden in the hope of sparking a revival for the out of sorts home outfit.

As the hour mark approached, substitute Donaldson played a neat exchange of passes on the edge of the penalty area before the midfielder found himself behind the Colne defence and in in goal but couldn't get a clean shot away and despite some panic in the visiting defence and with the ball bobbling goalwards a retreating Priestley scrambled the ball off the line to retain the three goal advantage their devastating first half hour had provided.

The more the minutes ticked by the more it appeared as though it would just be one of those nights for the hosts as an effort from Jamie Rother fizzed just wide of the target before Colne threatened to extend their advantage further when the hugely impressive Lynch cut in from the left wing and sent an effort arrowing wide of the goal with Ashton motionless.

Ramsbottom United continued to push forward looking to register their first goal of the evening but the Colne defence was in stubborn mood and despite the hosts having the majority of the attacking possession in the second half they rarely threatened visiting custodian Burton.

The final change for the Rams saw midfielder Jamie Rother make way for Khalil Osi-Efa around the three quarter mark of the contest but in truth Colne were managing the lead fairly comfortably as despite the home sides efforts it became clear that it would be one of those evenings best forgotten as the raucous away supporters continued to enjoy the local bragging rights as their sides third consecutive victory at The Riverside in the last three seasons looked probable.

With ten minutes of the contest remaining Ramsbottom did get on the scoresheet when fine work from Anthony Donaldson gave the creative midfielder the chance to play the ball in the penalty area where a series of shots were blocked by the Colne rearguard before the ball fell kindly to Nic Evangelinos whose low shot beat Burton in the Colne goal to give the in form winger his 20th strike of a very productive season.

Sadly the late goal didn't spark a spectacular comeback from the Rams and despite Colne surrendering the majority of possession in the second period credit should be given to the visitors as they managed their lead efficiently whilst sporadically threatening to extend their advantage on the counter attack with the pacey forward line a constant source of irritatation for the usually solid Rams defence.

With time trickling away Burton was forced into a diving save to deny Ruben Jerome before the final noteworthy attempt of the match was a 20 yard attempt from Evangelinos which just cleared the crossbar but as the final whistle sounded the Rams had succumbed to only their third league defeat in 18 league outings under Chris Willcock and will be looking for a positive reaction to a disappointing evening when Widnes visit the HWRS on Saturday afternoon.

Ramsbottom United:- Ashton, Kennedy, Jacobs, Moran (Donaldson 53 mins ) Thompson, Kelvin Lugsden (Ellison 54 mins), Rainford, Rother (Osi-Efa 66 mins), Jerome, Kieran Lugsden, Evangelinos

Unused Subs- Gooden, Carey

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: AFC Fylde 4 Rams 1

AFC Fylde versus Ramsbottom United

FA Trophy 3rd round replay

Mill Field

Tuesday 12th February 2019

Attendance 913 (234 Ramsbottom United fans)

Report by Damien Barlow

When a football manager doesn't know where his teams next goal is coming from, it is usually down to a loss of form and a time of scant reward in front of goal. The same can definitely not be said for the current management team, with the playing staff netting 16 times in their last 3 outings with a healthy spread accross the team in finding the back of the opposition net, most recently the 5 in last weeks epic against tonights opponents, and while Fylde will fancy their own chances on home turf and free from the equilibrium of a claggy pitch, the Rams will back themselves to make this more than a 1 sided contest.

It was the Rams who got this replay underway, but the hosts wasted no time in trying to assert their authority on proceedings, working the ball well down the left, with Hardy and Crawford combining well with the latter getting to the by-line and sending in the games first cross, Ellison was on hand to deal with this and sent the ball away down Ramsbottoms right for Iyrwah Gooden to pounce on and somewhat catch Tunnicliffe by surprise, who unceremoniously clattered the hopeful attacker to the ground. With only minutes on the clock, that challenge brought the first booking.

The Ramsbottom number 7 was certainly keeping the home defence on their toes, and in quick succession won his side 2 more free kicks, both of which failed to cause any real issues for the home side. The game started to settle down a little more as the clock progressed over the quarter hour mark, with both teams becomming more comfortable on the ball, and taking their time in finding a pass. A couple of hesitant moments in the Fylde back line had the potential to let the visitors in on goal but were eventually dealt with, and with a break away of their own down the right, should have made more of the opportunity but an over hit cross again let the recovering defenders off easier than it should.

As the game developed, it was becomming evident the away side were not going to be fazed or intimidated by their unfamiliar surroundings, and were forcing Fylde into several rushed mis-placed passes, much to the dis-pleasure of the home faithful, and as the ball broke to Gooden in the box, he teased the ball back to Moran who in-turn sent the back out wide for the no7 to continue to ask questions of his markers who could on answer by illegally stopping him. A dangerous game some might say with the trusted left foot of Tom Kennedy only happy to oblige in delivering the set-piece re-starts into the Fylde box. A rather wild attempt on goal from Eddie Moran which was greeted with Oohs from the away fans gathered behind the goal and ironic cheers from the home ones, just showed again the growing confidence that was starting to put the away side on top, and looking the more dangerous and more likely to force any kind of attacking threat.

Iyrwah Gooden was certainly the games main threat and again he wriggled free from 2 Fylde defenders and headed towards the home sides area, calmly played the ball in field for Rother to run on to and strike the ball which looked goal bound but unfortunatley took a deflection off a relieved Byrne and Ramsbottom had to settle for a corner, which the unusually quiet Evangelinos was designated to take, he swung the ball towards the 6 yard line and the un-marked Kieran Lugsden sent the 234 away following into raptures and dreams that this could be another famous night in the clubs history.

27 minutes AFC Fylde 0 Ramsbottom United 1

The goal and lead confounded the visitors belief that they could cause another upset, and as another mis-placed pass was gifted to the impressive Gooden he was caught in more than 2 minds as he ran towards goal with Jerome up in support, a moment too many of indecision allowed Byrne to save his team from furthur blushes and quell the visitors hopes of an unassailable lead. One person inparticular who would be grateful for the half time whistle is Fylde full back Zaine Francis-Angol who Gooden has given the run-around throughout the first half, and a cheeky little back-heeled nut-meg was just too much, and with no attempt to hide his frustration dragged his tormentor to the ground, and received a yellow card for his troubles.

On 35 minutes Fylde were on level terms, as a cleverly worked move down the right freed Danny Rowe, and with the offside trap sprung simple lift of the ball over a stranded Sam Ashton and the Fylde number 9 wheeled away in thankfull mood.

35 minutes AFC Fylde 1 Ramsbottom United 1

With little more than 90 seconds left on the first half clock, the turnaround was complete, as Azerbaijan U19 Tasdemir weaved his magic down the left, his cross towards the back post was met by Jordan Tunniclifffe, who seemed to ghost in un seen by the static Kennedy, and a simple finish would see the Rams in deficit for the start of the second half.

44 minutes AFC Fylde 2 Ramsbottom United 1

As the second half started, Fylde seemed in determined mood not to let a lead slip again, and no doubt were reminded of last weeks capers during the half time chat, so when Tom Crawford released Tasdemir in the box on 50 minutes and his left footed effort curled away beyond the outstretched right glove of Ashton and gave the home side a 2 goal cushion, the next goal would be vital.

50 minutes AFC Fylde 3 Ramsbottom United 1

The third goal for Fylde seem to knock the Rams out of their stride for the first time in the contest, and now only half chances and sniffs around the final 3rd were as good as it got for the visitors, and with Fyldes game management seemingly better than last week, it was them who were now finding the pass easier to come by and space to work in. Ramsbottom made their first change with Jason Carey replacing Ruben Jerome on the hour mark.

As Fylde began to turn the screw and offer little if no incentive to their opponents for a way back in, Crawford showed lovely skill to wrong foot Rother and release Tasdemir in the box with only Ashton to beat but the keeper stood firm and parried his effort away for a corner.

A mazy run from Evangelinos gave the away following an excuse to excercise their vocal chords as he moved away from 2 close observors and although outnumbered managed to get his shot away, but only called Lynch into making a straight forward stop. A frustrated booking for Gooden seemed to sum up the second half, as he over zealously tried to dispossess Byrne who did seem to want an eternity on the ball, however, the referee deemed to enough to caution the Rammy man.

On 67 minutes the goalscoring was completed, as a searching ball forward found Rowe and Tasdemir clear of the Ramsbottom back line, and as Rowe took charge of the sitution he made no mistake in crashing in a 4th goal for his team and putting the game beyond doubt. Only a 3 goal recovery from the Rams now, would over shadow last weeks heroics.

67 minutes AFC Fylde 4 Ramsbottom United 1

A double substitution on 75 minutes saw Donaldson and Osi-Efa enter the fray at the expense of goal scorer Lugsden and the impressive Gooden.

As the final 10 minutes wore on, Fylde controlled possession and the tempo, and with their own introduction of Nick Haughton and youth product Sheldon Green, they insured Ramsbottom would have to work until the final whistle, and as the curtain did finally come down on a monumental FA Trophy adventure for the Rams, which has taken in 12 games and close to 1000 miles, everyone associated with the club can be proud of what has gone and excited with what is to come. As the players and management showed their appreciation to the travelling hoards at the end, its sure to be the Yaxley 9 and Weymouth 17 who will steal the bragging rights for years to come, as tales of this seasons cup run will be shared round many a pub table well into the future.

Final score AFC Fylde 4 Ramsbottom United 1

Team Ashton, Kennedy (c) Jacobs, Moran, Thompson, Ellison, Gooden (Osi-Efa), Rother, Jerome (Carey), Lugsden (Donaldson), Evangelinos.

Unused subs Parker, Hart.


Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Rams 4 Droylsden 0

Nic Evangelinos scored all four goals as Ramsbottom United took a huge step towards guaranteeing themselves a play-off spot come the end of the season, seeing off Droylsden 4-0 in a routine win for Chris Willcock’s side.

Just the one change was made to the side that beat Runcorn the previous Saturday. Spencer Harris was replaced by Kieran Lugdsen in the starting eleven.

The Rams made a lightning quick start and were soon ahead after just six minutes. Jamie Rainford was brought down by Droylsden keeper Chris Thompson, leaving Nic Evangelinos to convert the well-taken 12 yard spot kick, sending Thompson the wrong way.

Clearly enjoying their football in the spring sun, Rammy scored a second soon after. Eddie Moran delivered a pin point cross from out right, finding Evangelinos who after seeing his initial attempt blocked by the wood work, smashed home the rebound from close range.

After the early blitz from the home side, they were nearly pegged back as Droylsden were denied a goal of their own. A Chris Rigby free kick was spilled by Sam Ashton as the ball tricked over the line, only for referee Matt Scholes and his officials to call a foul on the Rammy keeper, retaining Ramsbottom’s two goal advantage.

Yet it wasn’t long before Evangelinos completed his hat trick, in a grand total of eleven minutes. He did it in style, his dead ball free kick saw the ball bounce off and under the bar, leaving the visitors playing a damage limitation exercise for the remainder of the afternoon.

Numerous opportunities were missed to add a fourth shortly following the Evangelinos hat trick. Rainford fired wide in a one on one, latching onto a cross field ball from Eddie Moran. Tom Kennedy had a set piece attempt beaten away by Thompson and Rainford saw another effort blocked by the men in red as the home side went back to the dressing room three nil to the good.

After a thrilling opening first half, The Rams could have been forgiven for their slow start to the second half. Kieran Lugsden was brought down in the box as the home side looked for a second penalty, before Ruben Jerome was unlucky not to add his name to the score sheet, his low cross turned over the bar by a Droylsden centre back.

Yet soon after the home fans had something to cheer about as Rammy won themselves a second penalty. Lugsden was brought down again by Thompson and Evangelinos tucked his second penalty home again sending the keeper the wrong way.

As the afternoon drew to its conclusion the home side could even have had a third penalty, but substitute Iyrwah Gooden’s loud appeals were quickly waved away. Down the other end The Bloods could have earned a consolation when Sam Ashton palmed away a Liam Caddick effort, then from the same attempt Domaine Rouse sliced wide in front of an open goal.

Ruben Jerome should have added a fifth too. Turning past his marker and then the keeper, the number seven found the angle too tight to add what would have been a well-deserved fifth.

Manager Chris Willcock was most impressed with his sides first half display, but believed the second half performance warranted some improvement.

“First half we were very good, back to our best from a creativity point of view, created a number of good chances and scored some very good goals.

“Second half we took the foot off the gas and didn’t play with the intensity I would have liked.

“I would’ve liked that intensity to have still been there over the 90 minutes, I didn’t enjoy the second half as much”. On Evangelinos and in particular Rammy’s front three, Willcock was again full of praise.

“I thought Jamie(Rainford) and Nico we’re brilliant today, both recently have played very well. Ruben Jerome has been getting back to his best over the past few games too.

“It’s nice not to rely on just one individual for goals. The front three have a good goal tally between them. To get the ball down as and when we can was my intention when I arrived, getting the ball out wide and creating plenty of chances.

“I’ve only been here since October and we’ve had a brilliant run. When I came into the club we were in 18th place, nobody was talking about Ramsbottom for promotion. Since I’ve been here, home and away, the lads have been fantastic”.

Ramsbottom team: Ashton, Kennedy, Jacobs, Moran, Thompson, Kelvin Lugsden, Jerome, Rother (Donaldson 70’ mins) , Rainford (Gooden 63’ mins), Kieran Lugsden, Evangelinos (Jack Kay 73’ mins)

Un-used Subs: Bembo-Leta, Schofield

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Chasetown 2 Rams 2

Evo-Stik West Division

Saturday 16th March 2019

CHASETOWN 2 RAMSBOTTOM UNITED 2

Attendance-163

Report by Jon Haslam

Ramsbottom United headed for Staffordshire on Saturday afternoon with three important play off points on offer as a number of their promotion rivals were not in action due to the inclement weather.

Hosts Chasetown were the opponents in Chris Willcocks first match in charge for the Rams back in early October at The Riverside which ended with the honours even as the teams shared four goals.

As the match kicked in blustery conditions the visitors showed two changes from the victory seven days ago with Iyrwah Gooden and Jamie Rother replacing Jason Carey and Kyle Jacobs respectively on their first ever visit to Chasetown..

The first ten minutes were fairly even with both sides looking threatening down the flanks but neither goalkeeper had cause for concern in the opening exchanges.

Then,with a dozen minutes played a potentially match changing incident occurred when an aerial challenge on the half way line involving right full back Ryan Ellison ended with left back Callum Cockerill-Mollet writhing in agony and referee Brown decreed that that the incident deserved a red card and the Rams were down to ten men for the remainder of the contest.

Despite being a man light the visitors reorganised with Kieran Lugsden filling in at right back and it was the day trippers who almost broke the deadlock when Nic Evangelinos sent in a cross from the left flank which married up perfectly with the run of Tom Schofield and a well directed header from 8 yards out brought a fine finger tipped save from Pond in the home goal.

Minutes later the Rams created another opportunity when a raid down the right hand gave Jamie Rainford the chance to find the head of the marauding Jamie Rother but again Pond plunged down low to deny the visitors the opener.

With twenty goalless minutes played Chasetown threatened to open the scoring but a wayward attempt sailed wide of the target after good work down the left flank from the home side caused the first real moment of concern for the visitors.

Then midway through the half disaster struck for Ramsbottom United when a long ball forward was dealt with by Joel Bembo-Leto who played the ball backwards towards keeper Sam Ashton but as home forward Tom Hill chased down the back pass and as the Rams stopper stumbled on the edge of his own penalty area this left the Chasetown front man with a clear run on goal and with great delight rolled the ball into a gaping net to put the hosts a goal to the good.

A point worthy of mention is that the strike from Chasetown was the first time Chris Willcocks outfit had been behind in an away league game since the Widnes fixture back on the 9th October.

The Rams quickly made an adjustment with recognised full back Kyle Jacobs entering the fray at the expense of the unfortunate Tom Schofield with Kieran Lugsden returning to his more familiar midfield role.

Despite trailing and being down to ten men the visitors continued to create some goal scoring chances with Jamie Rother sending a well placed cross onto the head of Iyrwah Gooden but The Scholars shot stopper Pond was again called into action to preserve the hosts advantage.

Chasetown almost doubled their goal tally around the half hour point when a squall of pressure resulted in Tom Kennedy clearing a goal bound shot off the line and when the ball was cleared to the edge of the penalty area a well struck shot flew wide of the target as the home side looked to continue their recent good run of three consecutive victories.

Parity was almost restored ten minutes before the interval when a Tom Kennedy free kick was headed down to an unmarked Jamie Rainford whose well executed finish appeared to have put the away side on level terms but the sight of the linesman's flag being held aloft brought the celebrations to an abrupt end which had the travelling Rams supporters wondering if this was beginning to look like "one of those days". Even the elements appeared to take a turn for the worst when the windy conditions gave way to driving rain which did little to improve the mood of the loyal band of supporters from Lancashire.

As regular viewers of Ramsbottom United games will testify to this squad is made of stern stuff and despite events appearing to conspire against them the equaliser deservedly arrived with just four minutes of the half remaining when Iyrwah Gooden found himself behind his opposing full back before sending in a pinpoint cross from the right hand side along the six yard box to the unmarked goal poacher Jamie Rainford who gleefully tapped into an unguarded net to register his 13th goal in thirteen starts and again prove what an excellent acquisition the forward has been for the Rams.

As the half time whistle sounded an incident packed first half concluded with honours even and hopes were high that the second period would provide the same level of entertainment for the hardy souls braving the miserable weather at the picturesque Scholars Ground Stadium.

With both teams unchanged the second half began at a frantic pace with the hosts looking to take advantage of the extra player by utilising the wings and attempting to stretch the play at every opportunity whilst the day trippers looked to play positively when any attacking opportunities presented themselves.

As the rain continued to fall at an ever increasing rate neither side seriously tested the opposing keeper until around the hour mark when a break by the Rams found Nic Evangelinos tight to the goal line and as the ball was smuggled to Iyrwah Gooden the wide man was unceremoniously scythed down from behind by home skipper Wynter and referee Brown had no choice but to point to the penalty spot.

After a pause in proceedings as the bruised Gooden received some treatment up stepped leading scorer Nic Evangelinos to send the home keeper Pond the wrong way with a well struck effort from twelve yards that signalled the 50th league goal scored under the stewardship of manager Chris Willcock and the ten men had shown unbelievable tenacity to come from a goal down with one player less to take the lead as the Rams sought their tenth consecutive away league win.

Sadly Gooden could not shake off the injury and had to be replaced by Ruben Jerome as Chris Willcock continued with the now familiar positive approach which has seen the away day specialists unbeaten away from the Riverside in league fixtures since mid September.

Chasetown responded with a double substitution of their own as they looked for a way back into the contest although excellent work down the left flank gave Tom Kennedy the chance to find the head of the recently arrived substitute Ruben Jerome but the strikers header was comfortably gathered by the hosts stopper Pond.

With time ebbing away the remaining quarter of an hour consisted of the home side pushing forward with ever increasing desperation which gave the Rams the chance to counter attack as Chasetown committed more and more players forward in search of an equalising goal.

As the conditions worsened and the pitch became heavier by the minute the hosts continued to attack the Rams goal but some resolute defending and wayward finishing kept the away side in front and most neutral observers may have found it difficult to believe that the visitors had been playing for more than 75 minutes with ten men.

The hosts created and missed a series of chances with the ever present Sam Ashton forced to pull off a number of fine saves, one in particular stands out with ten minutes remaining when a 20 yard effort from Langston brought a flying save from the Rams keeper.

The hosts attacking momentum lead to a flurry of corners which kept the visiting defence under duress whilst only desperate defending at tge other end of the field prevented the Rams from adding to their tally when both Jerome and Rainford almost fashioned a match clinching third goal for the away team on a breakaway.

Unfortunately and with only a minute of the ninety remaining Chasetowns pressure finally found a way through the visitors rearguard and broke Ramsbottom United hearts when despite their a number of attempts the Rams couldn't clear the danger and the hosts took advantage by keeping the ball alive in and around the penalty area before the ball fell kindly to the home sides central defender Askey and his low drive flew past Ashton and into the corner of the goal to equalise late in the game.

Both sides pushed forward looking for the decisive fifth goal but without success and as an entertaining encounter came to an end the scoreline from the meeting earlier in the season had been repeated.

The Rams took their unbeaten away league matches to an impressive twelve and again showed their team spirit and fortitude to come away with a well earned point in testing circumstances whilst perhaps feeling slightly frustrated that their trip back up the M6 could easily have garnered a further two points in the search for one of the promotion berths come the end of the season.

Ramsbottom United:- Ashton, Kennedy, Ellison (Sent off 12 minutes), Rother, Bembo-Leto, Kelvin Lugsden,, Gooden (Jerome 64 mins), Schofield (Jacobs 27 mins), Rainford, Kieran Lugsden, Evangelinos

Unused Subs- Moran,Donaldson Carey

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Trafford 0 Rams 4

Evo-Stik West Division

Saturday 23th February 2019

TRAFFORD 0 RAMSBOTTOM UNITED 4

Attendance-416

Report by Jon Haslam

On a Spring like Saturday afternoon Ramsbottom United returned to Shawe View, the venue of the first victory under the management of Chris Willcock, a 2-1 FA Trophy win back in mid October which was the beginning of a never to be forgotten run in the competition for all connected with the Rams.

After Tuesday nights resounding six nil triumph at Newcastle Town the visitors showed three changes to their starting line up with Jamie Rother, Kieran Lugsden and Ruben Jerome replacing Khalil Osi-Efa, Tom Schofield and Iyrwah Gooden.

With hosts Trafford tucked in eighth position prior to kick off a closely fought encounter was predicted on an impressive looking surface which from the sidelines appeared conducive to good football. Indeed the opening exchanges began in lively fashion with the first chance of the match falling to the visitors when hotshot Jamie Rainford received a pass from Nic Evangelinos before his goal bound effort was blocked by the home defence but served notice that the day trippers were determined to continue their exceptional recent form.

Trafford replied in kind with an opening foray forward down the right wing which resulted in a effort which bobbled wide of Sam Ashtons goal from ex Ramsbottom forward Danny Wilkins.

After an opening ten minutes which could best be described as hard fought the first moment of note arrived when a mix up in the visitors defence allowed home wideman Liam Ellis to almost capitalise on some unusually hesitant defending and as the Trafford player looked to have nicked the ball round the onrushing Ashton before going to ground there was a collective holding of breath from the Ramsbottom contingent but thankfully referee Porter decreed that the hosts number eleven hadn't won a penalty for his side and issued a yellow card for simulation.

Whilst there was plenty of endeavour from both teams the respective goalkeepers were relatively untroubled as the half wore on but the Rams perhaps looked the most likely to make the breakthrough but couldn't quite click from an attacking perspective and at the thirty minute point the game was goalless.

With half time less than ten minutes away Ramsbottom United struck the opening goal of the contest when some excellent link up play down the right wing between Rainford and full back Kyle Jacobs which lead to the latter finding some space to send in an inviting cross to the far post which landed perfectly into the path of the clubs leading scorer Nic Evangelinos who beat Cooper in the Trafford goal with a low shot to register his nineteenth goal of a hugely impressive season

Four minutes later and the advantage would be doubled when livewire Evangelinos was tripped just outside the penalty area, up stepped free kick expert and former Bury and Rochdale full back Tom Kennedy to send a sweetly struck left footed effort from 20 yards out which perfectly evaded the defensive wall before beating the diving Cooper and finding the top corner of the net to send the away supporters into raptures as their favourites took a lead they ultimately wouldn't surrender.

The two quickfire goals in a four minute period had given the visitors the upper hand but Trafford looked to respond immediately when a corner on the stroke of half time almost halved the deficit but the free header sailed wide of the target to serve notice that the Ramsbottom rear guard would need to be at their resolute best to keep the hosts at bay. The last action of the first period saw Jamie Rainford burst through towards the edge of the Trafford area before firing wide of the target but as the referee blew for half time the Rams held a warranted two goal lead.

After the interval the visitors who were coursing with confidence almost increased their advantage further when a bustling run from Ruben Jerome took the forward inside the Trafford penalty area before a low shot was tipped wide of the target by Cooper as the away side looked to put the result beyond question.

With Ramsbottom United two goals to the good the opening fifteen minutes of the second half were played out without much incident and with goalscoring chances at a premium for both sides the visitors were doing a professional job of protecting their advantage restricting Trafford to a well worked move down the left which resulted in a scuffed effort that Sam Ashton easily dealt with.

As the contest reached the three quarters mark the away side made their first alteration of the contest when Iyrwah Gooden entered the fray at the expense of Ruben Jerome with Jamie Rainford moving to a more familiar central striking role. Shortly after the change hearts were fluttering somewhat in the visitors ranks when Sam Ashton came hurtling out of his penalty area to clear up an overhit through ball from the hosts and as the goalkeeper was in unfamiliar territory his clearance only found a white shirted Trafford player who sent a shot goalwards but the recovering Rams defenders spared any potential blushes for their keeper and shepherded the ball to safety.

After that warning the Rams set about ensuring that their afternoon would be a fruitful one as they created a couple of presentable opportunities with perhaps the best falling to midfield dynamo Jamie Rother who, after a corner had been cleared to the edge of the Trafford penalty area fired in a shot which evaded the onrushing defenders before narrowly missing the target.

With a sense of symmetry Ramsbottom United would strike with precision twice in a four minute period for the second time in the encounter to put the result beyond any doubt, firstly on 73 minutes a threaded pass from the aforementioned Rother found Jamie Rainford who twisted one way and then the other before slaloming past two defenders and entering the penalty box before sidestepping another Trafford defender and confidently sending a precise low shot past the outstretched dive of Cooper and into the bottom corner for the forwards tenth league goal in a Ramsbottom shirt. Also worth noting is that the hard working striker has scored in five consecutive league games amassing seven goals in that period proving yet again what a vital addition the forward has been to the Ramsbottom ranks.

With the three points looking guaranteed Chris Willcock utilised his bench with a double change as Rainford and the tireless Eddie Moran were replaced by Jason Carey and Tony Donaldson respectively.

The fourth and final Ramsbottom United goal arrived after Kieran Lugsden almost scored from a well hit shot but Cooper in the home goal was equal to the effort palming the ball wide, although the relief was short-lived as the resultant corner from Tom Kennedy evaded the hosts keepers attempt to punch the ball to safety and Lugsden nodded into an unguarded net for his second goal for the Rams whilst confirming another vital three points.

For the remaining quarter of an hour a demoralised Trafford outfit continued to search for a consolation goal but ultimately without success as Sam Ashton was protected in fine fashion by the miserly Rams defence.

A point that surely cannot be ignored is that amazingly Ramsbottom United have not fallen behind in any away league match since Chris Willcocks first away outing which was a one each draw at Widnes on the 9th of October. Since that match the side have embarked on a run of eight consecutive away games in which they have tasted victory with an aggregate goal tally of 28 goals scored and just one against (In the 3-1 win at Market Drayton).

The final chances of the game were exchanged in the final ten minutes as firstly a well struck shot for the hosts from the edge of the penalty area flew wide of the Rams goal before Tony Donaldson almost made it two goals in two games but after a well worked move the young midfielders effort was well saved by Cooper in the home goal.

As the referee blew the full time whistle Ramsbottom United had completed a well deserved victory whilst perhaps not being at their fluent best, nevertheless such have been the high standards of recent performances that a comprehensive four goal win against a team that sat just two places below the Rams prior to kick off ensured the travelling support had another away result and performance to be immensely proud of.

A look at the league table after the match showed the Rams in a play off place which rounds off a superb seven days which has seen the team garner nine points from the three games played in that period alongside a goal haul of eleven with none conceded as the Rams play off impetuous gathers momentum ahead of Tuesday nights eagerly anticipated visit of Colne at the HWRS.

Ramsbottom United:- Ashton, Kennedy, Jacobs, Moran (Donaldson 74 mins ) Thompson, Kelvin Lugsden, Rainford (Carey 74 mins), Rother, Jerome (Gooden 64 mins), Kieran Lugsden, Evangelinos

Unused Subs- Ellison, Osi-Efa

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Rams 5 AFC Fylde 5

Buildbase FA Trophy 3rd Round

Tuesday 5th February 2019

RAMSBOTTOM UNITED 5 AFC FYLDE 5

Attendance: 746

Report by Adam Clark

The Rams made 3 changes from the team that Won 6-0 vs Skelmersdale United on January 26th – Kelvin Lugsden, Khalil Osi-Efa & Jamie Rainford dropped out. Luke Thompson, Jamie Rother & Jason Carey came into a Ramsbottom United side who were going to face the 3rd best defence in the National League

The first shot for the Rams came within three minutes, Midfielder Eddie Moran shot just wide, Fylde’s Danny Rowe had two good chances within the 8th minute. First his shot was fired over the bar and second time Rams defender Ryan Ellison was there with a last ditch sliding challenge.

AFC Fylde took the lead on 10 minutes, a ball was played across to Serhat Tasdemir who looked to be in an offside position slotted home for the National League side’s first of the evening.

The Rams had a penalty shout four minutes later when a Fylde defender appeared to have handled in the area but match referee Joe Hull turned down the appeals.

The first yellow card of the evening was given to Fylde’s top scorer Danny Rowe for a late challenge on Rams right back Kyle Jacobs, the weather making the challenge look worse than it actually was.

Fylde doubled their lead on 33 minutes when Nick Haughton picked up a stray pass, found space outside the area and put in a shot from just inside the penalty area that found it’s way through the Rams defence and into the back of the net for the 2nd goal for the visitors from the coast

The Rams roared back with 2 goals in 2 minutes to level what was becoming a fast and fascinating cup tie. First, Luke Thompson scored with a great header in front of the Jack Wolfenden Stand which gave the fans a glimmer of hope, and moments later came the equaliser on 39 minutes. Nic Evangelinos put the ball through a sea of bodies from a Tom Kennedy ball in.

With half-time approaching and no slackening of the pace in what was becoming an end-to-end contest, AFC Fylde again took the lead in the final minute of normal time. Following a superb freekick by Tom Kennedy that looked to be heading into the top left corner, he was denied as the keeper pulled off a great save to deny the former Football league defender.

Within seconds, Fylde broke Fylde restored their lead, as from a corner Jordan Tunnicliffe towered above the Rams defence and headed home to put the Coasters ahead at the break, after an exhilarating 45 minutes in atrocious conditions.

Having gone in at the break frustrated by the late goal, the Rams began the second half in the worst possible style as the visitors once more raced into a two goal lead. Two minutes into the second half Tasdemir made the most of a slight defensive error by the Rams to find space behind the defence and notch a simple fourth. At this point I don’t think anyone could have prepared themselves for what was about to happen

9 minutes into the second half, the ball came across from Jason Carey, towards Moran but keeper Griffiths smothered it into his arms.

The Rams made the first sub on 58 minutes – Ruben Jerome came on to replace Mansfield loanee Iyrah Gooden and what a substitution that was from Chris & the management team.

Less than two minutes after that substitution, Nic Evangelinos got his second of the evening after he drilled his shot low and past the keeper on 60 minutes.

Pushing forward with increased confidence, just five minutes later the ground erupted as Ruben Jerome poached a Rams equaliser, his cross come shot finding the back of the net.

The volume went up even more on 83 minutes when the Rams went 5-4 up, Nic Evangelinos was the man to put the Rams ahead of the first time in the tie as he bundled the ball home from close range and to complete his hat-trick, and complete a remarkable come-back in a second half dominated by the home side.

However, there was still time for more drama as Fylde leveled just three minutes later, Andy Bond the man to score the equaliser which means the Rams will make the trip to the Fylde coast next Tuesday to battle it out to get a place in the quarter finals.

This was a game to stay long in the memory, played superbly by both teams on a heavy pitch in driving rain. A great advertisement for non-league football, and once again the Rams make history as they prepare for a trip to the Fylde coast next Tuesday.

Ramsbottom United – Ashton, Kennedy, Jacobs, Moran, Thompson, Ellison, Gooden (Jerome 58’), Rother, Carey (Donaldson 79’), Kieran Lugsden, Evangelinos.

Subs not used – Osi-Efa, Parker, Hart.