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.

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Rams 2 Weymouth 2

Ramsbottom live to fight another day in FA Trophy courtesy of a last-gasp header courtesy of super sub Iyrwah Gooden. Trailing 2-1 deep into added time, up came the on-loan Mansfield striker to head home a precious equaliser and for the first time in the clubs history, The Rams will be in the competitions Third Round draw.

Four changes were made to the side held by Leek Town the previous week. The Rams had lost Ruben Jerome to suspension and Jamie Rainford was cup-tied. Anthony Donaldson and Kieran Lugsden took to the bench as Khalil Osi-Efa, Kyle Jacobs, Simon Woodford and Jason Carey came into the starting eleven.

In the opening minutes, Jacobs headed wide of the post from a deep Nic Evangelinos cross before Woodford failed to make solid contact on the ball when in ideal space from a corner.

Despite playing some wonderful football, Rammy fell behind in the 37th minute by conceding a sloppy set piece goal. A Weymouth attacker was toppled under a rather wild challenge from Luke Thompson, handing the visitors a rare attempt at goal. It proved to be a turning point as Weymouth’s number six Jake McCarthy met a pin point cross by play maker Brandon Goodship. The goal sent Weymouth into the break with a narrow advantage, although on another day it could well have been a very different story.

Not wanting to see their Cup run come to an end, Ramsbottom came out fighting in the second half, yet had Sam Ashton to thank for keeping the Weymouth goal total at just the one. Ashton denied Calvin Brooks from a tight angle, before making a smart stop to deny the ever impressive Goodship for Weymouth. Evangelinos was always a threat for the Rams yet could not find a way past Thomas down at the oppositions end.

All was to change in the 68th minute though, Evangelinos again putting his name to the scoresheet. A low clever corner ball by Kennedy was turned in by the left winger who continually shows what an important figure he is in this Rammy side.

Cup competitions are well known for their drama and this tie provided it’s own nail-biting moments for both teams. In the final stages either side could have easily been victorious. Eddie Moran beat the offside trap when through on goal but couldn’t quite get round Thomas to slide the ball into an empty net. Within seconds Weymouth surged forward and thought they had navigated their way through a difficult away tie when front man Brooks put his side back in front again with a neat finish tucked away past Ashton.

Yet Ramsbottom do not know when they are beaten and continued to press for an equaliser. Thompson made an ambitious run into the opposing box but came up short when directing his header goalwards as the Rams looked to at least take the game back down to the South Coast. In the dying moment of injury time up stepped Gooden to convert a Kennedy cross into a crowded penalty area to bring the scores level and secure a replay for Rammy on Tuesday night.

At the close of play, manager Chris Willcock was again proud of his sides efforts, yet was wary of the fact Ramsbottom could have won it with the chances created. “I’ve got the upmost admiration for the lads. They’ve given everything today and we live to fight another day, just. I have had some dramatic moments in my managerial career and this is another one.

We’ve trained Tuesday and Thursday this week and for large periods the lads have implemented our game plan well”. The Replay on Tuesday at Weymouth may cause a few problems regarding travel and work arrangements because after all, non-league players are not full time professionals, Ramsbottom United included.

On this issue Willcock remarked. “I think all the management team will be able to supplement the bench’ he chuckled with a wry smile on his face. “We’re more than looking forward to going back to Weymouth. Going there can only inspire you from a playing prospective. “There are some big teams left in the draw at the moment but we will see what Tuesday brings. These last four games for Rammy have been huge and the fans have been tremendous every time”.

Rams: Ashton, Kennedy, Ellison (Gooden 45’), Moran, Thompson, Woodford, Osi-Efa, Rother, Carey (Slew 64’), Jacobs, Evangelinos unused subs: Donaldson, Lugsden, Slew, Parker

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Market Drayton Town 1 Rams 3

Market Drayton Town 1 Ramsbottom United 3.

Saturday 22nd December 2018

Evo-Stik West Division

Attendance 88

Referee Tom Elliott

Report by Damien Barlow

DEFENSIVE ERRORS GIFT WRAP 3 POINTS FOR THE RAMS AHEAD OF FESTIVE PERIOD

A tradition of recent years has seen market visits in the build up to Christmas include luke warm wine, over priced hot-dogs and more than enough ill-fitting festive items of clothing. Fortunately for everyone inside the Greenfields Sports Ground, which entails a picturesque drive to reach, non of these unpleasentries were in sight, and as Chris Willcock and his team arrived in town keen to build on their mid-week cup exploits and a run of 1 defeat in 15 games since he joined the club, the only mulling was whether another 3 points would be won. Todays game sees the return fixture from the opening day of the season, and is worth noting that only 4 players who featured that day for Ramsbottom survive to tell the tale today.

There were 2 changes for todays match, seeing Kelvin Lugsden and Jamie Rainford installed to the starting 11, the latter in place of Nialle Rodney who suffered an ankle injury midweek. Rainford now occupying the vacant wide right slot with Jerome operating through the middle. The hosts got proceedings underway in what was an unusually pleasent day weather wise for the time of year.

The first chance to send a ball into the area was presented to the away side as Evangelinos was tripped just inside the opposision half, and as Kennedys ball dropped 12 yards out, the head of Thompson couldn't give the visitors the perfect start and Springthorpe easily collected. Another free kick saw Kennedy opt for the short option and rolled the ball forward towards half way for Donaldson to collect and turn and move forward assessing what lay ahead, Rainford offered the perfect outlet wide right, and only a Drayton defender clearing the eventual cross prevented the best move of the day ending in celebration. On the break from that move presented the home side with the best clear cut chance, and for all of Ramsbottoms pressure and territory they could have found themselves in deficit, thankfully Sam Ashton earned his keep and expertly saved low to his left to deny Harvey Howell from 7 yards out.

The Rams responded well, and continued to build momentum amidst the free kicks and more direct approach from their counterparts, and as Tom Kennedy sent a teasing inswinging corner towards the dangerzone, it was Thompson again who was first to the ball but his free header somehow found the chest of The Gingerbread Mens stopper.

As the first half started to settle down more, the away side looked the more comfortable, and although no real furthur assaults on the scoreline had been offered, there was a sense that the first goal would be very important. After conceding 10 goals in the last 2 games, an away goal could knock the hosts confidence and see the away side run away with the game. A home goal and they'd have apoint to prove and something to defend.

Ruben Jerome became the first recipient of a card from the referee, a trip on Matthew Ballard, saw his reaction to an earlier coming-together see him on a disciplinary tightrope. The resulting free kick almost proved more costly than a yellow card fine, as somehow 3 Market Drayton players found unmarked space at the back post, and unintentionally got in each others way and as the ball bounced along the 6 yard line another on-rushing attacker just failed to make contact which would surely have been the opening goal.

Moments later on 36 minutes the break through was thrust upon us, as a fortunate corner that was awarded to Drayton, when Tom Elliott deemed Ellisons attempted clearence had bounced back off him and out of play, was easily gathered by Ashton, his quick thinking and even quicker clearence into enemy lines saw Jamie Rainford and Paul Mcmullen shoulder to shoulder and as the panicking defender attempted to divert the danger he unceremoniously sent the ball past Springthorpe and Rammy were up and running for what would be a mad 10 minutes.

MARKET DRAYTON 0 RAMSBOTTOM 1

4 minutes later and the season of goodwill continued from the Market Drayton back line. After successfully seeing off a couple of corners, a straight forward ball from the right was strangely headed straight back accross his own 6 yard line, completley wrong footing his team mates and as Jerome gleefully accepted this unexpected bow wrapped present.

MARKET DRAYTON 0 RAMSBOTTOM 2

The 2 goal cushion now allowed Ramsbottom to enjoy more controlled possession, with Rainford being utilised more than most. He and Ellison showing good understanding and were working the right side well. Donaldson became the next to receive a card for what can only be described as a 'forwards tackle'. The 88 loyal on-lookers were given another example of Rammys play from the back and through the thirds philosopy just before the break. Eddie Moran picked the ball up from Kennedy and moved towards half way smoothly playing the ball into Rother's path who inturn continued the balls journey out wide into space for Rainford to latch on to, unfortunately the move broke down on the edge of the home sides area.

As 45 minutes ticked ever closer the game was put beyond doubt. As Tom Kennedy made his way over to the right for another corner words of wisdom were fresh in his ears from Thompson who then made his way into position. The resulting corner was met firmly by the Rammy No5, and third time lucky for him, finally got his rewards.

MARKET DRAYTON 0 RAMSBOTTOM 3

As the first half was brought to a close, an unassailable lead which 10 minutes earlier no one could have forseen, was surely a too big a mountain for Market Drayton to climb in the second half. One highlight not many would have bared witness to, was 3 of the sub's warming up, and whilst doing their stretches in the corner, a conversation broke out between them about the frequency of their hair dresser visits and how often they have their eye brows done. You know who you are lads!

As Ramsbottom got the second half started, no changes had been made by either side, however, Rainford was now up top with Jerome wide right. The first half chance of the second half came as Ryan Ellison broke down the right and deftly lifted the ball over the defender for Rainford to run onto but the bounce took the ball away from him and into the keepers grasp. Evangelinos was next to run at the home back line, and as he cut inside and rolled the ball towards Donaldson, he tried his luck from 25 yards, but was unlucky as his effort whistled past the upright. Drayton were now looking for the goal that would allow them to try and build on and as Glynn Coney wriggled free and got to the byline, his effort to pick out a team mate waas unsucsessful, but acted as a warning to the vistors that there was still a job to do.

60 minutes saw the first change for Rammy as Kyle Jacobs replaced Luke Thompson.

65 minutes second sub for Rammy, new signing Richard Brodie on for Ruben Jerome.

73 minutes and the final change of personel sees Kieran Lugsden take the place of Anthony Donaldson.

Over the next 7 or so minutes the referee kept up his christmas spirit and continued to hand out cards. The first was a yellow for new boy Brodie for a clumsy mis-timed challenge, the second wasn't, and certainly had him instanty removed from a few of the visitors lists.

81 minutes saw the most notable talking point of the half, as a percentage ball was sent forward the front, and seemed to get between Ellison and Ashton, and whilst the striker escaped the attention of both and got a shot away, which ended up hitting the side netting, the official saw fit to then bring back play, award a penalty and issue a stright red for Ellison for supposedly tugging on his opponents shirt. The spot kick was converted cooly by Coney sending Ashton the wrong way. Ramsbottom had to see out the final minutes with a man dis-advantage, in a game which had never looked beyond doubt.

Jamie Rainford had on 88 minutes a great opportunity to restore the 3 goal cushion as good work down the left saw him receive the ball left side of the area, worked his space really well and curled a shot away towards the far stanchion, only to see his effort go just wide.

The full time whistle sounded not long after, signalling another well earned 3 points for the Rams as they head into a Riverside festive double header, firstly with top of the table Radcliffe on boxing day and then 2nd place Atherton Colleries on New Years Day.

May I take this opportunity on behalf of myself and the rest of the match reporting team to wish you all a Happy and safe Christmas.

Team :- Ashton, Kennedy (c), Ellison, Moran, Thompson, Lugsden K, Rainford, Rother, Jerome, Donaldson, Evangelinos.

Subs not used :- Khalil Osi-Efa, Bembo-Leta.


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: Rams 6 Skelmersdale 0

Evo-Stik West Division

Saturday 26th January 2019

RAMSBOTTOM UNITED 6 SKELMERSDALE UTD 0

Attendance-167

Report by Jon Haslam

Ramsbottom United warmed up for their upcoming FA Trophy match against AFC Fylde in fine style with a convincing victory against bottom of the table side Skelmersdale on Saturday afternoon.

After last Saturdays five goal haul against Glossop the same eleven took to the field looking to continue the fine run of form which prior to kick off had seen the Rams unbeaten in their last ten matches in all competitions.

As the whistle blew to begin the contest , the rain also made an appearance and would be a constant companion during the afternoons events. It would be the hosts that would make the ideal start to the contest when on eight minutes a pass from Eddie Moran found an unmarked Jamie Rainford whose superbly timed through ball connected perfectly with the forward run of Nic Evangelinos whose calm finish under the onrushing Kirkman in the Skelmersdale goal to give the Rams the ideal start.

Perhaps a point worth noting was that the opening goal of the afternoon was the 50th to be scored under the tenure of manager Chris Willcock in 24 outings in all competitions.

The opening fifteen minutes saw the home side take the initiative as they looked to increase their advantage but had to be wary of the visitors who threatened an equaliser when a corner was cleared to Connor Belger and the wide mans goal bound effort flew past Sam Ashton before flicking the top of the crossbar to serve as a warning that the strugglers could offer some attacking menace.

Shortly after the let off Ramsbottom United doubled their advantage when Jamie Rainford received the ball just inside the penalty area before wriggling free of a couple of challenges before the strikers well placed shot from close range kissed the inside of the post before nestling in the back of the net to give the hard working forward his sixth goal in a Rams jersey.

The home side looked to take control of the contest as the lively Iyrwah Gooden struck the outside of the woodwork from a tight angle as the visitors were finding it a challenge to remain in the match in the opening stages but from the midway point of the first half Skelmersdale continued to battle hard and almost halved the arrears as Ashton again was forced into action at his near post to repel a well struck effort.

With the other top eight sides all facing each other it was important the Rams capitalised with a positive result to stake their claim for at least a play off berth come the end of the season. Despite their two goal advantage the home side found it more challenging to fashion any further clear cut goal scoring efforts as the half wore on, the best attempts were courtesy of a Kieran Lugsden effort which flew wide of the target before Gooden brought a comfortable save from the Skelmersdale stopper.

The Rams were almost made to pay again towards the half time break when after a corner was only cleared to the edge of the 18 yard box and a powerful effort at goal from Belger brought the best out of Sam Ashton as the visitors looked to give the hosts a warning that they wouldn't have it all their own way. The Rams ended the first period with a two goal lead and after a strong start to the match the last twenty minutes of the half were much more even as the hosts looked to take full advantage of their rivals match ups elsewhere.

Whatever was said at the interval clearly had an effect as within a couple of minutes the game was all but over as a contest when on loan winger Iyrwah Gooden picked up the ball in the left hand channel some 30 yards from goal before setting off on a mazy run which took him past two Skelmersdale defenders and to the edge of the penalty area where the Mansfield youngster unleashed a well directed shot which fizzed past Kirkman to give the Rams a three goal advantage that they would ultimately not surrender.

Within ten minutes of the restart Ramsbottom United had the opportunity to further increase their lead when a through ball found the speedy Gooden with a clear run towards goal and in a one on one situation with the Skelmersdale goalkeeeper, the speedy winger nicked the ball past the onrushing Kirkman but an outstretched hand brought down the youngster and referee David Croft had no choice but to give the hosts a penalty which, after a discussion between Rainford and Evangelinos the latter comfortably exacted the full punishment by sending the yellow carded custodian the wrong way to register his thirteenth goal for the upwardly mobile Rams.

This was the third successive match in which Ramsbottom had been awarded a spot kick and after two misses Nic Evangelinos may well have the role for the foreseeable future.

With an hour played, a four goal lead and with the three points looking secure Chris Willcock decided to utilise his bench with Anthony Donaldson replacing Khalil Osi-Efa in midfield and shortly afterwards two goal hero Evangelinos made way for Ruben Jerome who was returning after a three game suspension.

It is credit to Skelmersdale that despite the score line they continued to cause some uncertainty in the home defence with Ashton called upon twice in quick succession to deny the visitors a goal that their attacking play would have arguably deserved, but with the Rams intent on securing an eleventh clean sheets in their last 24 matches the home stopper lived up to his reputation of being one of, if not the best goal keeper in the division.

The final change of the afternoon for the Rams saw Richard Brodie take the place of the influential Iyrwah Gooden

As the contest entered the final ten minutes the hosts would equal their scoreline from last weeks win at Glossop by collecting their fifth goal of the afternoon when some intricate one touch passing around the edge of the visitors penalty box between Eddie Moran, Ruben Jerome and Jamie Rainford led to the latter firing home from close range to claim his second goal of the contest and fourth strike in his last two outings proving that the industrious forward certainly knows how to find the back of the net.

With almost the three minutes of additional time played the Rams would improve on last weeks tally when a through ball from Jamie Rainford found the run of Ruben Jerome who beat the offside trap before confidently firing low past Kirkman to round off a thoroughly impressive performance from the hosts whilst also perhaps indicating why the visitors have claimed just one victory in their 25 league games to date with the Skelmersdale goals conceded column showing almost three per match.

As the final whistle sounded the Rams had completed their second "double" of the season whilst jumping up to fifth position in the league standings and will be in confident mood ahead of their eagerly anticipated and historic FA Trophy Third Round encounter at the Riverside on Saturday against a high flying AFC Fylde outfit.

Ramsbottom United:- Ashton, Kennedy, Jacobs, Moran, Kelvin Lugsden, Ellison, Gooden (Brodie 73 mins), Osi-Efa (Donaldson 58 mins), Rainford, Kieran Lugsden, Evangelinos (Jerome 67 mins)

Unused Subs- Thompson, Carey

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Rams 1 Leek Town 1

Evo-Stik West Division

Saturday 5th January 2019

RAMSBOTTOM UNITED 1 LEEK TOWN 1

Attendance-220

Report by Jon Haslam

Ramsbottom United took to the field at the HWRS on Saturday afternoon to take on an in form Leek Town outfit looking to respond after their New Year's Day defeat at the hands of Atherton Collieries.

The home side showed three alterations to their previous match with Ryan Ellison, Tom Kennedy and Ruben Jerome making the starting eleven at the expense of Kyle Jacobs,Joel Bembo-Leto and Richard Brodie respectively as the hosts completed a tough run of three home matches which has seen the Rams take on opponents above them in the league standings.

It would be the high flying visitors from Staffordshire that would create the first effort on goal, when, in the opening minutes Aaron Bott found himself in space but his curling shot sailed wide of the target as the away side looked to extend their impressive run of six league matches unbeaten.

The Rams then worked their way into the contest from an attacking perspective and responded with Ruben Jerome bringing a routine save from Roberts in the Leek goal as the home side sought to make Leek Towns first ever league visit to the Riverside an uncomfortable experience.

With just over a quarter of an hour played of a fairly even contest the Rams made the breakthrough when a cross from Ryan Ellison found the bald pate of Eddie Moran and the midfielders well directed header met up perfectly with the forward run of Jamie Rother who controlled the ball well before confidently finishing a well worked move with a low right footed drive which beat Roberts in the visitors goal to give the Rams all action schemer his third goal of the season.

As the encounter continued the referees whistle was as prominent a participant as any of the players on view as free flowing football was limited and as the league table prior to kick off showed this meeting had all the makings of a tight contest between two teams pushing towards the higher reaches of the standings.

The home side looked to take confidence from the early lead with the tricky Nic Evangelinos and the metronomic Eddie Moran causing the visitors defence some problems with their positive runs as the hosts looked to extend their lead as they took control of the middle third of the first period.

With just over a third of the match played and the Rams narrowly in front the visitors fashioned two efforts in quick succession from Leek forward Robert Stevenson, his first effort being a neat turn and shot which fractionally missed the target before a 20 yard pile driver looked to have beaten Sam Ashton in the home goal but clipped the top of the crossbar before bouncing to safety much to the relief of all associated with the Rams.

As the half time interval was only minutes away a potentially significant incident occurred as the home side were reduced to ten men when referee Stuart Morland issued a red card to Ramsbottom United forward Ruben Jerome for a petulant off the ball incident with Leeks Jack Sanders, to add to the frustrations the ball wasn't in play at the time but the official decreed that the forwards reaction was deserving of a sending off much to the dissatisfaction of the home crowd.

Despite being a man down the hosts almost doubled their advantage on the stroke of half time when a bustling run from the industrious Jamie Rainford took him past two visiting defenders before getting a sight of goal but the goal bound attempt was blocked by Roberts in the visitors goal.

Both sides returned after the interval unchanged and perhaps unsurprisingly Leek took the early initiative as they looked to take advantage of their extra man and continue their recent run of form which shows the side from Harrison Park at the top of the seemingly increasingly referred to "form table".

With almost ten minutes played of the second period played the day trippers were quite literally handed a way back into the match when young Rams midfielder Anthony Donaldson was adjudged to have handled the ball in the penalty area and a spot kick was awarded which Aaron Bott converted by sending Sam Ashton the wrong way and the scores were level.

Within minutes of the equaliser being scored Chris Willcock made a double change with Kyle Jacobs and Kieran Lugsden replacing the unfortunate Donaldson and goal scorer Rother as the hosts looked for fresh legs in the midfield area as with over 30 minutes remaining the home side would need to remain steadfast in their defensive duties to keep their high scoring opponents at bay.

As time ticked along Ramsbottom were finding it difficult to sustain any attacks of note as Leek enjoyed the majority of the territorial advantage as they looked to utilise the width of the pitch to disrupt the home sides defensive organisation but with the Rams rearguard in resolute form the irrepressible Luke Thompson and impressive Kelvin Lugsden were doing a fine job of protecting Sam Ashton between the sticks.

With clear goal scoring chances at a premium and three quarters of the contest played a shot from Leek forward Stevenson from the edge of the penalty area was blocked en-route towards goal and brought claims of another handball but referee Morland thankfully rebuffed the requests for a second spot kick for the visitors.

As the minutes ticked towards the final quarter of an hour both sides utilised their bench with Richard Brodie replacing Ryan Ellison for the Rams as they bravely went with two forwards on the pitch looking to give the Leek defence some difficulties in the time that remained.

The tactical change seemed to have the desired effect as Leek became ever more desperate to nick the points and continued to push players forward whilst the hosts began to retain possession of the ball and in winning a couple of free kicks gave the home support hope that the Rams could perhaps pinch an unlikely victory with the expert delivery of set pieces from Tom Kennedy a weapon which has been utilised to great effect in recent weeks.

The remainder of the match was fairly well balanced with neither side creating the chance that would ultimately secure the win, Jamie Rainford had a promising effort blocked for the Rams before Leek had the final effort of the game when substitute Hall fired a half volley over the bar with almost the final kick of the match and both sides shared the spoils in a hard fought contest.

Ramsbottom United showed plenty of team spirit and togetherness to battle for over 50 minutes with ten men to gain a well earned point against an in form and high flying Leek Town side that comfortably beat the Rams 4-0 in mid September which shows how far the side has progressed in recent months losing only two matches in the twenty played since Chris Willcocks arrival in early October.

The Rams now sit in seventh position in the league and just outside of the play off places but the last three matches have shown that the side are more than capable of competing against the teams towards the top of the league and a play off place is more than attainable by the seasons end but thoughts now turn to Saturdays historic FA Trophy Second Round tie against Weymouth at The Riverside Stadium.

Ramsbottom United:- Ashton, Kennedy, Ellison (Brodie 69mins), Moran ,Thompson, Kelvin Lugsden, Rainford, Rother (Jacobs 57mins), Jerome, Donaldson (Kieran Lugsden 57 mins), Evangelinos.

Unused Subs- Osi-Efa, Bembo-Leto

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Rams 2 Workington 0

The Rams made one change from the original tie on Saturday, Khalil Osi-Efa came into the side in-place of Simon Woodford, while Workington made two changes Brad Hubbold and Sam Joel came in for Kieran Maguire and Jordan Holt.

The Rams began in confident mood having earned the replay with a good display in attrocious conditions on the Cumbrian coast on Saturday and were soon on the offensive. Nic Evangelinos had a couple of early chances both of his headers going over the bar, the first tipped over by the visiting keeper Aaron Taylor, the second chance was from around six yards out and that was the best chance in the opening fifteen minutes.

Workington gradually wrestled their way back into the game and their best chance probably came from Joel who hit the post on 23 minutes then as the ball flashed across goal after it rebounded to Tinnion who volleyed wide.

It was pretty even for the rest of a competitive first half, as both sides looked to get a foothold in the game but they went in 0-0 at the break, a fair reflection as to how the first forty-five minutes had panned out with end to end football from both sides.

HALF TIME Rams 0 Workington 0

Workington had an early chance six minutes into the second half, the ball was played once again to Sam Joel but the visiting midfielder was in an offside position.

Just before the Rams took the lead they had a chance after Nic Evangelinos’ shot was blocked well by the Workington shot stopper Taylor.

However, the Rams broke the deadlock on 58 minutes, The ball was bundled around the area before it fell to Ruben Jerome who, at the third attempt managed to slot the ball home from close range to put the Rams ahead in their FA Trophy replay

Workington’s best chance to level came on 64 minutes when Scott Allison put the ball over the bar, if it had been an inch or two lower it would have been in and it certainly would have been a different game for the final 25 minutes.

The Rams then doubled their lead with sixteen minutes to go, Evangelinos who was the best player on the night for the Rams, scored having raced through from the left hand side and unleashing an unstoppable shot from around 15 yards out.

Nialle Rodney then had a chance to add a third for the Rams but his shot was blocked by a sliding challenge by Dan Wordsworth which resulted in a serious injury for the Rammy winger. Nialle’s lower leg collided with the post and he has believed to have suffered a serious injury to his ankle .

Thirty-three minutes was the delay for the injury to Nialle, who was then carried off the field to a round of applause from around the ground.

All the Rams needed to do was to play out the final nine minutes, The substitute who came on for Rodney was Regan Jarrett, he had a couple of chances in the final few minutes one of which came off the bar, and 2-0 was how if finished for the Lancashire side, who will face Weymouth in the next round on Saturday 12th January 2019

FULL TIME Rams 2 Workington 0

Rams - Ashton, Kennedy, Osi-Efa, Moran, Thompson, Ellison, Rodney (Jarrett 81’), Rother, Jerome, Donaldson, Evangelinos.

Unused subs - Rowe, Parker, Hart, Foulds

COMING UP:

Saturday 22nd December Evo-Stik West Market Drayton Town v RAMS 3.00pm

Wednesday 26th December (Boxing Day) Evo-Stik West RAMS v Radcliffe 3.00pm


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: Glossop North End 0 Rams 5

Evo-Stik West Division

Saturday 19th January 2019

GLOSSOP NORTH END 0 RAMSBOTTOM UNITED 5

Attendance: 256

Report by Adam Clark

The Rams have stretched their great away form to 12 unbeaten by winning 5-0 at Glossop North End in a Five Star Performance from the Rams.

The Rams made 2 changes to the team that historically won at Weymouth on Tuesday night. The Lugsden twins came into the side in place of Luke Thompson who dropped to the bench & Jamie Rother who was unavailable.

1st HALF

The Rams had two good chances within in the opening five minutes, firstly Gooden’s cross was blocked by Russ Saunders as he saved it at his near post then Evangelinos tried his luck from the edge of the box but it was once again saved by Saunders.

The first chance for Glossop came on 14 minutes, after a good run from Adam Latham who was the best player on the pitch for the home side blasted the ball well out of Surrey Street.

Two minutes later, Former Ram Dom Marie teed up Latham who shot but Kelvin Lugsden blocked well on the line for Sam Ashton to collect safely. Halfway through the first half, The Rams had a corner after Eddie Moran’s cross was headed out then from the former GNE man Kelvin Lugsden, his header came off the post, that was the best chance the Rams had upto that moment.

Eleven minutes from the break, The Rams had a penalty appeal for handball turned down by referee Daniel Guest.

The Rams took the lead on the stroke of half time, Evangelinos crossed into the box for Jamie Rainford to score a great angled shot from around 12 yards out.

HALF TIME GNE 0 Rams 1

2nd HALF

The Rams were quick out of the blocks in the second half, Gooden had a shot saved by keeper Saunders within the opening minute. The Rams doubled their lead within 6 minutes of the restart Nic Evangelinos scored after a cross from Jacobs fell to Eddie Moran who teed up the Greek star to put home his 11th goal for the Rams.

Five minutes later the Rams got a third, Evangelinos the scorer again after he shot from the right hand side and through the keeper’s hands to get a 2nd for himself.

The Rams then made their first sub on the hour mark and Mansfield loanee Iyrwah Gooden was replaced by former Glossop man Jason Carey.

Two minutes later the scorer of the first goal Jamie Rainford wanted his second of the afternoon but his shot was saved by Saunders.

Then only a minute later Glossop were awarded a penalty after a foul in the box by a Rammy defender, Midfielder Adam Latham the man to step up and his penalty hit the post, it came back out and the Rams cleared well.

The Rams then made a double sub with 23 minutes to go, Nic Evangelinos who scored the Rams 2nd & 3rd goals was replaced by Richard Brodie. Eddie Moran was also substituted, Anthony Donaldson was the man that replaced him.

Rammy got their fourth with 19 minutes remaining, Jamie Rainford shot. It deflected off the keeper but Rainford followed up and headed it home for his second of the afternoon.

The Rams were in the dreamland fifteen minutes from time as they got a fifth, substitute Richard Brodie was the scorer after a ball was played over to him and he scored from close range.

Richard Brodie was involved again three minutes later when he was fouled for a penalty, Rainford on a hat-trick stepped up and it was saved well by Saunders.

The Rams had their final chance, five minutes from time when Jamie Rainford hit the bar

So Rammy headed back across the M67 with all 3 points and a well-deserved win after a rampant second half with four goals coming in 25 second half minutes and the 30 or so Rammy fans that made the trip to the borders of the Peak District were treated to another great win!

FULL TIME GNE 0 Rams 5

Ramsbottom United (4-1-4-1): Sam Ashton; Tom Kennedy, Kelvin Lugsden, Ryan Ellison, Kyle Jacobs; Khalil Osi-Efa; Nic Evangelinos (Richard Brodie 67’); Eddie Moran (Anthony Donaldson 67’), Kieran Lugsden, Irywah Gooden (Jason Carey 60’); Jamie Rainford Unused Subs: Luke Thompson, Joel Bembo-Leta
Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Rams 0 Atherton Colls 3

Ramsbottom suffered a disappointing start to 2019 as they were beaten 3-0 by Atherton Colls in an afternoon to forget for Chris Willcock’s men.

Goalless at halftime, the visitors ran out convincing winners in the second 45 with Conor Gaul, Tom Bentham and Ben Conway all scoring for Colls meaning The Rams ended the day outside the play off places in The Evo Stik West division.

The home side made three changes to the side that beat Radcliffe on boxing day. Ryan Ellison missed the game through suspension whilst Tom Kennedy and Ruben Jerome also started the game on the bench. Joel Bembo-Leta, Kyle Jacobs and Richard Brodie all came into the side in Ramsbottom’s first game of The New Year.

Rammy were the dominant side of the first half, yet struggled to create many clear cut chances that threatened Colls keeper Ollie Martin. After a quiet opening 20 minutes, Ramsbottom’s number seven Jamie Rainford hit the bar with a wild shot from outside the box, before striker Brodie saw his effort blocked by Martin to keep the match all square.

As the half wore on, the men in blue continued to find openings at goal, with Nic Evangelinos the driving force from the left. The Rams number 11 went on several weaving runs at goal, yet his efforts on goal failed to match his hopeful runs as he skewed his efforts wide. Brodie again failed to hit the target when in behind the Atherton back line, deciding to pull the trigger when Jamie Rother was in a much favourable position alongside the number nine. At the other end, Atherton also struggled to create any real chances of their own as the sides went back to the dressing room with the game at nil apiece.

The visiting side came out of the blocks the quickest in the second half with Colls number seven Ben Hardcastle immediately causing problems for the Rammy back line, drawing a decent stop from Sam Ashton.

Shortly after Atherton took the lead. A cross field ball from out wide was briefly cut out by centre back Bembo-Leta, yet fell straight to Conor Gaul who sent the away fans into loud cheers with an effort that flew past Ashton in the home goal.

Rammy hit back and gave a good response to Gaul’s goal moving the ball nicely in and around the box, however couldn’t find a leveller. Instead Atherton doubled their advantage on the sixty fifth minute mark, their second goal coming largely against the run of play.

Sub Kennedy took a throw in on the left hand side of the pitch, yet his throw was mis-controlled at the back leaving Bentham to take full advantage, seeing off Ashton and leaving the home side with a real mountain to climb heading into the final stages of the game.

Atherton could have made it three shortly after, Hardcastle’s shot was blocked and cleared off the line denying the striker Atherton’s third goal. But Rammy were less fortunate in the 78th minute as sub Conway made sure Colls would be leaving The Riverside with all three points, firing a shot from outside the area which secured the victory and consequently, subjected Willcock to his second defeat as manager.

The Rams could have bagged a consolation goal in the final few minutes. Brodie managed to wriggle his way around The Colls backline, yet as with Colls effort at the other end, his shot was cleared off the line, this time by Atherton full back Connor Smith. The chance summed up Ramsbottom’s frustrating day.

The events of the second half clearly disappointed Willcock, however stayed positive when discussing the long term hopes for the team. “First half I thought we edged it, we had the shot which hit the cross bar (Rainford’s shot). They didn’t really trouble us, Sam’s had nothing to do. “But I thought we defended poorly for the first goal but the second can happen at any time. We had time to get something out of the game at two down, but Atherton saw the game out well”.

On making three changes before the game. “The changes were forced on us. Jerome has had a hamstring problem and also Kennedy with facial trouble that we can’t do anything about, but they’ve been very good for us so far this season.

“We’ve had a couple of bad days in 18 games but recently we’ve been very good. We’re in a good position and there’s still plenty of points to play for. “The last time we conceded three goals, we went three games without conceding. Let’s look for the same response again”.

Ramsbottom United: Ashton,Kelvin Lugsden, Jacobs, Moran, Thompson, Bemba-Leta (Kennedy 65’), Rainford, Rother, Brodie, Donaldson (Kieran Lugsden 60’), Evangelinos

Subs not used: Osi-Efa,Jerome, Foulds

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Workington 0 Rams 0

FA Trophy 1st Round

Saturday 15th December 2018

WORKINGTON AFC 0 RAMSBOTTOM UNITED 0

Attendance-298

Report by Jon Haslam

This FA Trophy First Round tie took place on a blustery and rainy Saturday afternoon in West Cumbria as Ramsbottom United took to the road to Workingtons wonderfully traditional Borough Park Stadium after being drawn away from home for the fifth consecutive time in this seasons FA Trophy competition.

The visitors starting eleven showed just two changes from the victory seven days earlier at Kidsgrove with Ruben Jerome replacing the cup tied Jamie Rainford up front and Simon Woodford slotting into central defence at the expense of the unavailable Kelvin Lugsden.

With conditions looking very likely to have a bearing on proceedings the opening ten minutes were fairly even with both teams finding it difficult to have any attacking fluidity to their play but with the strong wind in the home sides favour the visitors would need to be at their resolute best as they attempted to continue their superb recent defensive record of conceding just two goals in the last seven away matches in all competitions.

It would be Workington that perhaps just about edged the early possession stats as the contest was developing into a midfield tussle with both teams quickly coming to the conclusion that free flowing football would be something for another day as the home side appeared to be looking for longer passes behind the Rams defence to try and supply the pacey wingers in Holt and Tinnion.

The away side flickered into life from an attacking perspective just after the quarter hour mark when Nic Evangelinos linked up well with Tom Kennedy but the cross eluded the onrushing attackers.

A look at the league standings showed that the hosts were next to bottom of the league above the Rams, so, with home advantage the Reds supporters would be hoping that the higher rank side would show their superiority but as the half progressed there was no obvious sign of the two sides plying their trade in different divisions.

Workington began to garner more of the possession as the half hour was reached but the Ramsbottom United defence, which incidentally showed a third different central defensive partnership in the last three matches were ensuring that any goal scoring efforts were conspicuous by their absence as Sam Ashton in the visitors goal was untroubled, indeed the only attempt towards goal was a low effort from the Reds midfielder Cowperthwaite which flew comfortably wide of the target.

With the conditions worsening and with the rain slanting down the Rams had their first effort at goal when Nic Evangelinos went on a purposeful run towards the edge of the Workington box but his left footed effort failed to trouble Taylor in the home goal and with almost 40 goalless minutes played neither side had forced the opposing goal keeper into serious action.

As half time approached Ramsbottom United would produce their most threatening moment of the first period when a fine through ball found the quicksilver Nialle Rodney whose surging run centrally towards the Workington goal caused concern in the home defence but the wide mans right footed shot towards goal was well blocked by an outstretched leg of a retreating defender and the first 45 minutes finished with the scores level.

After the restart, and with the wind in the Rams favour the visitors began the second half positively and within ten minutes had without question the best opportunity of the match when Evangelinos found himself advancing in on goal after a goal kick had held up in the wind but the wingers shot was smothered by Taylor in the home goal.

Minutes later the away side again showed their ever increasing attacking threat when a sumptuous threaded pass from Jamie Rother connected with the run of Evangelinos in the left hand channel but again the Workington rearguard were on hand to block the promising attack.

With Ramsbottom United never having won at Borough Park the home side were finding it difficult to fashion any chances that could be categorised as clear cut, in a rare moment of concern for the visitors around the hour point a corner was cleared to the edge of the penalty are but the resultant effort flew over the top of the crossbar.

Chris Willcock then utilised his bench for the one and only time at the three quarter point of the encounter when Khalil Osi-Efa replaced the hard working Jamie Rother as fresh legs were introduced to the central midfield.

On an increasingly heavy surface not conducive to good football it was becoming more and more apparent that either a mistake or set piece would be the most likely route to settling a competitive cup tie.

Amazingly the Rams have only been behind once in the last seven fixtures away from the HWRS, this being earlier in the FA Trophy run at Yaxley where the match ended two goals apiece.

Then, with 75 minutes played the Rams almost struck the first blow of the cup tie when a surging run from Anthony Donaldson was halted around 20 yards from goal in a promising position just to the left of the "D" of the penalty area, Nic Evangelinos struck the free kick well but the diving Taylor got a finger tip to the goal bound effort and the ball clipped the outside of the post to deny the day trippers a lead their second half pressure warranted.

With the contest entering the closing stages and the Rams looking to continue their magnificent run of ten away fixtures without defeat in all competitions, the last being at the hands of Leek Town exactly three months to the day ago, the hosts responded by making all three substitutions in an attempt to change the course of a full blooded skirmish but without notable success as the Ramsbottom defence was again superb to a man with Ryan Ellison again showing his versatility with an eye catching display at right back.

A point worthy of note is that the Rams have clocked up almost 950 miles on their FA Trophy adventure this season and were in no mood to exit the competition as they continued to believe that they could grab the all important and deciding goal whilst being mindful not to give Workington any attacking encouragement.

The central defensive combination of the ever combative Luke Thompson and debutant Simon Woodford made a nonsense of this being their first match together as they contained the threat of Jason Walker and Scott Allison splendidly, the latter being in fine form with four goals from his last five appearances.

With goal scoring chances at a premium for the remainder of the contest and the swirling wind often making any hope of free flowing football very difficult the Rams negotiated the three minutes of additional time the referee had indicated and deservedly earned a replay against their higher ranked opposition. After the final whistle had blown the players and travelling supporters showed their mutual appreciation of each others efforts in challenging circumstances by exchanging warm rounds of applause which were fully earned as Chris Willcock's outfit again exhibited another side of their teams characteristics with a battling display that could and maybe should have seen the Rams leave Cumbria victorious.

Both sides will be aware of the prize on offer for the winners of the replay on Tuesday night as the draw for the next round is due to be made on Monday afternoon.and for the first time in the clubs 52 year history will proudly take their place in the Second Round draw of the FA Trophy alongside Workington.

Ramsbottom United:- Ashton, Kennedy, Ellison, Moran ,Thompson, Woodford, Rodney, Rother (Osi-Efa 65 mins), Jerome, Donaldson, Evangelinos.

Unused Subs- Rowe, Parker, Hart, Jarrett


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: Weymouth 1 Rams 3 - Rams make history!

Ramsbottom United booked their place in the third round of the Buildbase FA Trophy with a sensational 3-1 victory over Southern League Premier promotion chasers Weymouth on a memorable night in Dorset.

Faced with a 550-mile round journey on a Tuesday night, Chris Willcock's men produced the performance of the season to shock their hosts.

The visitors made just one change to the starting XI that played on Saturday - the impressive Iyrwah Gooden replacing the unavailable Simon Woodford.

And it was the youngster who showed the Rams meant business within the first minute when he sprinted down the right to force a good save from the Weymouth keeper Thomas. Gooden was again to the fore shortly afterward as his shot was blocked and Eddie Moran's fierce drive following up was straight at the keeper.

Rammy were very much in the ascendancy in the early stages but could have fallen behind when the returning Ben Thomson shot over when one-on-one with Sam Ashton when it was easier to find the net.

It was end to end stuff but the Rams were resolute in defence and Weymouth always looked dangerous coming forward.

The deadlock was broken just past the half hour mark when Tom Kennedy's excellent cross deep in Weymouth territory saw Terras’ defender Sam Sherring head past his own keeper.

Parity was restored just two minutes later when Thomson was the beneficiary of some indifferent defending and, with Ashton sprinting out of his goal, Odubade's cross found the forward to head into an empty net.

The Rams had two more excellent chances before the half was completed.

Gooden was released through the middle of the park and beat two defenders but saw his shot rebound off the post and the follow up sailed over and the Rams came again to force a point blank save from Thomas.

Whilst Weymouth started the second half strongly but it was the Rams who took the lead again after 54 minutes.

Once again, it was an error from the keeper that caused the goal. Thomas came out to a loose ball and Eddie Moran got the better of the bounce and lobbed the ball into the empty net to give the visitors a 2-1 lead.

The home side continued to press with the highly dangerous Odubade cutting in from the right and bringing out a fine save from Ashton in the Rammy goal.

With the home crowd becoming restless, they were more so when Odubade, who was voted the home side man of the match, was substituted after 65 minutes.

And they were starting to head for the exits after 79 minutes, when Jason Carey made the Terras pay for their defensive frailties and shot under the advancing keeper to make it 3-1 to the visitors and set off wild scenes of celebration.

The Rams even missed a penalty in second half injury time when Gooden was upended in the box but skipper Tom Kennedy's shot sailed wide into the stands.

Time finally whittled down as the Rams defended two Weymouth corners and the final whistle saw incredible scenes as the lowest ranked team left in the tournament made the last 16 and a home date with National League outfit AFC Fylde on February 2.

What a night for Ramsbottom United!

Ramsbottom United: Ashton, Kennedy (capt), Jacobs, Moran, Thompson, Ellison Osi-Efa (Keiran Lugsden 71m), Rother, Carey, Gooden, Evangelinos. Subs not used: Donaldson, Hart.

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Rams 2 Radcliffe 1

Ramsbottom inflicted local rivals Radcliffe to their first away defeat of the season in an action packed boxing day cracker at The Harry Williams Riverside stadium they came from behind to beat the league leaders 2-1 as Chris Willcock saw his side go fifth in the league courtesy of the derby day triumph.

Rammy were unchanged from the side that beat Market Drayton 3-1 as they took on the league leaders who came into the game on the back of seven consecutive victories in the league.

The home side began the game on the front foot and had the opening attempt of the game with Tom Kennedy drawing an early save out of Radcliffe keeper Ollie Martin before Anthony Donaldson’s shot flew over the bar.

Yet it was table toppers Radcliffe who took the lead after twenty minutes. Out on the right Tunde Owolabi met an expertly threaded through ball which split the Rams defence, where his own cutback found Radcliffe striker Ben Wharton who slid the ball past Sam Ashton to hand the visitors an early advantage.

Rammy didn’t let the early goal affect them and bounced back with efforts of their own. Donaldson’s attempt was expertly saved by Martin and on the rebound Evangelinos was denied a leveller by the men in yellow who somehow managed to clear the ball off the line.

Jamie Rother also tried his luck from distance only for his shot to rattle off the underside of the crossbar, then Eddie Moran failed to find any blue shirts with an ambitious cross of his own when in space from an Evangelinos pass.

However Rammy’s patience was to pay off moments later when Jamie Rainford rounded Martin to slot home the home sides equaliser on the stroke of half time. A route one ball from the Rams back line was too hot to handle for any Boro defender and Rainford provided much needed joy for the home crowd heading into the half time break.

HT: Rammy 1-1 Radcliffe

The second half began in bullish fashion with Radcliffe carving out the opening attempt. A mix up in The Rams back line was picked up by Wharton yet Sam Ashton was there to keep the Radcliffe striker at bay.

The home side were awarded a free kick in a dangerous position shortly after, where set piece wiz Tom Kennedy didn’t fail to disappoint and took advantage with an expertly taken free kick to put the home side in front on the hour mark for the first time in the match.

Ramsbottom continued to assert their dominance as the half wore on and had a penalty appeal turned down by referee Anthony Ball as crowded goal mouth scramble ensued in the box. The ball then broke to Kennedy whose was deflected wide for a corner where Luke Thompson’s header was again cleared off the line as Rammy pushed for a third goal. Again wide appeals that the ball had already crossed the line were waved away by the linesmen. On his home debut, Richard Brodie could also have scored with a header.

Another opportunity for a third goal came and went in the eighty-ninth minute. The ball fell came to Rainford but fluffed his lines when he could have done better. Brodie again came into the action yet saw his chance blocked.

But The Rams were able to see out several minutes of stoppage time without much trouble and send the home faithful out of the gates with wide smiles on their faces.

FT: Rammy 2-1 Radcliffe

Manager Willcock had much to cheer about following the victory as he reflected on the win.

‘I thought the win was well deserved. On chances created I though it was well deserved, we were by far the better team over the 95 minutes and the response to going a goal down was superb, it just goes to show the strength and character of the team at the moment’.

The attendance of 511 was the highest seen in these parts since March 2016 and easily the highest this season by a mile to which Chris remarked.

‘What the fans have seen today is a great advert for the Evo-Stik League at the right end of the table’. What we have seen from Ramsbottom is a team on the progression. If I lived in Ramsbottom it would be a no-brainer for me to come and watch this side play, there is no doubt we’re a team in progression’.

Rams: Ashton, Kennedy, Ellison, Moran, Thompson, Kelvin Lugsden, Rainford, Rother, Jerome (Brodie 72'), Donaldson (Kieran Lugsden 90'), Evangelinos.

Unused subs - Osi-Efa, Bembo-Leta, Jacobs.

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Kidsgrove 0 Rams 2

Evo-Stik West Division

Saturday 8th December 2018

KIDSGROVE ATHLETIC 0 RAMSBOTTOM UNITED 2

Attendance- 110

Report by Jon Haslam

Ramsbottom United made their second visit of the season to Kidsgrove the first being an August visit for an FA Cup tie and were looking for an immediate response from last weeks galling defeat to high flying Runcorn Linnets which brought to an end an unbeaten run of 13 matches for Chris Wilcocks' charges.

The Rams made two changes to their starting eleven with both Kelvin Lugdsen and Jamie Rainford starting their first games for the club at the expense of the suspended Kyle Jacobs and Ruben Jerome respectively.

The contest began in awful conditions with the rain slanting down, despite this, the pitch appeared to be in excellent condition and both sides began positively with the visitors playing an attractive passing style through midfield on a slick surface with caused the Kidsgrove back line some early problems.

With almost ten minutes of the match completed the visitors created the first moment of real significance when a goal kick from Sam Ashton deceived the Kidsgrove defence and was pounced on by Jamie Rainford who surged into the penalty area before squaring the ball to Nialle Rodney who looked certain to open the scoring by side footing towards an empty net but last man Rhodes dashed back to block the goal bound effort and deny the away side the opening goal of the day.

The hosts, with only a single league victory at home this term from seven attempts as opposed to their away league form which sees the Grove unbeaten in seven fixtures away from their well appointed stadium looked lively on the break but wide man Nic Evangelinos brought the first notable save of the game from home stopper Kurasik after a good run and shot served notice of the Rams intent to get back to winning ways.

Indeed it took the hosts midway through the first period to produce their first strike at goal but full back Thompson's effort was deflected for a corner which came to nothing but showed that even with a reshaped defence showing Ryan Ellison at right full back and Kelvin Lugsden slotting into central defence alongside the ridiculously consistent Luke Thompson the visitors were largely untroubled for the opening third of the encounter.

Then, after thirty goalless minutes had been played and the incessant rain had lessened a match defining five minutes altered the course of the contest when the Rams took control in decisive fashion.

Firstly on 32 Minutes a superb run by Nic Evangelinos cleverly sidestepping three Kidsgrove defenders on a run that took the winger into the penalty area before sending an effort towards goal which Kurasik could only parry into the path of Jamie Rainford who confidently fired home from close range to register his first goal for Ramsbottom United to give the away side a lead their early play had deserved.

No sooner had the players and supporters collective elation died down when the lead was doubled in spectacular fashion when that man Rainford received the ball tight to the touchline on the Rams left before cutting inside a couple of challenges and sending a rasping right footed effort from fully 30 yards curling past Kurasiks outstretched dive before nestling into the top corner of the net to give the away side a two goal advantage and in the process give the striker a double on his first start for the Rams and surely add this strike to the goal of the season competition at the conclusion of the campaign.

The Evo-Stik West Division club of the month for November were gaining confidence as the clock ticked towards half time with the impressive midfield trio of Moran, Donaldson and Rother continuing to have the upper hand on their direct opponents and the last noteworthy action of the half saw Rother send a low skimming shot from just outside the penalty area which looked to have Kurasik in trouble but the attempt narrowly missed the target as the Rams took a two goal advantage into the break.

The second period began in much the same way the first half finished with the visitors in the ascendancy, a good piece of attacking play again set up Rother for a shot at goal but his effort from the apron of the 18 yard box drew a fairly orthodox diving save from the Kidsgrove keeper before moments later a sumptuous through ball from Eddie Moran gave Jamie Rainford a chance of his hat trick as he went one on one with Kurasik but the effort missed the upright as the hosts could quite easily have found the match beyond them with over 40 minutes remaining.

Even though Kidsgrove were trailling, the Rams rearguard were doing an excellent job of protecting Sam Ashton who wasn't called into any serious action until half way through the second period when a Baker cross from the right found substitute Saxon but his low drive was palmed to safety at his near post as the hosts searched for a route back into the contest.

Ramsbottom United were limiting the hosts to very few clear chances with Kelvin Lugsden looking assured on his first starting appearance for the visitors and the lead was almost increased further when Nic Evangelinos found himself with a sight of goal to put the result beyond any doubt but the winger was denied by the home goal keeper who was quickly off his line to block the clever effort and the score remained at 2-0 for the away side.

The substitutes bench was utilised for the first time for the visitors with 15 minutes remaining as Ruben Jerome replaced Nialle Rodney. In truth, both goal keepers had little to trouble them with long distance efforts the main route to goal although some good interplay around the area from the hosts between Malbon and Saxon gave the latter the opportunity to shoot at goal but the attempt barely extended Ashton.

The final ten minutes yielded a number of free kicks in promising position for Grove but again the Rams defence repelled what was thrown at them and despite not being at their fluent best from an attacking perspective in the second period the travellers from Lancashire were managing the second half very well quelling any momentum the hosts could muster whilst still offering a threat on the break themselves.

Two goal hero Jamie Rainford was replaced by Khalil Osi-Efa for the closing few minutes denying the striker the opportunity of a hat trick on his first start for the away side but the days work was done as the happy travellers saw out the five minutes of injury time to record a degree of retribution for Kidsgroves victory on penalties which knocked the Rams out of the FA Cup earlier in the campaign.

With the rain subsiding for the majority of the second half huge credit must be given to the Kidsgrove ground staff for preparing such an excellent surface which held up superbly especially given the huge amount of rain that had fallen in recent days which allowed this match to be completed when other games in the area were either called off or abandoned.

A point worthy of note is that the Rams have conceded only one goal away from The Riverside in the five league matches under Chris Willcock, a fourth consecutive league clean sheet and despite what was an untried back line demonstrates the strength and depth of the squad as the team look to begin another unbeaten run.

As proceedings came to a conclusion and three more points were added to the ever increasing tally meaning that Ramsbottom United have clocked up a hugely impressive run of ten away matches without defeat in all competitions and the league table showed the Rams had jumped a place to seventh as the team responded admirably to last weekends setback ahead of Saturdays intriguing looking FA Trophy First Round tie at Workington.

Ramsbottom United:- Ashton, Kennedy, Ellison, Moran ,Thompson, Lugsden, Rodney (Jerome 74 mins) ,Rother, Rainford (Osi-Efa 82 mins), Donaldson, Evangelinos

Unused Subs- Rowe, Hart, Foulds