Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Rams 3 Winsford United 3

Emirates FA Cup Preliminary Round

Saturday 24th August 2019

Ramsbottom United 3 Winsford United 3

Attendance 233

Report by Jon Haslam

This thrilling FA Cup tie saw six goals shared between a Ramsbottom United side that had won both league matches to date and a Winsford United outfit that sat eighth in the NWCL on a sun kissed afternoon at The Riverside.

The Rams lined up with just a single alteration from the midweek victory at Pickering with Karl Jones getting his first start and the recent arrival got the goal laden contest underway on just three minutes when Ruben Jerome laid the ball to the forward and despite having his initial effort blocked the ball fell kindly to the frontman and the well struck shot flew past Rigby to give the hosts the ideal start.

Winsford responded positively to the early setback by levelling matters just shy of the ten minute mark when a long ball forward caught out the home sides rearguard and ex Rams player Sam Madeley came back to haunt his former club by sliding it to convert an inviting cross for his sixth goal of the campaign.

The goals continued to flow and the hosts edged back in front almost immediately after the kick off when a through ball found speedster Irywah Gooden who got beyond his marker and just inside the penalty area was tripped and referee Young pointed to the spot, with usual penalty taker Nic Evangelinos on the bench up stepped Ruben Jerome to confidently convert the spot kick to register the frontmans third goal in three appearances.

In a topsy turvy encounter the home sides lead lasted until the sixteenth minute when another long ball caught out the Rams defence and with Tom Stewart off his line Winsford forward David Short was given the opportunity to lob the home stopper which he executed superbly from 25 yards to bring the sides level at two goals apiece.

As the half hour was reached a potentially pivotal moment occurred when a robust challenge between Jamie Rother and Obi Anoruo ended with referee Young deciding that the tackle was worthy of a red card and for the second time in two home fixtures this season the opposition has been reduced to ten men prior to half time.

With a man advantage Ramsbottom United looked to take control of an entertaining cup tie and almost regained the lead twice in a short period of time, firstly Mason Fawns sent in a cross which Irywah Gooden headed over Rigby but unfortunately clipped the top of the crossbar before a patient move down the left wing led to Ruben Jerome laying the ball back to Jamie Rother whose low drive narrowly missed the target.

As the first forty five minutes was almost completed the Rams grabbed the fifth goal of an absorbing encounter when a low drive from Karl Jones brought a fine save from visiting custodian Rigby but the parried effort felt kindly to Ruben Jerome who converted to continue his encouraging goal filled start to the campaign and the hosts regained their goal advantage.

A point worthy of note is that Ramsbottom United last tasted victory in an FA Cup tie back on the 17th September 2013 when defeating a Stocksbridge Park Steels outfit in a replay so with a narrow one goal lead against a team down to ten men hopes were high that that particular statistic could be consigned to the history books.

The start of the second period began with the Rams on the front foot with two early efforts which didn't seriously test Rigby in the Winsford goal but the away side served notice of their intention to test the hosts defence when a swift counter attack saw Cottrell cross for an unmarked Short but the strikers first time effort sailed over the crossbar much the relief of the home faithful.

Ramsbottom United then set about trying to find a fourth goal that may have edged the tie their way when an acrobatic clearance denied the hosts via a looping header before an incisive run and shot from the impressive Gooden crashed into the crossbar with Rigby helpless.

The home side then utilised their substitutes bench midway through the second period with Eddie Moran making a welcome return to the side alongside Khalil Osi-Efa and Will Ozono looking to add fresh legs to ensure the home side progressed to the next round of the competition.

Despite the visitors being a player down the Rams were finding it difficult to keep control of possession as they toiled to create a clear cut chance and this appeared to give Winsford hope as they continued to pose a threat on the counter attack and in truth caused the hosts more problems in attack than Widnes did whilst in a similar position some seven days earlier.

Then, with just less than a quarter of an hour remaining the sixth and final goal of an enthralling encounter arrived when an attack down the left hand side lead to a deep cross being sent into the home box before finding its way to substitute Samuel Marshall at the far post who became the Winsford hero by confidently firing past Stewart to equalise for a third time in the match.

As the final minutes slipped away the hosts toiled to create the opportunity that could lead to a late winner but credit must go to Winsford who defended doggedly repelling numerous and increasingly desperate crosses and indeed could and maybe should have won the contest with only minutes remaining when another lighting fast breakaway split open the Rams defence before the final pass found a well placed Winsford forward but the attempt sailed over the cross bar.

As the final moments ebbed away without further notable incidents both sides may feel that they deserved to win the tie and despite an enthralling contest for the neutral supporter both sides will reconvene in Cheshire on Monday 2nd September looking to progress to the First Qualifying Round.

Ramsbottom United- Stewart, Bleau (Moran 66 mins), Kennedy (Capt), Rother, Lent, Lugsden, Gooden (Osi-Efa 70 mins), Naidole, Jerome, Fawns (Ozono 70 mins), Jones

Subs not used- Evangelinos, Norris

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Rams 2 Rochdale 3

Pre-Season Friendly

Wednesday 24th July 2019


Attendance: 408

Report by Aaron Benson

Ramsbottom United were beaten 3-2 by Rochdale in the clubs opening pre-season friendly. Goals from Stephen Dooley, Ryan Delaney and Ollie Rathbone condemned the home side to defeat, despite the Rams scoring twice in the first half through un-named trialists.

Only four Ramsbottom players were officially named in the matchday programme, three of the four remaining from last season, the other a new singing. Tom Kennedy, Jamie Rother and Nic Evangelinos all returned to the side whilst newly announced Daniel Naidole was making his club debut.

Rochdale were straight out the blocks and ahead after the first minute. Forward Dooley with the opener, leaving Ramsbottom with a mountain to climb straight from kick off.

The League One side had further opportunities to increase their lead immediately after Dooley’s goal, forward Rekeil Pyke and Rathbone both saw chances come and go. The first flew over the bar, the second saved by Rammy’s man between the sticks.

Yet an equalising goal wasn’t too far away coming in the 18th minute. A sweeping move down the right hand side was too hot to handle for the Dale defence. At the back post a Trialist burst the net with a low finish past Brad Wade.

In what was turning out to be an end to end pre-season friendly, Rochdale re-took the lead with some clever touches in around the six yard area which became the source of their goal. An interchange between Dooley and Rathbone found Delaney on the edge of the area, the number five doubling the visitors advantage after only 25 minutes with a smart volley.

Shortly before half time Rochdale scored another, showing their true football league ability. Rathbone burst the net with a shot from the six yard box giving Dale a comfortable lead, although Ramsbottom showed their fighting spirit hitting back just two minutes after. A Trialist hammered the ball home from close range ensuring the goal deficit going into the half time break was only the one.

The opening to the second half was met with many substitutes yet fewer goalmouth chances for either side.

Dale had the better of the play, the majority of their opportunities coming after the hour mark. First with Dooley who hit the crossbar, then Lewis Bradley took aim at goal only for his effort to be deflected off target.

Substitutes Aaron Morley and Matt Gillam could easily have added a fourth with respective chances, although the latters best chance was still to come with a shot that cannoned off the bar.

Rammy struggled to test Dale or sub Morgan Piper in the second half with Dale enjoying a keep ball exercise in the final stages, running out easy winners despite the narrow scoreline.

Manager Chris Willcock was rather pleased with his sides performance on the night, particularly with the quality of opposition Rochdale boss Brian Barry-Murphy fielded.

‘I thought it was great game of football and a real good workout for the lads, creating some great opportunities especially after looking rusty early doors’.

‘I would like to thank Rochdale for sending a really strong team and making the game competitive for us and both teams produced a great spectacle with five goals’.

‘Overall we wanted a strong and competitive pre-season ahead before the start of the season against Widnes. The clubs expectations are higher now and we’re looking to carry on from the momentum of last season, integrating the new players we have over the next few weeks. We start on the 17th and let’s see how this season goes’.

Ramsbottom team vs Rochdale: Tom Kennedy, Jamie Rother, Nic Evangelinos, Daniel Naidole, Trialists A to M

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Rams 2 Mossley 1

Evo-Stik West Division

Saturday 20th April 2019


Attendance: 392

Report by Adam Clark

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

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

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

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

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

HALF TIME – Rams 0 Mossley 0

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

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

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

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

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

FULL TIME Rams 2 Mossley 1

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

Unused subs; Anthony Donaldson, Joel Bembo-Leta

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Droylsden 2 Rams 3

Evo-Stik West Division

Tuesday 19th March 2019



Report by Jon Haslam

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Pickering 1 Rams 2

BetVictor Northern Premier League North West Division

Tuesday 20th August

Pickering Town 1 Ramsbottom United 2


Match report by Jon Haslam

Ramsbottom United made the 200 mile round trip to North Yorkshire on Tuesday evening for their first away game of the season looking to continue the momentum from the stunning weekend comeback against Widnes.

The opening fixtures of the season saw both sides experience contrasting fortunes with the Pikes suffering a 4-1 reverse at Workington whilst the Rams edged a five goal thriller at the Riverside, the visitors showed just one alteration with Tommy Lent replacing Harry Norris in the central defensive berth.

Pickering began the match looking to respond to their weekend reverse and opened the scoring with their first attack of the contest with less then two minutes on the clock when a pass from Dalton opened up the visitors defence and Danny Earl latched onto the through ball before surging towards goal rounding the onrushing Rams stopper Stewart and slotting into an empty net to give the hosts the ideal start.

Ramsbottom reacted in a positive manner with wide men Gooden and Evangelinos looking particular threats although the home defence needed to be at their best to retain their early advantage with both Turnbull and Watson at the heart of the Pikes defence denying the visitors with perfectly times challenges when the Rams were well positioned to shoot for goal.

With almost a third of the contest played the hosts almost surrendered their narrow lead on a couple of occasions when firstly Mason Fawns sent an effort just too high of the target before the same player had an attempt cleared off the line as Chris Willcocks outfit looked to get back on level terms.

In what was proving to be an open half of football the home side almost improved their position further when a ball forward caught out the visitors defence and with the blue shirted forward through one on one with Rams keeper Stewart the effort sailed off target much to the relief of the visiting supporters but served notice that Pickering were proving a lively attacking threat on the break.

As the halfway point of this cross Pennine clash was reached Ramsbottom United frustratingly went into the interval in arrears and despite having the superiority in regards to possession and also numerous promising set piece situations the away side couldn't force Foulkes in the Pikes goal into any serious action.

With both sides beginning the second period unchanged it would be Pickering that would be the first side to threaten to add to their tally when a strong run from the half way line by goal scorer Earl opened up the visiting defence but the cross towards Jowett at the far post was intercepted perfectly by Kelvin Lugsden and further damage to the score line was avoided for the Rams.

With less than ten minutes played of the second half played Ramsbottom United had the ideal opportunity to level the game when a through ball saw Irywah Gooden surging into the penalty area before being bundled to the ground by a recovering Pikes defender and the official pointed to the penalty spot,unfortunately the usually reliable Nic Evangelinos saw his spot kick saved by the Hull City loanee Foulkes and the hosts lead remained intact.

With the hour point almost reached and the Rams looking an attacking threat the equaliser almost arrived when a quickly taken free kick from Tom Kennedy found the clever run of Ruben Jerome but the strikers flicked headed effort was tipped over the crossbar by the increasingly busy home keeper.

As the match continued the contest was developing into a familiar pattern with the visitors having the lions share of the possession and attacking menace, it should be noted however that Pickering defended their lead stubbornly with the hosts throwing their bodies in front of the ball with seemingly increasing regularity whilst the home sides attacking prowess on the counter attack certainly kept the Rams defensive players honest in what was shaping up to be a very watchable encounter.

With the contest appearing like it could be "One of those nights" a two minute spell just after the seventy minute mark turned the game completely on its head, firstly a cross from the right wing found Irywah Gooden unmarked at the far post and the youngster controlled the ball well before sending an excellent placed shot arrowing into the top corner to get the Rams back on level terms which was no more than the visitors deserved.

Then within sixty seconds Ramsbottom took the lead when a clever through ball penetrated the Pickering defensive line sending bustling forward Ruben Jerome through on goal and the injury time hero from Saturday held off his marker before confidently striding forward into the penalty area and sending a well struck shot past Foulkes and into the bottom corner to give the away team the advantage and the forward notched the decisive goal for the second consecutive match.

The remainder of the evening saw Pickering continue to push players forward looking for a leveller with Lugsden and Kennedy organising the Rams backline in familiarly vocal fashion with new goal keeper Tom Stewart looking assured between the sticks.

Ramsbottom United utilised the substitutes bench late in the match with Karl Jones making his league bow for the club and Chukwu replacing goal grabbers Ruben Jerome and Irywah Gooden respectively.

As the victory looked in sight for the Rams and the ninety minutes completed there was one last moment of concern when a cross was played deep into the visitors penalty area and a home forward was first to the ball but thankfully the headed attempt bounced wide of Stewarts goal much to the relief of all connected with Ramsbottom United

A final blast of the referees whistle brought proceedings to a close and the three points headed back to the Red Rose county as the Rams 100% start to the season continued, it should be noted that this was the first time since 2010/11 that Ramsbottom United had taken maximum points from their opening two league fixtures. Before embarking on the journey home the delighted loyal band of away supporters gave the players a warm round of applause for the efforts which was reciprocated as the Rams look forward to FA Cup action on Saturday with Winsford United the visitors to the HWRS.

Ramsbottom United- Stewart, Bleau,, Kennedy (Capt), Rother, Lent, Lugsden, Gooden (Chukwu 86 mins), Naidole, Jerome (Jones 78 mins), Fawns, Evangelinos

Subs not used-Adetiloye, Norris, Moncrieffe

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Radcliffe 3 Rams 0: Play-off semi final

Ramsbottom United saw their promotion dream come to an end as they were beaten 3-0 by Jon Macken’s Radcliffe side in The Bury Metro Derby.

Scott Metcalfe’s first half header was followed up by strikes from forwards Tunde Owolabi and Ben Wharton as Radcliffe victory booked themselves a spot in the divisions play-off final.

Chris Willcock made two changes to the side held by Kidsgrove on Saturday. Joel Bembo Leta and Iyrwah Gooden were replaced by Ryan Ellison and Jason Carey in the starting eleven.

Radcliffe made the brighter start to the game, creating numerous chances to open the scoring. Tunde Owolabi was the leading threat for Boro in the opening exchanges as The Blues began the match on the front front. Owolabi saw several opportunities come and go, first heading wide from a Craig Lindfield corner then again heading wide shortly after from a similar goalscoring position.

Wearing their red away kit, set pieces looked the most likely way of scoring for Rammy as they looked to find a way past Ollie Martin in the Radcliffe goal. From a free kick Luke Thompson rose highest in The Boro backline but failed to direct his header on target. In another attempt, Tom Kennedy sent a free kick into the wall after Nic Evangelinos was fouled just outside the Radcliffe penalty box.

From open play Jamie Rainford scuffed a shot which was well covered by Martin, but Boro would soon take the lead from a Craig Lindfield free kick. Radcliffe’s number seven’s cross was initially cleared by the Rammy backline, yet the follow up ball courtesy of Prince Haywood was headed home at the back post by Radcliffe’s number eleven Scott Metcalfe on the 40 minute mark.

The Rams saw out the reminder of the half with little trouble, although Radcliffe’s right back Kyle Harrison appealed a penalty for handball. Referee Peter Shacklady waved away all appeals as the half ended with a one goal advantage to the home side.

Radcliffe were again quicker out the blocks in the second half, the uphill slanting pitch clearly of no hindrance to Macken’s men. Harrison forced Sam Ashton into a finger tipping save, turning the ball over the bar as the right back looked for the top corner with a curling shot.

But Rammy were to be less fortunate immediately after as Radcliffe doubled their lead after 55 minutes. Owolabi was slipped a wonderful through ball by skipper Kingsley Williams and the number 10 wasn’t to be found wanting in front of goal as he rounded Ashton to take the Boro a step closer to the upcoming play off final.

The Rams were now on thin ice and another superb Ashton save prevented Radcliffe from going three up. Owolabi twisted and turned past several Rammy defenders, yet Ashton was an equal match for the frontman.

However Owolabi continued to cause problems for the Rammy back line as Radcliffe again saw a penalty call turned down.

Ashton was adjudged to have brought down Owolabi but like Harrison’s first half call Shacklady refused to award the home side a spot kick.

Ramsbottom looked brighter going forward as the second half progressed and seemed the more likely to halve the scoreline deficit. First Jason Carey’s attempt on goal was beaten away, before substitute Iyrwah Gooden saw an effort fly wide of the target.

Then against the run of play Boro scored the third and final goal of the semi final. On 77 minutes Ben Wharton coolly chipped the ball over the head of Ashton as the Rammy backline could only watch the ball trickle over the line.

Willcock’s side continued to look dangerous going forward despite Radcliffe causing problems on the counter attack. Both Jamie Rother and Nic Evangelinos had efforts blocked in and around the goalmouth, but the Blues defence was able to clear the danger easily.

Radcliffe were able to see out the remainder of the match and ran out well-deserved winners. It was Ramsbottom’s first away defeat in league action under manager Willcock as they ended the season with a feeling of disappointment. Yet the turn of form since the management takeover last October gives hope that in twelve months’ time the club will be in a similar position once again.

Ramsbottom: Ashton, Kennedy (c), Jacobs, Moran, Thompson, Kelvin Lugsden, Ellison (Gooden 70’), Rother, Rainford (Jerome 76’), Carey, Evangelinos Un-used subs: Bembo Leta, Donaldson, Osi-Efa

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Rams 4 Droylsden 0

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Un-used Subs: Bembo-Leta, Schofield

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Chasetown 2 Rams 2

Evo-Stik West Division

Saturday 16th March 2019



Report by Jon Haslam

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Unused Subs- Moran,Donaldson Carey

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Rams 2 Ashton United 2

Ramsbottom United 2-2 Ashton United

Tuesday 6th August 2019

Pre-Season Friendly

Report by Aaron Benson

Ramsbottom came from two nil down to draw 2-2 with fellow Non-League side Ashton in their final home pre-season game before the new season begins. Trailing by two goals at half time through a trialist and a Josh Wilson penalty, forwards Nic Evangelinos and Karl Jones earned the Rams a well-earned draw.

Summer signing Jones joined the returning Ruben Jerome, Jamie Rother, Eddie Moran, Tom Kennedy and Nic Evangelinos in the starting eleven. The remainder of the team were trialists.

Ashton made the brighter start and took the lead after just four minutes. From the midfield, a trialist took a shot from the edge of the area only for it to be turned over by the Rammy keeper, he again was an unnamed starter. From the resulting corner, Ashton’s number nine bundled the ball home from close range.

The Rams responded well and looked a real threat going forward. An Evangelinos effort was well saved by Jon Worsnop in the visiting goal, while fellow attacker Jerome and new signing Jones caused havoc for the Robins defence whenever they got hold of the ball.

The closest Rammy came to an equaliser came when a misdirected clearance by an opposition defender hit his own crossbar. Worsnop was certainly worried, backpedaling nervously towards his own goal.

Yet all of the home sides good work was wasted as the visitors doubled their lead in the 29th minute. Liam Tomsett was brought down in the penalty area and from the resulting spot-kick, striker Wilson converted, smashing his shot into the roof of the net.

The Robins did score again just before the break through Connor Hughes, although he was caught offside by the referee and linesman as he slid the ball home. Still, the visitors held a comfortable lead as the half time whistle blew.

Chris Willcock’s side, wearing their new Rosebridge home kit for the season, came out with a new lease of life after the break and halved the deficit in the 52nd minute. Jones was fouled as he made his way into the box, then from the same penalty spot as the first half, Rams number 11 Evangelinos sent Worsnop the wrong way.

Jones continued to cause all kinds of problems in the second half down the right had side, earning his just rewards with a goal of his own after 68 minutes. A deep cross from the left was spilled by the Ashton keeper, falling to the number 10 who cut inside before launching a missile like shot into the bottom left corner, bringing the men in blue level.

Both sides threatened to add a respective third to their tallies for the evening, yet they had to settle for a draw with Rammy restoring their pride after a battling second half comeback.

Manager Willcock saw the friendly as a game of two halves, sighting the second period of the match as a real positive, unlike the first which wanted improvement.

‘We were off the pace first half, with how we set up and the way we went about our business. The goals are disappointing, we made silly schoolboy errors. Our ball retention lacked quality but once we addressed it I thought we were very good, much more like usual selves.

Willcock also voiced his compliments towards goalscorer Jones. ‘He had his best game tonight, he will have so much more confidence out of this performance , especially in front of goal. First half he was a good outlet, the second a constant thorn in their side’.

The management staff begin their first full season in charge this coming year and are more than ready for the season ahead.

‘We’ll get through our last pre-season games and then prepare for Widnes next week. The excitement will build no doubt as the game approaches. The butterflies will be turning and the adrenaline will be pumping’.

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Rams 2 Kidsgrove 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Unused subs: Jerome, Osi-Efa, Ellison

Attendance: 297

Referee: Lewis Raper

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Rams 1 Newcastle Town 2

Evo-Stik West Division

Tuesday 26th March 2019


Attendance: 200

Report by Adam Clark

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HALF TIME Rams 1 Newcastle Town 1

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

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

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

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

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

Unused subs – Donaldson, Kay

Match referee: Kieran Johnson

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Clitheroe 1 Rams 2

Evo-Stik West Division

Saturday 9th March 2019


Attendance: 291

Report by Adam Clark

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HALF TIME: Clitheroe 1 Rams 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FULL TIME: Clitheroe 1 Rams 2

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

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

Full reaction page is avalible at the top of this page

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

Unused Subs: Rother, Donaldson & Osi-Efa

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Rams 2 Nantwich 2

Pre Season Friendly

Tuesday 30th July

Ramsbottom United 2 Nantwich Town 2

Ramsbottom United continued their preparations for the upcoming league campaign with the visit of Bet Victor Premier Division outfit Nantwich Town on Tuesday evening, the starting eleven for the Rams showed seven of the clubs recently announced signings with four trialists completing the line up.

The opening ten minutes of the match unfolded with both teams creating efforts at goal but neither goal keeper was called into serious action as a header from the visiting number nine Malkin sailed wide of the target before home schemer Jamie Rother responded with a low drive which that failed to test Hall in the away teams goal.

Nantwich had perhaps the best opportunity to break the deadlock midway through the first period when ex Morecambe wide man Joe Mwasile raced clear of the home defence before sending his shot wide of the upright.

Ramsbottom responded with a couple of well struck efforts from Ruben Jerome, one of which almost caught out the visiting keeper but Hall clung on to the rasping attempt and with half an hour played the game remained goal less. The Dabbers responded again in an end to end affair by almost taking the lead moments later but the linesmans flag signalled an offside much to the relief of the home defence after a smart low save was tapped home by the lively Malkin.

Then on 32 minutes the home side edged into the lead when more good work again from Ruben Jerome set up new recruit Daniel Naidole who unleashed a well struck left footed effort from the edge of the penalty area which found the bottom corner leaving Hall helpless.

As an entertaining preseason match up reached the mid way point Ramsbottom United held a single goal advantage in what was an evenly matched forty five minutes.

The second half kicked off with Tom Kennedy being replaced by a familiar looking trialist, as The Dabbers started the half on the offensive and their efforts were rewarded just three minutes after the break when a pass from Harrison found the pacey Malkin whose well struck shot levelled proceedings.

With the hour point was reached of a very watchable contest the Rams had the chance to retake the lead when a clever through ball from the impressive Naidole found Ruben Jerome in the penalty area and an ill advised tackle by Langley sent the striker to the ground and the referee pointed to the penalty spot, the usually reliable spot kick taker Nic Evangelinos saw his penalty saved by Hall in the visitors goal who then produced a superb double save to deny the hosts a second goal.

As two evenly matched sides battled for supremacy the inevitable substitutions occurred with both managers looking for the balance of giving players preseason minutes alongside casting their eyes over potential new arrivals and the match perhaps surprisingly didn’t suffer as a spectacle as is sometimes the case as both outfits continued to create opportunities.

Nantwich fashioned a glorious chance to take the lead midway the second half but a free header from six yards failed to test the Rams goal keeper, within minutes the Rams regained the advantage when recent acquisition Karl Jones found some room in the penalty box and his low drive was touched onto the woodwork by Hall before one of the unnamed trailists reacted to drive the ball home from close range.

With the match entered the final fifteen minutes the Dabbers restored parity when a sweeping move down the left hand side saw a low cross converted by substitute Jamie Reed and despite numerous late goal scoring opportunities being spurned a very watchable match ended with four goals being split evenly.

As the final whistle sounded both managers would surely have learned more about their respective squads during a well contested match which again showed plenty of promise from a Ramsbottom United perspective as Chris Willcocks side completed their third preseason match in six days.

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Radcliffe 0 Rams 0

Evo-Stik West Division

Monday 22nd April 2019

Radcliffe FC 0 Ramsbottom United 0

Attendance 523

Report by Damien Barlow

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Half-time Radcliffe Boro 0 Ramsbottom United 0

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Full time Radcliffe Boro 0 Ramsbottom United 0

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

Not used: Osi-Efa, Ellison, Donaldson

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Rams 2 Prescot Cables 0

Ramsbottom United 2 Prescot Cables 0

Saturday 23rd March 2019

Evo-Stik West

Att 300

Report by Damien Barlow


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

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

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

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

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

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

Half Time Ramsbottom 1 Prescot 0

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Full Time Ramsbottom United 2 Presoct Cables 0

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

Subs not used Osi-Efa, Carey.

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Rams 0 Widnes 1




Attendance 147

Report by Aaron Benson

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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