Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Rams 5 Yaxley 1

Ramsbottom United made it 10 games unbeaten under new boss Chris Willcock and booked a place in the third qualifying round of The FA Trophy with a comfortable 5-1 victory over Yaxley in the second qualifying round.

Tricky left winger Nic Evangelinos grabbed his first hat-trick for the club on a brilliant Tuesday night for Rammy as their superb form continued.

The Rams made just one change to the side that won 1-0 at Colwyn Bay the previous Saturday, Joel Bembo-Leto was cup tied and he was replaced in the starting eleven by Ryan Ellison.

The Rams came straight out of the blocks as left winger Nic Evangelinos’s effort was saved smartly by Yaxley keeper Oliver Sutton.

Seconds later Evangelinos got his rewards for his earlier effort and was brought down in the box under a challenge from the Yaxley defender. Nialle Rodney tucked the ball home to give the Rams a perfect start.

The following minutes saw a flurry of chances at both ends. Yaxley number ten Daniel Cotton provided the biggest threat, cutting inside past Tom Kennedy yet only saw his chance fly over the bar.

Nialle Rodney and Anthony Donaldson both had chances to double the Rams lead. Against the run of play it was the visitors who struck the leveller. Cotton again proved troublesome down the right, his cross turned into the net by Rams centre back Luke Thompson.

Thompson's own goal was unfortunate for The Rams, coming at a time when the home side were dominant. Rodney, Donaldson, Ruben Jerome caused havoc throughout as the woodwork was struck more than a few times in the opening forty five minutes.

The Rams response was just what Willcock would have wanted, doubling their advantage ten minutes later. Evangelinos got his first of the night ten minutes later, his first attempt coming off the cross bar before firing home as Rammy retook the lead.

The killer goal came just on half time as the Rams pocket rocket Evangelinos got his name on the scoresheet again as Rammy went into half time with a two goal advantage.

HT: Ramsbottom 3-1 Yaxley

The second half was rather one sided as the home side began to turn the screw. Anthony Donaldson had the first attempt but Yaxley keeper Sutton was equal to it and saved the shot with ease.

The Rams could have had another shortly after, only for Nialle Rodney’s effort to be chalked off for offside.

Ramsbottom got a fourth on 61 minutes, Luke Thompson made amends for his first half mishap with a goal at the right end this time, heading home from a corner. The Rams number five was later subbed shortly after and will miss the game at Pickering due to suspension.

The men in blue made it five ten minutes later as Greek international Evangelinos got his third and Rammy's fifth of the game, converting a trio of goals and of course a hat-trick, something that hasn’t been seen in these parts for a while!

The Rams enjoyed a keep ball exercise in the final moments and as expected boss Willcock was rather pleased with his sides display.

‘The players have settled into the club very well, trying to take on board the philosophy I’m trying to encourage them to do and as you can see it’s working out very well on the pitch’.

Despite the current form, Willcock was rather reserved about the sides chances of a cup triumph.

‘To take the lads to Wembley will be a tough ask in this competition, a really difficult task when the conference and Conference North teams come into it’.

‘But can we take the team a couple more rounds, I'd like to think so, maybe if we can get a plumb tie then that would be a nice end to the competition’.

Should Nic Evangelinos continue to show this level of performance, anything is possible for this ever improving side.

Team vs Yaxley; Ashton, Kennedy, Jacobs, Moran, Thompson (Osi-Efa 64') , Ellison, Rodney (Lugsden 77') , Rother, Jerome, Donaldson, Evangelinos (Jarrett 71')

Unused Subs: Rowe, Hart

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Skelmersdale United 0 Rams 3

Evo-Stik West Division

Saturday 3rd November 2018

Skelmersdale United v Ramsbottom United.

Report by Damien Barlow

On a blustery afternoon in Merseyside where hosts Skelmersdale's more boisterous and physical approach seemed to work for much of the first half in an attempt to stop the visitors from playing eventually caught up with them in the second half as Ramsbottom pulled away and ultimatley ending the game with 10 men.

As the game got underway, it was the away side who enjoyed more of the ball, and repeatedly tried their luck down the right through Nialle Rodney. It was the number 7 who managed to get the games first cross away which only found the home keeper. Skelmersdale's first attempt on Sam Ashtons goal came as a result of a free kick in the corner after a strong coming together where Thompson was deemed the guilty party. The resulting kick was easliy dealt with and cleared by Moran to the edge of the box where Anthony Donaldson was impeded challenging for the second ball and winning his side a free kick - a pattern that would become only too familiar as the game developed.

The opening minutes continued in the same veign with freekicks a plenty, and little chance of any notable string of passes being put together as the game struggled to wriggle free of the scrappy start that had been served up thus far.

It was the home side who ended up fashioning the best chance of breaking the deadlock, as full back Charles Duke turned Evangelinos in his own half and brought the ball forward before sending a well delivered 40 yard ball looking for No9 Declan Daniels which cleared the Rammy back line and found its intended target. Daniels worked enough space and got his effort away on the half volley, but lacked real purpose and Ashtons positional acumen made the save a simple task. However in his attempt at goal the challenge which hampered a more powerful shot seemed to have caused the front man some pain, and as both physios attended to him on the pitch, he finally left the playing area on a stretcher - hopefully this is nothing too serious and a speedy recovery is wished by all.

As the free kick count rose with intent, Tom Kennedy sent the latest award wide right to Kyle Jacobs who took a couple of rare allowed touches before sending in a teasing cross for Thompson to attack but his effort was short of power and direction and bobbled wide. As the half progressed, Ramsbottom number 10 Donaldson was coming under more and more scrutiny from Skelmersdale who seem to have taken a dis-like to him, and a fourth 'clever' foul drew another free kick. Again in was Kennedy who sent the kick towards the back post for Thompson who won the header but Skelmersdale cleared their lines without too much trouble.

The breakthrough did finally come on the 22nd minute as Donaldson worked his way from his man down the left and managed to work the ball towards the 6 yard line for Ruben Jerome to make no mistake and smash his attempt past the static Smith.


The goal and lead now gave the vistors the confidence to try and play more football, and again it was Rodney who worked down the right, away from his man and into the area, only for his in-box pass to be cleared. His sheer tenacity though, and with help from Jacobs, the ball was back in Rammy possession. Skelmersdale seemed to take offence at the wingers trickery, and so another free kick was awarded, and Tom Kennedys left foot, which by now must have been on overtime, sent another in-swinger towards the back post for Ellison to powerfully thunder a header inches over the bar.

The 26th minute finally saw the referees goodwill run out with the over zealous approach from Skelmersdale and the yellow card came out to play as James Ohara needlessly hacked down Niall Rodney who was a yard from the touch line. The favour was returned minutes later, and just as needlessly, Rodney found his name taken for challenge that had more than a hint of retribution about it.

As the half time whistle thankfully blew on a 45 minutes which was littered with free kicks, mis-placed passes and 2 very different game plans, Ramsbottom did hold the advantage and with something to hold on to would hopefully build on in the second half.


The second half started without any changes from either side.

If anyone was wondering if a change in approach would greet the on-lookers for the 2nd period they were left in no doubt, as Ramsbottom were awarded their first re-start set piece within 10 seconds of the half. This was quickly followed up with another foul on Donaldson who took a friendly knock to the back of his head. Back on his feet and ready to go, the referee allowed him the pleasure of the 40 yard trip to the touch line and then immediatley making the return trip back to where he started.

52 minutes saw the next decent half chance for the visitors, as Jacobs intercepted a wayward pass and travelled forward looking for Jerome but unfortunatley the covering defender mopped up any danger. The vigour and energy from Ramsbottom allowed them to chase the ball down on several occasions and as Tom Kennedy held the ball for a second too long, William Dunne mis-timed his challenge and became the second Skelmersdale player to aquaint himself with the referees book.

The bookings count was levelled up again shortly after as Ryan Ellisons challenge on the recently booked Dunne was frowned uopn by the man in the middle and after giving himself a few moments to be sure, duely issued the warning of the yellow kind.

On 55 minutes the away side had a half hearted appeal for a penalty as Jerome rolled his man on the right hand side and sent in a low cross which was blocked by the covering defender who was lying on the floor. The offical waved away any appeals coming his way, suggesting no intent.

Tom Molyneux became the latest player in the book, arguably the most harsh of the day as the ball was played in field to Bembo-Leta he dummied the oncoming Molyneux who had already, in fairness, commited to the challenge and had no way of pulling out.

The hour mark brought a great chance for the visitors to double their lead and probably put the game to bed. Ruben Jerome again showing great skill and ability to brek free on the right side. A half challenge offered him the opportunity to chance his arm for a penalty claim but rightly chose to stay on his feet and found Evangelinos who showed equal ability to work an opening and got a shot away which beat the keeper only to be thwarted by the covering man on the line, his clearence only found Bembo-Leta and from 7 yards somehow with the goal gaping sent his effort wide.

The second goal for Ramsbottom did arrive minutes later, as Evangelinos picked the ball up just in the Skelmersdale half and immediatley looked to run at the back tracking defence. With only Jerome ahead he lifted a perfectly weighted ball into the path of the eager striker and once he had muscled his man off the ball he clinically despatched the ball in the top corner leaving the keeper well and truely beaten.


The 70th minute saw yet another cynical challenge on Donaldson, this time from home captain Phil Mooney. The challenge had a comparable similarity to the first 2 of the day, being down near the dug out touchline, and as Donaldson dropped his shoulder one way and was ready to set off the other Mooney sythed him down waist height. This needless booking would prove very costly later.

Chris Willcock made his first changes of the day on 72 minutes seeing Rodney and Jerome leaving the field and Rainford and Rowe replacing them, and on 80 minutes saw Donaldson finally given some respite from the constant attention from the hosts and he was replaced by Khalil Osi-Efa.

Recently introduced sub, Louis Rowe showed good footwork on 82 minutes in the area, and with Rainford begging for the pass which would leave him with a free hit at goal, decided to go alone and tried his luck only for the keeper to parry, this time the rebound was turned in by Evangelinos, and the game was now safe.


On 86 minutes the Skelmersdale captain was given the un-welcome privilege of an early bath as another reckless challenge, this time on the Ramsbottom no11 led to a second yellow card. After a brief consultation with his assistant, the referee was happy this was the correct decision.

As the full time whistle was blown, Chris Willcock and his team can look back on a very well earned victory, a day when football won the war against the battle. Skelmersdale's in your face approach did not intimidate or de-rail Ramsbottoms game plan, and the individual as well as team quality ensured the 3 points came back to the Riverside.


RAMS: Ashton, Kennedy, Jacobs, Moran, Thompson, Ellison, Rodney (Rainford 75'), Bembo-Leta, Jerome (Rowe 75'), Donaldson (Osi-Efa 81'), Evangelios

Unused subs: Rother, Foulds.

Attendance - 118

Referee - Jake Topp

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Widnes 1 Rams 1

On a cool night in Cheshire, Ramsbottom managed to come from behind to snatch a point against an organised Widnes side.

Rammy started brightly and took a direct approach to the game. In the 2nd minute Ryan Ellison connected with Phillip Dean’s freekick, but his header was glanced just over the crossbar.

The bright start could be put down to an effective 4-5-1 formation in which Moran was placed just behind Gaskell and was winning every header. However, Gaskell was struggling to latch on to these flicks and meant chances were at a premium. Rammy would rue their lack of chance creation in these early stages when, in the 8th minute, Dale Korie-Butler put the home side into the lead; a freak mistake by the Rammy defence saw a misplaced header fall into the path of Korie-Butler who lofted the ball over Ashton and into the goal.

The visitors immediately tried to hit back. The ball went down the right wing and Jerome worked his way back the left back to hit a low cross into the 6-yard area. Unfortunately, there was no on in the box to latch onto the teasing ball.

The goal had certainly knocked the confidence of Ramsbottom and they looked particularly vulnerable down their right side. Widnes tried to exploit the space here and it proved troublesome to the visitors; in the 18th minute Widnes went close with a shot from inside the box on the left-hand side – this attempt went just wide of the right side of the goal.

Ramsbottom had their best chance of the game so far in the 31st minute. The ball was played into the left channel and chased by Gaskell. There was a mix up in communication between Widnes defender Michael Burke and goalkeeper Ryan Nield and Gaskell pounced, Burke fell but the experienced striker just couldn’t connect properly with the ball and it went just right of the goal.

In the 37th minute, Ryan Ellison was booked for a hard tackle and the resulting freekick was dealt with confidently by Sam Ashton.

Widnes walked in 1 – 0 up at half time and looked good value for their lead.

The second half took some time to get going, with neither side really managing to take control of the game. The first chance of the half fell to Widnes. The Whites won a corner in the 54th minute following a promising attack and the ball was played perfectly to the back post, but Grogan headed just over the bar. The big defender really should have doubled their lead.

A change of approach following this chance saw Rammy return to the direct approach they started the game with and began to push forward more. In the 73rd minute they were finally rewarded for this thanks to a magnificent strike from Jerome Wright. The captain picked up the ball in midfield, set himself and struck a low hard shot that the keeper couldn’t stop from nestling in the bottom right corner, despite getting a hand to the ball.

A common theme through the game was Ramsbottom’s difficulties in dealing with the Widnes long ball and this was seen again in the 81st minute when Ben Hodkinson was released down the left side of the penalty and unleashed a venomous shot that forced a tremendous save from Sam Ashton; who kept the scores level.

The final 5 minutes of the game proved some of the most entertaining, with Widnes taking a more direct approach. A well worked move in the 90th minute left the Ramsbottom fans feeling nervy as the resulting attempt flew over the bar.

Chances were at a premium for Rammy in added time, but the defensive line held strong probing passes and several shots from Widnes. The Rams saw the game out professionally and walked off the pitch with a well-earned point.

FULL TIME: Widnes FC (Korie Butler 8’) 1-1 Ramsbottom United (Wright 73’)

Ramsbottom United: Ashton, Kennedy, Jacobs, Osi-Efa, Thompson, Ellison, Dean (Jarrett 62’), Moran, Gaskell (Higgs 62’), Jerome, Wright ©

Unused subs: Hart, Rother

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Rams 3 Clitheroe 3

Report by Aaron Benson

The Rams made two changes to the side beaten against Clitheroe in the Integro Cup. Dean Stott and Ben Deegan were replaced in the starting eleven by Lee Gaskell and Jack Higgs.

The home side were looking to get back to winning ways in the league after the 4-0 thumping at Leek Town the previous Saturday. Yet the Rams were behind within seconds after kick off as Clitheroe put the visitors ahead after just two minutes.

Clitheroe striker Max Hazeldine headed home from a near post corner peeling away from the Ramsbottom defenders to give the away side a lightning quick lead, handing The Rams a nightmare start. However the home side responded in spirited fashion and were soon level shortly after. Clitheroe keeper Cameron Terry spilled a cross from the left wing only for Rams midfielder Jamie Rother to fire in from close range. to bring the sides level.

The home side continued to press on and could easily have tuned the tables straight from the kick off. Lee Gaskell won the ball on the press yet his pass to Rother was short and meant Clitheroe could clear their lines as the shot was blocked.

The chances kept coming for Rammy with Nathan Brown winning a penalty on twenty three minutes. His trickery won a twelve yard kick yet striker Gaskell failed to convert from the spot.

Rammy were left to rue their missed chances as they conceded their second goal in the sloppiest of ways. A Lewis Sugden corner ran to an unmarked Jay Jefferies whose shot flew past Sam Ashton in the Rammy goal and gave Clitheroe the lead heading into half time.

HT: Rams 1-2 Clitheroe

It was a case of Deja vu for Ramsbottom as the second period begun. Clitheroe score their third goal less than ten minutes into the second half as Rammy were left with a mountain to climb.

Substitute James Sloane snuck between the Rammy defenders and met a wide ball with pinpoint accuracy to give Clitheroe a commanding 3-1 lead.

However the home side never went away and Jack Higgs could have halved the deficit but could only fire over the bar.

Yet it wasn't long before Higgs got on the scoresheet to get Rammy back in the game. Higgs somehow managed to get the ball over the line as a goalmouth scramble took place in around the six yard area. Thompson should have drew Rammy level when he found himself unmarked in the box, however his shot went flying wide.

But Rammy's never say die spirit drew them level in the eightieth minute. Jerome Wright and Philip Dean combined with great affect on the left to send a ball causing havoc in the goalmouth. Tom Brooks was the eventual benefiter taking a rather 'smash and grab' approach smashing the ball home from close range.

Both teams had chances to win the game with the game on a knife edge. Clitheroe sub Antoine Recizac turned Dean yet his shot was straight at Ashton. At the other end, Lee Gaskell saw two headers come to nothing. In the end, a point apiece was the end result.

Despite more frustration in front go goal, Mark Fell took the positives from a nail-biting draw.

'From being three one down it's probably a point gained. We showed a lot of spirit, the players showed heart and desire to get themselves out of a whole.

'We need to be better in both boxes. We've been working on moving the ball quicker, we got in a couple of times which was great'.

'We still feel like we've been beat, The manner in the goals we conceded from where we are, we wanted to do some damage in the top half, we just couldn't quite do so today'.

FT: Ramsbottom 3-3 Clitheroe

Team: Ashton, Dean, Brooks, Kennedy, Thompson, Downes, Brown, Rother, Gaskell, Higgs (Deegan 79'), Wright

Unused subs: Foulds, Stott, Robertson

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Colwyn Bay 0 Rams 1

Evo-Stik West Division

Saturday 17th November 2018



Report by Jon Haslam

Ramsbottom United continued their gruelling series of away fixtures with a visit to North Wales on Saturday afternoon to take on Colwyn Bay in what was their seventh game on the road from their last eight matches played.

The trip to the Welsh coast saw the Rams make one enforced alteration to the team that gained a creditable draw in Tuesday nights FA Trophy match against Yaxley with Joel Bembo-Leto replacing the suspended Ryan Ellison at the heart of the visitors defence.

The early exchanges of the match saw both trade attempts at goal with Nialle Rodney testing Coughlin and Pritchard for the home side replying with a low shot which Sam Ashton gathered comfortably.

Colwyn Bay began the tussle in a fairly confident manner utilising the width provided by Pritchard and Barrigan as the hosts looked to start the game positively, indeed the former was on the receiving end of a strong tackle from Anthony Donaldson on ten minutes which resulted in the first yellow card of the match for the Rams midfielder.

Ramsbottom began to look more dangerous as the half wore on and perhaps had a legitimate shout for a penalty as Nic Evangelinos appeared to have been brought down in the penalty area but referee Rooney waived away the pleas of the visitors.

With almost twenty minutes played the home side fashioned the clearest chance to open the scoring when a strong burst through midfield from McCready was halted by a strong challenge from Luke Thompson towards the edge of the penalty area but the ball fell kindly to Pritchard who shot wide of the target when well placed.

Both sides were looking to utilise the excellent playing surface in what was an even opening half hour for the crowd of 248 at Llanelian Road, despite the contest having an end to end feel about it neither team could fashion what could be described as a clear cut opportunity with defences having the better of their attacking counterparts.

Nialle Rodney was looking lively for the Rams as he appeared to have the beating of his full back but any crosses that were played into the Colwyn Bay penalty box were being dealt without too much alarm.

The hosts were forced into a substitution with ten minutes of the first period remaining as injury curtailed McCreadys increasingly influential promptings for Bay as Alex Downes, a Ramsbottom loanee from earlier in the season replaced the stricken schemer.

With the interval only minutes away Colwyn Bay manufactured the last noteworthy attempt of the half when a deep free kick found the head of Woods but his headed effort was easily gathered by Sam Ashton and as the referee brought a halt to proceedings the encounter was goal less at the midway point despite lots of endeavour from both teams.

The second period was only minutes old when Jamie Rother became the second Rams player to pick a caution as a strong tackle on Pritchard incurred the referees wrath. Ramsbottom United began strongly after the restart and efforts from Evangelinos and a stinging long range attempt from Rother brought former Wrexham goalkeeper Coughlin into action as the away side looked to apply some pressure on the home defence.

As the contest edged towards the hour mark the Rams were taking control of the match with Tom Kennedy becoming more and more influential as the minutes ticked by and on more than one occasion delivered a number of sublime crosses from both open play and set pieces that caused panic in the hosts defence but sadly the visiting forwards couldn't quite get on the end of.

The Rams made two substitutions in quick succession as firstly Bembo-Leto limped out the action on 61 minutes to be replaced in central defence by Khalil Osi-Efa before ex Colwyn Bay player Jamie Rainford took the place of the ever reliable and hard working Jamie Rother as Chris Willcock searched for the breakthrough.

With twenty minutes of the second half played the Rams did break the deadlock when, after a Kennedy corner had been cleared the ball found its way to Eddie Moran wide on the right touchline and the midfielder sent in a delicious cross which perfectly found the head of the onrushing Luke Thompson whose bullet header found the bottom corner of the net to give the fans favourite his third goal of the season.

The opening goal was really no more than the visitors deserved for their dominant second half showing and the lead could have been increased as Evangelinos and Rainford both had presentable efforts to add to the day trippers advantage.

Then with fifteen minutes remaining on the watch a potentially game changing incident occurred when a long goal kick from Bay goalkeeper caught out the Rams rearguard and with home striker Woods running through on goal and about to take a shot Luke Thompson brought down the forward and the referee had little choice but to issue a red card to the visitors goal scorer.

With a man advantage Colwyn Bay saw their opportunity to wrestle back the momentum and began to utilise their extra player cleverly putting the unfamiliar looking Rams defence under severe pressure, The first of a number of chances that fell to Colwyn Bay came on 81 minutes when ex Ram Downes forced an excellent save from Ashton before a succession of free kicks and corners gave the travelling supporters cause for concern as the slender lead was becoming increasingly at risk.

As the minutes ebbed away the hosts laid siege to Sam Ashtons goal, with some wayward finishing and heroic defending from the whole Ramsbottom side the hosts were becoming frustrated as the visitors repelled everything Colwyn Bay could throw at them.

With two of the four minutes of injury time signalled elapsed the Rams had one last scare to negotiate when a match winning double save from Sam Ashton denied Pritchard and Mendes in quick succession to ensure that after a resolute defensive display, ten men for the last 15 minutes and a reorganised defence it would be the visitors that would leave North Wales with all 3 points.

As the players and supporters celebrated a fine victory, the manner of the win encapsulates the growing confidence and team spirit this group of players and staff have generated in a short period of time.

After an unbeaten run of 10 matches in all competitions and a testing week which has seen the team travel over 500 miles in just a few days,the manner of this triumph must give all involved a huge amount of pride and confidence going into Tuesday nights FA Trophy replay against Yaxley at the Riverside.

Ramsbottom United:- Ashton, Kennedy, Jacobs, Moran ,Thompson, Bembo-Leto (Osi-Efa 61 mins), Rodney, Rother (Rainford 64 mins) , Jerome, Donaldson, Evangelinos

Unused Subs- Rowe, Foulds, Hart

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Frickley Athletic 0 Rams 3

FA Trophy First Qualifying Round

Saturday 27th October 2018


Attendance: 127

Report by Jon Haslam

West Yorkshire was the destination on Saturday afternoon as Ramsbottom United took a break from league action to take on a Frickley side in an intriguing looking FA Trophy tie at the Westfield Lane Stadium.

With the departure of leading scorer Jerome Wright to Hyde United in the lead up to the match the visitors starting eleven showed three alterations from the victory against Glossop seven days earlier with Luke Thompson, Jamie Rother and latest new recruit Antony Donaldson replacing the aforementioned Wright, Bembo-Leto and the injured Jack Higgs respectively.

It would be the Rams that would make the ideal start to the contest when on just seven minutes Rother sprayed a pass out to the right wing to Nialle Rodney who skilfully skipped past Algar before the wide mans tantalising low ball across the six yard box was diverted past home keeper Warhurst by the lunging Jameel Ible and into the back of the net to give the away side an early boost.

The early goal was no more than the visitors deserved as they dominated the opening twenty minutes with the Rams attacking players proving a headache for the Frickley defence as they struggled to contain the rampant visitors.

Firstly Ruben Jerome fired a shot just off target before superb link up play again gave Rodney a chance to test the home keeper but his effort was gathered by the home stopper. The one way feel of the contest in the Rams favour continued when Evangelinos headed straight at Warhurst from a superb cross from Kyle Jacobs before then same players shot narrowly wide of the target minutes later as the side from Lancashire dictated the first quarter of the contest.

Frickley were showing little sign of being the same attacking threat that had seen the home outfit score thirteen goals in their last four outings but did begin to offer something more as the first half wore on but with the Rams back four in fine form goal keeper Sam Ashton was being well protected and remained largely untroubled until the final notable action of the first half when a Szanto free kick from 25 yards out brought a diving save from the visiting custodian and the away side lead by a single goal at the break.

On a windy and bitterly cold afternoon in the White Rose county the second period resumed with the Frickley making two early substitutions as they looked to alter the complexion of the match but it would be the Rams that almost doubled their advantage in the opening minutes of the half when Jerome fired over when well placed.

With the home side let off the hook, Frickley then began to enjoy their best period of the match and for a ten minute period the Rams had to be at their robust best from a defensive perspective with Rowe having a header scrambled off the line before Ashton made a couple of flying saves from Smith and Hazel to prevent the home side restoring parity.

As the hour mark ticked by Ramsbottom United had repelled everything that the hosts had thrown at them as the defensive resilience shown under Chris Willcock is beginning to become evident whilst the lively attacking trio of Jerome, Evangelinos and Rodney were causing the home defence some concerns on the counter attack.

The Rams made their first change of the contest with Osi-Efa replacing the excellent Jamie Rother in midfield just after the hour point as the encounter was still finely poised with Frickley having their most sustained period of attacking play but the away team could and perhaps should have doubled their lead when Jerome shot wide of the target with the goal at his mercy.

Just two minutes later Ramsbottom United would increase their advantage when a raking 30 yard pass from Ryan Ellison perfectly connected to the run of Nialle Rodney who out muscled the Frickley right back before drilling an effort past Warhurst's outstretched hand at the near post and the Rams forward had notched his third goal in three appearances to give the visitors from Lancashire some breathing space for the final 20 minutes.

The second goal appeared to demoralise the hosts as the away side continued to look a threat on the counter attack and appeared to get stronger as the match continued. Indeed the visitors almost added to their goal tally when Evangelinos brought an excellent save from Warhurst before the tie clinching strike arrived with just ten minutes remaining when another incisive Rams breakaway saw Ruben Jerome go through one on one with the home keeper before confidently slotting home his first goal in Ramsbottom United colours thereby sealing the tie and progression to the next round was confirmed.

The remaining ten minutes were fairly comfortable for the visitors with Jerome and Evangelinos being replaced by Rowe and Jarrett, the final chance of a comprehensive looking victory fell to new recruit Donaldson who almost capped off a promising debut with a goal but the outstretched foot of Warhurst denied the midfielder.

With the four minutes of the signalled injury time played the referee brought an end to proceedings as a convincing team performance deservedly sent Ramsbottom United into the next round of the FA Trophy with a scoreline that certainly didn't flatter the visitors on the day.

The result made it five matches unbeaten under Chris Willcock as the new manager continues to reshape the Rams squad whilst the team continues to play some very watchable and entertaining football.

The players and travelling supporters showed their appreciation of each others efforts after the final whistle as they headed back over the Pennines looking forward to the next fixture away to Skelmersdale with hope that the recent form continues.

Ramsbottom United:- Ashton, Kennedy, Jacobs, Donaldson ,Thompson, Ellison, Rodney, Rother (Osi-Efa 60 mins), Jerome (Rowe 82 mins), Moran, Evangelinos (Jarrett 84 mins)

Unused Subs- Foulds, Gaskell

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Rams 2 Chasetown 2

A new era began at the HWRS as new manager Chris Willcock made his first appearance in the Rammy dugout, taking over from Mark Fell who resigned only five days previous.

Willcock made four changes to the side held at Kendal a week previous. Jack Higgs, Tom Brooks, Nathan Brown and Curtis Jones were replaced by Ryan Ellison and new signings Khalil Osi-Efa, Ruben Jerome and returning to the HWRS was midfielder Eddie Moran.

The Rams began the new era on the front, the Rams players looking to impress both manager and fans alike. The start was lively, visitors Chasetown were under the cosh from the word go.

The Rams had an early sight at goal as early as the third minute with Jerome Wright almost charging down a loose Chasetown backpass.

The first proper chance for the Rams came on twelve minutes when new signing Ruben Jerome beat the offside trap to find himself through on goal one on one with Chasetown keeper Curtis Pond.

Yet It wasn’t the perfect start for Jerome as the shot was expertly saved by Pond. From the corner, Wright could only fire wide.

However the dominance soon payed off as the home side were ahead minutes later. Eddie Moran let fly from distance yet Pond could only turn the ball out for a corner.

Luke Thompson headed higher than anyone in the box to send the ball past Pond in the Chasetown net, handing Rammy a deserved one nil lead on the fifteen minute mark.

It should have been two less than ten minutes later, but Lee Gaskell’s shot on the turn was comfortably saved.

Vistors Chasetown were living dangerously and their afternoon was made far worse when Lee Gaskell was brought down in the box. Referee Darren Brown having no choice but to point to the spot.

Jerome Wright converted with a finish straight down the middle to give Rammy a seemingly healthy lead.

Chasetown came roaring back in the thirty-eighth minute with a goal of their own. George Cater turned the ball home from a goalmouth scramble, the team in red going into halftime back in the game.

Second half:

The second half began role reversal from the first. Chasetown spent the majority of the half on top, yet Ruben Jerome could have restored Rammy’s two goal cushion midway threw the half, only to be denied by Pond.

The final fifteen minutes saw a charge at goal by Chasetown and brought a wonderful array of saves from Sam Ashton. Sub Muzzy Nduna was denied by Ashton at point blank range.

Then minutes later Jonathan Beaumont had a header which also couldn’t beat Ashton. Cater thought he had leveled the scores only moments later, but Ashton was able to keep the Rams at a one goal advantage.

However Chasetown’s dominance soon prevailed as Rammy threw away the lead. Another mix up in the Ramsbottom goal area concluded with Cater firing home a deserved leveller, a goal that turned out to be decisive.

The visitors could have completed an extraordinary comeback yet the home side held on for a point. The way the second half went, new manager Chris Willcock will probably have settled for one by the end.

Rams team: Ashton, Jacobs, Kennedy, Osi-Efa, Thompson, Ellison, Dean, Moran, Gaskell (Stott 65'), Jerome (Higgs 79'), Wright

Unused subs: Brooks, Hart, Foulds

Attendance: 165

Referee: Darren Brown

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Rams 1 Clitheroe 1 (6-7 pens)

Integro League Cup 1st Round

Wednesday 19th September 2018



Report by Jon Haslam

Ramsbottom United entertained Clitheroe at the Riverside on a blustery Wednesday evening in the Integro League Cup for the first of two meetings within the space of four days.

The home side made a number of changes in both personnel and positionally from the weekend defeat to Leek but it was the visitors who started the brightest with a couple of long range attempts that flew high over Sam Ashtons goal in the opening minutes of the contest.

The Rams fashioned their first goal scoring opportunity with just over ten minutes played when an excellent through ball from Deegan found Phil Dean in the right hand channel but the wide mans shot failed to extend Terry in the visitors goal.

Clitheroe responded and almost broke the deadlock when a mix up in the home defence gave Cannon-Noren a glimpse of goal but young defender Alex Downes on loan from Chester made a vital clearance off the line in his first start since the second game of the season.

As the half progressed both goalkeepers were largely untroubled with a number of long range efforts failing to find their intended target as perhaps the breezy conditions affected the players goal scoring radar.

With half time approaching and the match goalless Clitheroe should maybe have taken the lead as Bianga and the dangerous Cannon-Noren linked up neatly before the latter shot wide of the target when well placed as the hosts escaped an incisive breakaway.

As the first half finished scoreless the home supporters were hoping that the second period would provide more of a goal scoring threat but it was the visitors who looked the more likely side to open their account minutes after the restart when Sloane found himself one on one with Sam Ashton but the Rams stopper pulled off a fine save to deny Clitheroe the lead.

Ramsbottom United then responded with a strike of their own when good link up play on the left hand edge of the penalty area gave Jerome Wright a sight of goal but the effort was repelled by Terry.

Unfortunately the Rams fell behind in peculiar circumstances when an attack down the right wing gave substitute Recizak the opportunity to cross to an unmarked Cannon- Noren in the centre of goal who proceeded to trip over the ball which wrongfooted Ashton and somehow the ball found its way into the net to give the visitors the lead just before the hour point of the encounter.

Shortly after the opener the Rams made two substitutions with new recruit Tom Eckersley replacing skipper Stott and Gaskell joining the action at the expense of Ben Deegan.

Clitheroe looked to clinch the tie with a second goal with Ashton again forced into action pulling off a fine save to deny the away side after an incisive break down the Rams left hand side.

The hosts were looking for a leveller with Higgs taking the place of the hardworking Jamie Rother with just over a quarter of an hour remaining and as the Rams pushed forward there was a risk that the visitors would exploit the extra space.

With the game entering the final ten minutes an ever increasingly desperate Ramsbottom United created a number of opportunities to equalise with Brooks, Higgs, Wright and Gaskell all shooting at goal without success.

As the contest ticked into injury time and with two of the five minutes indicated already played the Rams won a free kick almost in front of the home dugout, Jack Higgs swung his left foot to send the ball towards the Clitheroe penalty area and with a touch of assistance from the wind the ball sailed over the head of Terry and dropped into the back of the net to level matters and the substitute had made a positive impact. There was still time remaining for the away side to fashion another presentable chance moments after the equaliser when another penetrating break again brought the best of Ashton as he produced an excellent double save to keep the score at one goal each and with no extra time the tie would be decided by a contest from 12 yards.

Clitheroe took an early advantage as they scored with their first kick but then Jack Higgs had his effort saved by Terry, the next three spot kicks for each side were converted with Wright, Brown and Dean confidently registering for the hosts before Clitheroe’s substitute Onorou had the chance to win the match but Ashton responded to keep the contest in the balance. With nine penalties taken it was down to Lee Gaskell to take the spot kick competition into sudden death and he duly obliged by sending his kick high into the net and score read 4-4 after five penalties from each team.

With the result still in the balance Clitheroe scored their next two spot kicks with the Rams responding with Kennedy and keeper Ashton converting to level the score at six each, Snowden then smashed in his attempt leaving popular defender Luke Thompson to take the next penalty for the home side, unfortunately the effort flew over the crossbar and the away side progressed to the next stage of the competition by a score line of 7-6.

Whilst the Rams are currently unbeaten at home in 90 minutes this season this defeat was sadly the second penalty loss in cup competitions this term after the recent FA Cup elimination by Kidsgrove and bringing an end to the clubs involvement in the Integro trophy for this season.

Ramsbottom United get an early chance to exact some retribution on Clitheroe as the two sides reconvene on Saturday afternoon as league points are at stake in what should be a keenly contested match.

Ramsbottom United:- Ashton, Stott (Eckersley 62 mins), Kennedy, Brooks, Thompson, Downes, Dean, Rother (Higgs 76 mins), Deegan (Gaskell 64 mins), Brown, Wright.

Subs not used- Robertson (GK)

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Yaxley 2 Rams 2

FA Trophy Second Qualifying Round

Tuesday 13th November 2018


Report by Jon Haslam

Ramsbottom United embarked on a 300 mile round trip to Cambridgeshire on Tuesday evening to take on Evo Stik Southern league side Yaxley as the clubs FA Trophy adventure continued at the wonderfully named Leading Drove Ground.

The visitors showed just a single alteration to their starting eleven from their previous fixture at Prescot Cables a week ago with Anthony Donaldson replacing the cup tied Joel Bembo-Leto in midfield as the Rams looked to continue their excellent recent form of five successive victories in all competitions.

The hosts began the contest strongly as they looked to take advantage of home surroundings with the familiarity of the 3G surface and the visitors having to endure a punishing journey of over 3 hours conditions that were clearly in the home sides favour.

With barely a minute on the clock Yaxley almost made the ideal start when a quick breakaway lead to the first attempt at goal but the effort flew wide of the diving Sam Ashton and thankfully past the post.

Unfortunately Ramsbottom United would fall behind on the quarter hour mark when an incisive through ball from Butterworth sent Matt Sparrow running through one on one with Sam Ashton and the Cuckoo's leading scorer confidently notched his 12th goal of the campaign as the Rams conceded their first goal in 462 minutes.

Despite the early setback the visitors started to get more possession of the ball as they began to get to grips with the surface as the left sided duo of Kennedy and Evangelinos in particular linked up dangerously on a number of occasions but a series of crosses into the penalty area couldn't find a Ramsbottom United player and were repelled by the Yaxley rearguard.

The Rams fashioned their first shot on target with half an hour played when a neat passage of play gave Ruben Jerome the chance to test home stopper Sutton although the strikers effort from outside the area was comfortably gathered but confidence appeared to be growing as the game continued to be an open affair.

With half time approaching and with Yaxley holding a narrow advantage the travellers from Lancashire perhaps created their best opportunity to equalise when more good play down the left hand side gave Kennedy the chance to hit a low cross which Sutton mishandled and with Evangelinos on hand to send the ball goal wards an outstretched foot from a defender denied the visitors a chance to go into the break on level terms.

The early moments of the second period began with both sides trading efforts at goal with the tricky Anthony Donaldson shooting over the crossbar before the hosts replied with a couple of attempts of their own as both teams began the half with attacking intent.

Ramsbottom United then began to take control of the tussle as both Nialle Rodney and Kyle Jacobs linked up well down the right wing as the away side continued to have a threat down both flanks as the Rams began to threaten the hosts narrow load, indeed Ruben Jerome almost drew the sides level but his low drive looked to have beaten Sutton but the effort clipped the outside of the post.

Not to be denied Ramsbottom United drew level just before the hour point when a strong run to the byline from the twinkled-toed Rodney gave the wide man the chance to pick out the onrushing Jerome who side footed into the net from close range to give the striker his fourth goal in his last four matches.

With confidence clearly coursing through the team things would get even better for the Rams just five minutes later when an incisive breakaway gave the increasingly influential Rodney chance to run at the retreating Yaxley defence before passing to Donaldson whose clever flick found the unmarked Evangelinos and the recent recruit confidently slipped the ball past Sutton to notch his third goal in his last three outings and the game had been deservedly turned on its head in a scintillating five minute spell much to the delight of the hardy band of Rams supporters who had made the trip.

A point worthy perhaps worthy of note is that Ramsbottom United have scored two or more goals in seven out of the last eight outings, a stat which indicates the attacking prowess Chris Willcock's side are continuing to show since the recent appointment some six weeks ago.

Sadly one of footballs most well worn clichés came to fruition as no sooner had the Rams taken the lead than Yaxley won a free kick which was played into the visitors box from the left hand side and as the defence struggled to clear the ball fell kindly to home forward Tom Waumsley whose effort from ten yards found the back of the net to restore parity at two goals each.

The Rams were putting in an excellent second half showing with the hard working midfield duo of Eddie Moran an Jamie Rother putting in their usual high levels of commitment as the visitors continued to look a goal scoring threat and almost regained the lead on 73 minutes when a Tom Kennedy free kick found the head of our travel companion for the day Luke Thompson whose header across goal found Nialle Rodney six yards from goal but the header was straight at Sutton.

A series of corners and free kicks for the visitors couldn't bring any reward but Yaxley were by no means out of the equation and continued to threaten the Rams defence on the counter attack without seriously threatening Sam Ashton in the final ten minutes or so.

With time ticking away the Rams continued to push forward looking for the decisive fifth goal and as in recent weeks the team continued to look strong in the latter stages of matches and with almost the final action of the night the visitors almost claimed victory when another penetrating attack opened up the Yaxley defence and despite three players having efforts at goal none of them could scramble the ball home and the contest ended even at 2-2.

As the final whistle sounded at the end of an entertaining match the Ramsbottom United players, staff and fans showed their mutual appreciation for each others efforts on a difficult night in which most present would not be getting back home until around 1am.

The result would dictate that Yaxley will have to undertake the gruelling midweek trip to Lancashire as the two sides will reconvene for a replay at the Riverside Stadium next Tuesday night with the winners due to travel to Pickering Town in the next round of the competition.

Ramsbottom United:- Ashton, Kennedy, Jacobs, Moran ,Thompson, Ellison, Rodney, Rother, Jerome, Donaldson (Rowe 88 mins) Evangelinos

Unused Subs- Osi-Efa, Jarrett, Foulds, Dwyer (GK)

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Rams 2 Glossop NE 0

Evo-Stik West Division

Saturday 20th October 2018


Attendance: 210

Report by Jon Haslam

Ramsbottom United hosted a struggling Glossop North End on a sunny Saturday afternoon at the Riverside looking to build on last weekends superb FA Trophy win at Trafford, the hosts showed two changes in the starting line up from a week ago with Joel Bembo-Leta and Jerome Wright replacing Luke Thompson and Khalil Osi-Efa respectively.

The visitors arrived with a newly installed management team making their debut in the dugout alongside the perhaps inevitable change of personnel with the Glossop line up showing four new recruits in their starting eleven.

The contest started at a frenetic pace with the away side fully playing their part but it would be the hosts that would make the breakthrough on just 7 minutes when Ruben Jerome outpaced the visitors defence down the right hand channel before sending a pinpoint cross from the byline onto the head of the unmarked Nialle Rodney who made no mistake from 6 yards to give the home debutant his second goal in two matches for the Rams and the hosts had the early lead they craved.

With the confidence of taking the lead so early in the contest the home side almost doubled their advantage when a deep cross found the head of Jerome Wright before the ball fell kindly to Ruben Jerome but the strikers effort hit the upright as the pressure began to mount on the Glossop rearguard. Minutes later recent recruit Rodney showed his skills when a spectacular overhead kick narrowly missed the target as the home side started the match very much in the ascendancy.

Glossop were forced into an early substitution midway through the first half when Boyle was replaced by former Ram Darryl Mason, as the half continued the visitors began to get more of a foothold in the contest as they looked to impress their new joint managers but it took till just after the half an hour mark for Sam Ashton to be tested when a well struck free kick from Thornton was comfortably held by the Rams stopper.

The home outfit responded with a swift counter attack but with Jack Higgs in a promising position to strike at goal the Rams midfielder fell to the ground injured, sadly the Rams midfielder was unable to continue and had to be replaced with Jamie Rother taking to the field, hopefully the injury isn't a serious one for the talented midfielder.

The remainder of the half would be a fairly even, yet watchable contest with neither team seriously testing the oppositions goal keeper and as the first forty five minutes ended it was the Rams that held a single goal lead.

With no changes made at the break the home side began the second period with some attacking intent and created a flurry of chances in the early minutes of the half, firstly a superb cross from Kyle Jacobs found the head of the well placed Jerome but the header sailed wide of the target before efforts from distance from Ellison and Wright failed to test Saunders in the Glossop goal.

With the hour mark reached and the lead a slender one there was still a feeling that the Rams would need another goal to ensure the three points stayed in Lancashire as Glossop pushed forward looking for an equaliser, it is worth noting that before today Ramsbottom had only kept one clean sheet in the league this campaign so the lead was far from secure.

With the match finely poised it was the home side that almost increased their advantage when an inswinging free kick from the lively Evangelinos hit the crossbar before Kennedys fine cross found the head of Bembo-Leta whose header looked destined for the net before a superb flying save Saunders denied the Rams a second goal.

Midway through the second period Chris Willcock made his second change with Louis Rowe replacing the hardworking Ruben Jerome, minutes later the Rams grabbed a decisive second goal when the combination of Kennedy and Bembo-Leto worked perfectly when after a free kick was cleared Kennedys inviting left footed cross matched the run of the towering defenders run into the box and the debutants well placed header beat the diving Saunders to give Ramsbottom United a two goal lead much to the delight of the majority of the crowd of 210 who were treated to a spectacular somersault celebration from the former Glossop player.

The remainder of the match seemed to be played mainly in the Glossop half and despite obvious effort from the visitors they found it difficult to fashion any clear cut chances in no small part down to the excellent work done by the Rams industrious midfield and well marshalled defence protecting Sam Ashton superbly.

Indeed the Rams forward players created a number of goalscoring opportunities in the final 15 minutes with Evangelinos and Rother both denied in quick succession by some superb saves from Saunders before Glossops day got worse when central defender Thornley was perhaps harshly adjudged to have fouled Louis Rowe and the young defender received his second yellow card leading to the inevitable red card and the visitors had to play the final ten minutes with ten men.

As regular observers of Ramsbottom United this season would know, the side has lost two goal leads in two of the four previous outings after late comebacks away at Kendal and at home to Chasetown denied the Rams the three points, the fact that the remaining minutes were navigated without any serious threat to the hosts goal shows the progression this team is making.

Ramsbottom had the chance to increase their lead even further when Bembo-Leta's goal bound header from a Kennedy corner was blocked before Rowe was denied with the final chance of the match when his effort from close range was blocked on the goal line.

As the final whistle blew Ramsbottom United had gained a well deserved three points, winning consecutive matches for the first time this season whilst rising to ninth place in the league standings and just two points outside the play off places on Saturday evening although defeat for Glossop dropped the side from Derbyshire to the foot of the table. In truth the margin of victory could and maybe should have been greater but supporters of Ramsbottom United hopefully can look forward to many more entertaining afternoons at the Riverside as this new look team continues to impress.

The Rams will be looking to extend their unbeaten run under the stewardship of Chris Willcock in their FA trophy tie at Frickley next Saturday as hopes of successful campaign at the HWRS gathers momentum.

Ramsbottom United:- Ashton, Kennedy, Jacobs, Moran ,Bembo-Leta, Ellison, Rodney, Higgs (Rother 39 mins), Jerome (Rowe 68mins), Evangelinos, Wright

Unused Subs- Thompson, Osi Efa, Gaskell

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Kendal 2 Rams 2

Evo-Stik League West Division

Saturday 29th September 2018


Attendance: 104

Report by Jon Haslam

It was Kendal calling as Ramsbottom United made the journey up the M6 to Cumbria on Saturday afternoon with the home side looking to exact some revenge on their visitors from Lancashire after an injury time winner gave the Rams the three points less than three weeks ago at the HWRS.

The visitors gave a debut to new recruit Curtis Jones who slotted into the back line from the midweek loss to Trafford at the expense of Alex Downes , the other change saw Tom Brooks replacing Jamie Rother in the Rams midfield.

With both sides finding victories difficult to come by in recent weeks the contest began in a cagey fashion with neither goalkeeper being called into action until just after the ten minute mark when Clarke and then ex Ram Aaron Fleming brought a couple of routine saves from Ashton in the visiting goal.

After a dozen goalless minutes it was Ramsbottom United that would edge in front when a tantalising inswinging right wing cross from Nathan Brown fractionally evaded Lee Gaskells head before finding Jerome Wright at the far post, the midfielders first attempt bounced off the post before falling kindly to the same player who bundled the ball over the line from around two yards out despite the valiant attempts of the Kendal defence to keep the ball from entering their net.

With the Rams gaining the early advantage hopes were high that the away side would consolidate their position which was almost improved midway through the first period when a well struck 25 yard free kick from Nathan Brown beat Dixon in the Kendal goal but clipped the top of the crossbar much to the relief of the home fans in a crowd of just over 100.

As the half progressed and kicking down a significant slope the hosts won a couple of free kicks just outside the Rams penalty area, the first of which hit the side netting from Thomas before Fleming brought a comfortable low save from Ashton and despite Kendal having perhaps more possession of the ball the hosts found it difficult to create any clear goal scoring opportunities with half time approaching.

Ramsbottom United would double their lead on the stroke of the interval when a well worked corner by Jack Higgs found Jerome Wright whose unchecked run generated enough room for a low left footed shot which found its way between a couple of sets of legs before squirming underneath Dixon in the home goal and over the line with Tom Brooks claiming the final touch but the Rams leading scorer from last season had his second goal of the game and the visitors had a two goal lead to enjoy at the half way stage.

As expected Kendal returned after the break seeking to rectify the situation and it would be a test of the Rams resolve if they were to leave Cumbria with all the three points on offer.

Within ten minutes of the restart the Mintcakes had halved the arrears when a quickly taken free kick seemed to catch out the Rams rearguard with the subsequent cross finding Harries at the back post and the strikers cross shot fell kindly for the unmarked Gardner who had the simple task of tapping past Ashton and the visitors lead had been halved.

After four matches without a goal the strike appeared to give Kendal all the encouragement they needed to believe that there was still a chance that they could take something from the match with Ramsbottom United finding it difficult to keep possession of the ball and therefore temper the home sides attacking momentum.

Manager Mark Fell made a change shortly after the hour point of the encounter with Dean Stott replacing Jack Higgs which coincided with an adjustment in formation as the Rams looked to get more of a foothold in the contest in the hope of preserving their increasingly slender advantage.

Sadly Ramsbottom United would surrender their two goal half time lead on 73 minutes when a vicious right wing cross from full back McMahon was diverted past Sam Ashton by the outstretched boot of recent acquisition Kyle Jacobs giving the Rams stopper no chance and the home side had come back from a two goal deficit to restore parity in perhaps fortunate circumstances.

With the game entering the final ten minutes the Rams had an opportunity to regain the lead but Browns free kick sailed narrowly past the angle of post and crossbar.

With the palpable irritation of throwing away a two goal half time lead surfacing a flurry of bookings for the visitors increased the frustration levels as Kendal pushed for a winner which looked at best unlikely at the break.

As the clock showed five minutes remaining the Rams fashioned their best chance of the half when a fortunate ricochet fell kindly for Nathan Brown who surged past his marker and into the penalty box before firing an angled shot past the diving Dixon but agonizingly also past the far post for a goal kick. This incident was maybe an indication of how the second forty five minutes had gone for the Rams as they failed to trouble the home keeper in the second period.

With almost the five minutes of signalled injury time played Kendal almost snatched a winner when substitute Chilufya seized on a defensive slip before crossing into the penalty area where a goal bound effort was blocked by the ever reliable Luke Thompson and both sides had to settle for a point apeice as the referee brought proceedings to a conclusion.

The Rams made their way home surely feeling a huge sense of frustration and that this was two points dropped rather than one point gained as a seemingly commanding two goal interval lead was squandered with a disappointing second half performance, credit must be given to Kendal who never gave up and arguably deserved a share of the spoils over the 95 minutes.

Ramsbottom United:- Ashton, Kennedy, Jacobs, Higgs (Stott 63 mins), Thompson, Jones, Brown, Brooks, Gaskell, Wright, Dean

Subs not used- Rother, Downes, Foulds , Henry

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Leek Town 4 Rams 0

Evo-Stik League West Division

Saturday 15th September 2018



Report by Jon Haslam

Ramsbottom United made the journey to the County of Staffordshire on Saturday afternoon to take on Leek Town at the very impressive Harrison Park with both sides positioned in the top ten of the early league standings prior to kick off.

The visitors showed a single alteration from the midweek victory over Kendal with Jack Higgs replacing Jamie Rother in the Rams starting eleven.

It was the home outfit that began the contest in the ascendancy and with just over a minute on the clock Leek fired a fierce shot into the side netting which was an early example of what the away side would face throughout a chastening afternoon for Mark Fell's charges.

Whilst the early exchanges were fairly even, it would be the Rams that fashioned the best chance of the opening quarter of an hour when a fine run and cross down the left by the raiding Dean found the head of Gaskell but the strikers header was repelled by home keeper Chapman.

As so happens in football when one side misses a presentable goal scoring opportunity the other team goes up the other end and take their chance, if a further example was needed Leek provided it and opened the scoring on 16 minutes when a long ball caught the Ramsbottom defence appealing in vain for offside leaving Stevenson one on one with Sam Ashton before lifting the ball over the advancing keeper to give the hosts a lead they wouldn't ultimately surrender.

Sadly the hosts would double their advantage only two minutes after breaking the deadlock when Trickett Smith picked the ball up in the left channel some 30 yards away from goal before setting off on a mazy run evading some flimsy challenges before calming finishing through Ashton's legs from just inside the penalty area to give Leek a healthy advantage with less than 20 minutes played.

As the half progressed the Rams struggles continued as they found it difficult to put together any real cohesive passing going forward whilst looking unusually hesitant in defence with the home side looking the much more confidence team after their positive start to the match.

Ramsbottom United flickered into life just after the first third of the encounter when Nathan Brown fired in a shot from the edge of the penalty area after a long throw had been cleared to the Chester loanee but again Chapman pulled off a spectacular save to tip the effort over the crossbar.

As the interval loomed both sides would exchange attempts at goal with Leeks forward line firing a couple of efforts narrowly wide of Ashtons upright whilst Brown fired narrowly over the angle of post and bar as the visitors looked to try and reduce the arrears before the half way point did arrive with the hosts enjoying a deserved two goal advantage.

The second period began in similar fashion to how the first half ended with the lively Brown again firing an effort at goal but only finding the side netting before Leek played some incisive football down their left hand channel resulting in an effort from the edge of the penalty area which sailed narrowly over the crossbar signalling the hosts intention to increase their goals tally for the afternoon.

Ramsbottom United generated perhaps their most concerted amount of pressure on the home goal when a flurry of corners were tantalisingly delivered from Higgs but no visiting player could take advantage of five consecutive set pieces.

With almost an hour showing on the clock the Rams made a double substitution with Higgs and Stott making way for Rother and Brooks as the away side looked to try and wrestle some possession back from an increasingly confident looking Leek side.

Only minutes after the changes had been made the hosts increased their lead further and effectively but the result beyond doubt when a long ball was misjudged by the Rams defence leaving Johnson with a simple task of looping a header over the onrushing Ashton to give Leek an unassailable lead.

With the match meandering to a undeniable conclusion and Leek looking in control, a change of formation from the Rams for the remaining quarter of the game failed to pay dividends and in fact things got worse on 75 minutes when Stevenson was upended in the penalty area by Henry leaving Chadwick to tuck away the spot kick to complete the scoring on a miserable afternoon for all concerned with Ramsbottom United.

The remaining ten minutes of the contest generated a couple of goal scoring attempts for the Rams with Brooks bringing another flying save from Chapman in the home goal before a deflected effort from the edge of the penalty area found the head of Gaskell but the strikers effort lacked the necessary power to find the back of the net.

With the three minutes of injury time played the referee brought and end to a contest best forgotten from a Ramsbottom United perspective whilst acknowledging that the clinical home side fully deserved their victory. Thoughts now will turn to the midweek visit of Clitheroe in the Integro Trophy where the Rams will be hoping to respond with an improved performance whilst showing that their humbling in Staffordshire was no more than a bad day at the office.

Ramsbottom United:- Ashton, Dean, Henry, Stott (Rother 59 mins), Thompson (Downes 70 mins), Ellison, Brown, Kennedy, Gaskell, Higgs (Brooks 59 mins), Wright.

Subs not used- Robertson (GK)

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Prescot Cables 0 Rams 4

Evo-Stik West Division

Tuesday 6th November 2018


Attendance: 243

Report by Jon Haslam

Ramsbottom United made their second visit to Merseyside in four days as they took on high flying Prescot Cables on Tuesday night.

After a comfortable looking 3-0 win against Skelmersdale at the weekend the Rams arrived at Volair Park with just one change to their starting line as Jamie Rother replaced Anthony Donaldson as Chris Willcocks' charges went in search of their fifth consecutive victory against a Prescot outfit that had won all five of their home league games to date this season.

On a blustery evening the game began at a frantic pace with the hosts almost taking the lead in the opening minute when a strong run down the Rams right hand side gave leading scorer Almond a shot at goal but the effort narrowly crept wide of the far post to serve notice that the home side would provide a stern test to the visitors recent good run of form.

The opening exchanges of the contest suggested there may be goals and on nine minutes Ramsbottom United opened the goal scoring when a good passage of play through midfield lead to the ball being fed out to Nialle Rodney on the right edge of the Prescot penalty area, the tricky wide man cut inside full back Edgar before unleashing an explosive left footed effort that fizzed past Barnes in the home goal to register his fourth goal in five appearances and the Rams had taken the lead.

Moments later the lead was almost doubled when Nic Evangelinos cut inside and curled a superb effort towards the top corner before home keeper Barnes pulled off an excellent one handed flying save to keep the home side just one goal adrift.

With confidence coursing through the Rams team the home side were struggling to create any clear cut opportunities after their initial bright start, on twenty minutes the away side again almost added to their advantage when a Tom Kennedy corner perfectly found the head of Ryan Ellison but the ball ended up in Barnes midriff rather than the back of the net.

Ramsbottom United pushed forward confidently hoping to force home their superiority with the forward line causing Prescot numerous problems and with just over five minutes of the first half remaining the visitors doubled their lead when the tireless Ruben Jerome flicked the ball into the path of Evangelinos who outpaced his marker before sending a low shot underneath Barnes to give the recent arrival his second goal in two games.

As the referee blew his whistle the visitors were deservedly in front but had to be wary of a response from Prescot who wouldn't want to surrender their 100% home record without a battle.

Perhaps predictably the hosts began the second period with renewed vigour and won a number of corner kicks which the Rams defence repelled superbly protecting Sam Ashton in determined fashion. much to the frustration of the home faithful.

Then on 56 minutes, a moment that those present will remember for a long time. The Rams won a free kick midway in their own half which goal keeper Sam Ashton struck with the sole intention of shooting towards goal and with the wind behind him the ball flew over his opposite number Barnes who was on the boundary of his own penalty area and amazingly the ball bounced over his Prescot counterpart and into the net to give the Rams a sensational three goal lead. With the goal keeper being mobbed by his team mates and Volair Park is a state of shock the Ramsbottom United management team suggested that the attempt at goal was something that had been discussed at the interval, without doubt a sensational moment to witness.

Before the crowd had time to catch their breath the visitors amazingly scored a fourth goal when good play down the Rams right hand channel found the impressive Jamie Rother free on the corner of the penalty area and the midfielders low drive found the back of the Cables net to give the away side an unassailable lead.

Chris Willock then made all three changes with Rodney, Evangelinos and Jerome being replaced by Donaldson, Rainford and Rowe respectively as the Rams took the opportunity to rest some players ahead of a busy schedule.

The remaining twenty minutes of the encounter were played with a back drop of disbelief about what the crowd of 253 had witnessed but the home side continued to push forward and gave the Rams rear guard a testing period of time with goal scoring hero Sam Ashton called upon to make a couple of fine saves, one in particular stands out when a wide free kick looked destined for the top corner but the Rams custodian acrobatically tipped the effort over the bar.

Incredibly the Rams almost grabbed a fifth goal when good link up play between the substitutes Rowe and Rainford gave the latter a great chance to open his account for his new club but his effort struck the post. This wouldn't be the last of the chances as the hosts pushed forward hoping for a consolation goal but determined defending and a couple more routine saves from Ashton preserved the away sides clean sheet and in turn gave Ramsbottom their first league victory away from home on a Tuesday night since winning at Colne in October 2016.

As the final whistle brought an end to a outstanding team performance from the Rams in which it would be difficult and unfair to single out any particular individual for specific praise as all departments of the team performed superbly as the visitors ended Prescots impeccable home record and deservedly took the 3 points back to the Riverside Stadium with their fifth win on the trot, fourth consecutive clean sheet and a tally of fourteen goals scored in an unbeaten run now stretching to seven matches under Chris Willcock.

It is worth noting that the Rams have now not conceded a goal for 447 minutes whilst compiling a quite outstanding sequence of results and performances which has seen this hugely entertaining and very watchable team rise to fourth place in the league table.

Ramsbottom United:- Ashton, Kennedy, Jacobs, Rother ,Thompson, Ellison, Rodney (Rainford 68 mins), Bembo-Leto, Jerome (Rowe 59mins), Moran, Evangelinos (Donaldson 68 mins).

Unused Subs- Osi Efa

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Trafford 1 Rams 2 - FA Trophy

FA Trophy Preliminary Round

Saturday 13th October 2018


Attendance: 272

Report by Jon Haslam

Ramsbottom United began their FA Trophy campaign on Saturday afternoon as they made the short trip to a blustery Shawe View to reacquaint themselves with a Trafford team who narrowly came out on top in the league meeting less than three weeks ago at the HWRS.

The Rams starting line up showed three changes from the midweek draw at Widnes with new additions Nialle Rodney and Nic Evangelinos making their debuts for the visitors replacing Dean and Gaskell with Jack Higgs gaining a starting berth at the expense of the absent Jerome Wright as manager Chris Willcock reshapes his Ramsbottom United squad.

With only 3 minutes on the clock Trafford made the early breakthrough when a through ball found the pacey Burns whose surging run took him in behind the Rams defence to the edge of the penalty area before a confident low finish found the bottom corner of Sam Ashtons net as the hosts made an ideal start to proceedings.

As the opening stages of the encounter unfolded it was the home side that appeared to take some confidence from the early strike as Ashton was forced to block a goal bound effort after a dangerous run and cross caused panic in the visitors defence.

Perhaps not unsurprisingly, bearing in mind the alterations to the side, the Rams began to get a foothold into the encounter as the half progressed with the front three looking threatening and with just over 25 minutes played Nic Evangelinos seized on a poor back pass by O'Brien before rounding the onrushing Cooper in the home goal and cutting the ball back from an acute angle to Eddie Moran whose goal bound effort was saved by the recovering keeper to preserve Traffords slender advantage.

As the half hour mark approached the visitors deservedly drew level when recent recruit Ruben Jerome found some room outside the penalty area before floating an inviting cross to the far post which perfectly found the run of debutant Niall Rodney whose well directed downward header gave the Rams an equaliser and gave the former Notts. Forest and Hartlepool forward his first goal in a Ramsbottom United shirt.

Almost immediately Trafford looked to regain the lead as they won a free kick in a promising position, former Ram Sam Heathcote stepped up to take but thankfully his attempt fizzed wide of Ashtons right hand post as both sides, despite a swirling wind, were providing decent entertainment for the crowd of 272.

The remainder of the first half saw the Rams in the ascendancy with the visitors playing some purposeful football with the new look front three looking a particular threat to the home defence ably backed up by the tireless work rate of the midfield whilst the away sides defence blunted the hosts pacey attack.

As the opening period came to a conclusion the score line of one goal each was a fair reflection of the contest which was undeniably a half of two halves with Trafford having the better of the first quarter of the game but the Rams worked their way back into the argument with an encouraging last 20 minutes.

Trafford who boasted an impressive record of six victories from seven home matches this campaign in all competitions made a change at the break with Davidson replacing Brown but it was the Rams who began the second period as they ended the first with Ruben Jerome winning a free kick 25 yards from goal, former Bury full back Tom Kennedy showed his undoubted quality by floating the ball over the wall and past Cooper to give the visitors a lead they would ultimately hold onto.

Within minutes and with confidence coursing through the team the Rams won another free kick a similar distance from goal but Rodneys curling effort looked destined for the top corner before Coopers flying save denied the striker a second debut goal.

With an hour played the visitors had a slender advantage but regular observers of Ramsbottom's recent games would be mindful that the team had found it difficult to hold onto leading positions as twice in the last fortnight the Rams had surrendered two goal advantages.

Trafford made their second change and increased their attacking options with the angular Derbyshire replacing O'Brien as the home side looked to change the complexion of the contest, the Rams responded with another debutant, former Barnsley striker Louis Rowe replacing Ruben Jerome up front.

With almost three quarters of the contest played the lead was almost increased when good interplay down the right hand side gave Kyle Jacobs the opportunity to stride forward and the full backs well struck 30 yard angled drive looked to have beaten Cooper but flew fractionally over the crossbar as the visitors looked to give themselves more breathing space ahead of Traffords anticipated onslaught to preserve their participation in this seasons FA Trophy competition.

Trafford, who had won five consecutive matches didn't disappoint in that regard and the last twenty minutes were played mainly in the visitors half with the home side pushing hard for an equaliser, chances came and went for Trafford with Burns heading wide when well placed and Sam Ashton saving well from a well struck effort from the edge of the area.

With 15 minutes remaining Phil Dean replaced Evangelinos as the Rams resolute defending kept the hosts at bay with Luke Thompson and Ryan Ellison at their competitive best, indeed the away side almost broke away to devastating effect when a long ball over the top of the hosts defence found substitute Rowe who outpaced the home defence before rounding the goalkeeper but a prohibitive angle made it difficult to get a shot on target.

The remaining ten minutes saw Trafford fashion a couple more chances as Burns threatened to restore parity firstly flicking a header inches wide of the post before the same player forced a fine finger tip save from Ashton and despite the hosts winning a number of late set pieces Ramsbottom repelled all that the hosts could throw at them to register Chris Willcocks first victory as Ramsbottom United manager.

In summary an excellent result and encouraging team performance from Chris Willcocks' charges as Ramsbottom United progressed to the First Round of the FA Trophy whilst ensuring that the travelling Rams supporters had an enjoyable day trip to South Manchester.

Ramsbottom United:- Ashton, Kennedy, Jacobs, Osi-Efa, Thompson, Ellison, Rodney, Higgs (Rother 89 mins), Jerome (Rowe 66 mins), Moran, Evangelinos (Dean 75 mins)

Unused Subs- Gaskell, Hindle

The next round draw for the FA Trophy is expected to take place this Monday, details of the next round will be on as soon as we have them.

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Rams 0 Trafford 1 - Heathcote strikes again


Tuesday 25th September 2018

Evo Stik Premier West Division

Attendance: 147

Report by Adam Clark

The Rams made 1 change from Saturday’s 3-3 draw vs Clitheroe – Kyle Jacobs comes in for his debut in place of Tom Brooks. As for Trafford their team news headline is that former Ram Sam Heathcote returns to face his former side.

Trafford had the first chance of the game on six minutes when Joseph Thompson was clean through on goal but linesman Jack Slater ruled him offside.

Rammy’s first chance came from Nathan Brown on ten minutes his free kick was easily claimed by Trafford keeper Cooper. Jerome Wright’s cross five minutes later was cleared away by Keil O’Brien

Trafford’s best chance of the half came on the half hour mark when an effort was cleared by a combination of Sam Ashton & Jamie Rother. Brown had a free kick in the final minutes of the half for the Rams but it the kick missed the target.

HALF TIME Rams 0 Trafford 0

Great start to the second half for the Rams, two chances in four minutes. Firstly, Jerome Wright’s shot was spilled by the keeper but Nathan Brown had the chance to run onto it but just couldn’t get to it, two minutes later Nathan Brown crossed from Wright but his header went wide.

Nine minutes into the second half, Trafford took the lead through former Ram Sam Heathcote, he nodded home from a corner.

Only one real chance for the Rams in the second half came on 65 minutes when Tom Kennedy’s free kick was blocked by the keeper, the ball re bounded off the keeper and it fell to Gaskell but his shot was saved

Trafford had a late chance in added time a shot from Derbyshire was well saved by Ashton.

FULL TIME Rams 0 Trafford 1

Rams team: Ashton, Jacobs, Kennedy, Higgs, Thompson, Downes (Deegan 78’), Brown, Rother (Brooks 56’), Gaskell (Jarrett 84’), Wright, Dean.

Unused subs: Foulds & Stott

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Rams 1-0 Kendal

Report by Adam Clark

The Rams make three changes from the team that played Kidsgrove in the FA Cup last week. Tom Kennedy comes in for his first start. Nathan Brown is also into the team. Luke Jordan who left the club for Chester & Jack Higgs who drops to the bench are the men that drop out.

The action started for the visitors in the opening three minutes when Mark Buchan shot came off the bar to be claimed by Sam Ashton

Jamie Rother had the best chance of the half for the Rams just after the fifteen minute mark when he blasted over from close range

Kendal’s best chance of the first half came on 26 minutes when Scott Harries cross flashed across goal, no Kendal player could get on the end of the cross

Rammy had the ball in the back of the net on 37 minutes but it was chalked off after one of the Kendal defenders were fouled from a Rammy corner

HALF TIME Rams 0-0 Kendal

Once again, Kendal had the first chance of the half within the first five minutes – Grundy shot was deined by the ex Kendal loanee Sam Ashton.

Nine minutes into the second half, Nathan Brown was down in the box the referee Conor Brown didn’t point to the spot, the Rammy fans behind the goal didn’t agree with the referee’s decision

Three minutes later, Jerome Wright had the best chance of the half so far when is close range shot was blocked by the keeper.

Nathan Brown wanted to try his luck from 20 yards with 20 minutes to go but his shot flashed wide of the goal.

As the game headed towards added time, it was looking like it was going to be a 0-0 draw until Kendal defender Ben Thomas made poor attempt to clear. The ball was deflected off the Kendal defender for a corner.

Jerome Wright took the corner and crossed into the box for Ryan Ellison who was there to strike home from around 10 yards out into the top right hand corner.

FULL TIME Rams 1-0 Kendal

Ramsbottom United (4-5-1): Ashton; Dean, Thompson, Ellison, Henry; Brown (Downes 90+2’), Stott (Higgs 59’), Kennedy, Rother (Jarrett 74’), Wright; Gaskell. Unused subs: Hart & Robertson (GK)

Kendal (4-4-2): Dixon; Davis, McDonald, Clark, Thomas; McGahon, Grundy, Staunton-Turner (Penswick 84’), Clarke; Harries, Buchan (Gardner 70’). Unused sub: Fleming

Referee: Conor Brown

Attendance: 154