Category: Club News

Rams sign Tom Eckersley

6ft 4in TOM ECKERSLEY has signed for Ramsbottom United.

Equally at home in central defence of midfield, the experienced 26 year old made his debut for the Rams in their Integro Cup tie against Clitheroe

Eckersley signed his first pro contract at Bolton Wanderers in 2010, before moving on to League Two side Accrington Stanley, from where he had loan spells with Stockport County and Barrow.

He signed for Conference Premier side Tamworth in 2013, which included a short loan spell with Rushall Olympic, before moving on to a joint registration with AFC Fylde and Witton Albion.

After 32 appearances for FC United of Manchester, he had spells with Ashton United and Radcliffe before becoming Rams manager Mark Fell’s latest capture in a bid to boost the side’s defensive capacity.

Category: Club News

PREVIEW: Clitheroe (H)

It’s a speedy return to the Harry Williams Riverside Stadium for our east Lancashire neighbours, Clitheroe, but they’ll be returning in good spirits having knocked the Rams out of the Integro Cup on Wednesday night.

That game went straight to penalties after Jack Higgs wind-assisted injury time equaliser tied the score at 1-1, but it was the visitors who progressed 7-6 from the penalty spot.

But tomorrow it is back to the bread-and-butter of the League with three points at stake.

Clitheroe will be hoping that Wednesday’s victory can re-boot their season after the resignation of newly-appointed manager Stuart Mellish and the disappointing start to the campaign, whilst the Rams will be looking to get the 4-0 drubbing at Leek last Saturday out of their system.

Games between these two local rivals have often proved entertaining and occasionally controversial, so supporters of both sides can look forward to an entertaining 90 minutes of non-league action.

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: Club News


Following an announcement from Crawley Town, Ramsbottom United can confirm that 1st team coach Nathan Rooney has left the club to join the Skybet League 2 club as member of new manager Gabrielle Cioffi’s backroom team.

Rooney who worked full time with Fleetwood, joined the Rams in the summer and has been a key member of Mark Fell’s backroom team and the manager admitted it’s going to be big boots for someone to fill.

“We’re gutted to lose Nathan but absolutely understand you cannot turn down the sort of opportunity he has at Crawley. The fact he has been successful in getting this post is testament to the quality of coach that he is and he’s had a big influence on the lads in his short time with us.”

Rooney was quick to thank the Rams for facilitating his brief but enjoyable stay, “I want to thank Mark fell for giving me the opportunity to come and work at such a prestigious non-league club with such a great set of lads and staff. Every player trains and plays to their maximum each week and they have been a pleasure to be around even though it’s only been a short period . To Harry and the board I wish you all the success in the world and all your hard work is evident in and off the pitch. Best of luck to Mark, Graham and the squad for the rest of the Season. Believe in yourselves and work together as I feel you are a very talented group of players.”

Fell will now set about recruitment of a new 1st team coach, “We’ll have a look around and see who’s available and who meets the criteria we’re looking for - it’s not a rush to replace the post but if the right person presents themselves we can get moving quickly.”

Category: Club News

MATCH PREVIEW: Leek Town v Rams

Preview by Tony Cunningham

The Rams travel down to north Staffordshire for the first ever meeting between Ramsbottom United and Leek Town.

Leek, at one time members of the non-league elite, Conference League, have struggled in recent years, having suffered financially during their time at the top of the pyramid, but have settled at level four over the previous few years, albeit in the previously split Southern section of the Evo-Stik League.

The home side sit in 9th position, having taken seven points from their opening four games. Two away wins, with a draw and a defeat at home.

The Rams sit just higher in the league in seventh spot having played a game more, but having acquired an additional three points.

Greg Daniels is still some way off fitness, having undergone a scan this week, but otherwise, the Rams should be at full strength for what should prove to be quite a test for the Lancastrians.

For the Rammy fans who have never been before, Leek’s Harrison park is a fine non-league stadium, and the trip should prove to be an enjoyable, and hopefully successful one.

Category: Club News

MATCH PREVIEW: Ramsbottom United v Kendal Town

After the frustrating exit of the FA Cup at the hands of Kidsgrove Athletic last Tuesday, we welcome a team which had better luck the same night as Kendal Town triumphed in their penalty shoot-out at Selby Town to progress to the next round which was played last Saturday.

However, that game saw the Mintcakes thrashed 7-3 at Northern Counties East side Knaresborough Town, so we had better be aware of a response from the Cumbrian side as they look to lick their wounds

Our defeat was hard to swallow, as we created, but spurned loads of chances on the night, and the penalty lottery failed to go our way.

However, the entertainment value was a lot higher than that expected in a 0-0 draw.

Still, it’s back to the League and a welcome to our visitors from Cumbria as the Rams attempt to garner another three points.

Tom Kennedy, unable to play against Kidsgrove due to the inefficiency of the International Clearance system, will be available again, but it still looks as though Greg Daniels, who has undergone a scan, will be out for a little while more.

Kendal’s league record shows one win at home and one win away, alongside one defeat at home and one defeat away, so a tight game is expected.

The Rams will be looking to put the disappointment of last Tuesday, and the resultant blank Saturday, behind them as the quest for League points continues.

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: Club News

TRANSFER NEWS: Luke Jordan heads for Chester

Ramsbottom United can confirm that winger Luke Jordan has agreed terms with National League North side Chester FC. The 19 year old joined the Rams on loan from Morecambe last season before making a permanent switch in the summer. His strong start to the season hadn’t gone un-noticed by clubs higher up the pyramid and former managers Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley made an approach to speak to the player after Tuesday’s FA Cup game against Kidsgrove.

Luke played 16 games for the Rams scoring once, despite the move to Chester, Ramsbottom United will retain his Evo-Stik league registration as he can be dual registered with a National League club.

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: 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

Category: Club News


This season’s first Player-of-the-Month award, as voted for by the Ramsbottom United supporters went to industrious midfield player JAMIE ROTHER.

Having suffered some injury-wrecking seasons during his time with the Rams, Jamie, thanks to the help of new physio Ben Cole, appears to have turned the corner, and has been instrumental in the team’s early season performances, as he is now back to full fitness.

His non-stop style has made him a firm favourite at the Harry Williams Roverside Stadium, and Chairman Harry Williams presented him with the award and a case of beer kindly donated by the Evo-Stik League’s new beer sponsors, the Bowland Beer Company, ahead of the FA Cup replay against Kidsgrove Athletic.