Category: Club News


The Rams face a ridiculously long Tuesday trip to Cambridgeshire, to take on Peterborough-based Yaxley in the next round of the FA Trophy.

The kick-off has been put back by 15 minutes in case of traffic problems on the near 320 mile round trip. Having beaten Trafford away and Frickley Athletic away to reach this stage, a game on the road should hold no fears following further success away to Skelmersdale United (3-0) and much-fancied Prescot Cables (4-0) in the League.

Yaxley sit 16th in the Southern League Division One North, with 11 points from 12 league games, so the Rams make the journey south with much optimism that they can proceed to the 3rd Qualifying round, and along with that, continue to boost the clubs’ coffers, with no home game scheduled for the whole of November, although that could change should the game be drawn, as the replay would be at the HWRS on Tuesday 20th.

The winners of the tie will travel to etiher AFC Mansfield or Pickering Town on Saturday 24th November


In2itive Park

Leading Drove, Off Holme Road

Yaxley. Peterborough


Admission Prices - Adults £8, Concessions £4, U12's Free.

Category: Club News


Due to an FA enquiry into a player fielded in previous rounds of the FA Trophy by Kidsgrove Athletic, Ramsbottom United are unable to confirm when or where they will be playing in the next round of the FA Trophy.

The game was scheduled to be played next Saturday, 10th November, but we are unlikely to have a definitive answer as to who we will be playing or if we will be playing on Saturday until late on Wednesday morning.

One potential outcome of the FA ruling is that the Rams may be required to undertake a 4 hour journey on a Tuesday evening, which the club feels is totally unfair, and representations have already been made to the FA in this regard.

Until we have a definitive answer from the FA as to who our opponents will be and on what date, we have nothing further to add.

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: 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: Club News

PREVIEW: Skelmersdale (A)

The Rams, resurgent under new boss Chris Willcock, make the first of two visits in four days to Volair Park, home of Prescot Cables, who we meet there on Tuesday, to take on their tenants Skelmersdale United.

It’s well known the problems “Skem” have been facing with their eviction from the Stormy Corner ground earlier this year, and the fact they have been nomads in recent months.

However, news of a possible return to their home town in the foreseeable future has probably lifted a few clouds over the west Lancashire club.

On the field, their woes have continued, with just a single League victory for their troubles so far, but such games come under the banner of “banana skins”, and whilst they are looking for their debut win at Prescot this campaign, we will need to be wary of them and ensure that their opening three points has to wait a little longer.

Two potential additions to the squad are Friday signings Keiran Lugsden and Martin Parker, as the manager continues to rebuild the Rams team in an effort to climb the table with a view to securing at least a play-off spot come the end of the season.

On paper, this game looks winnable, but as we all know, football is not played on paper!

A healthy following will hopefully cheer the Rams on to another three points and an extension to the undefeated run.

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: Club News

PREVIEW: Glossop North End (H)

Old foes Glossop North End make the short journey up the motorway from the edge of the Peak District to renew hostilities, in the nicest possible way.

The two clubs have met on many occasions over the years, the last time being the final game of last season when the Rams travelled to Derbyshire and came away with an enjoyable 3-1 win to end an up-and-down campaign.

Since then, both sides have experienced managerial changes, in our case with the arrival of former Glossop boss Chris Willcock who oversaw the Hillmen’s promotion to the Evo-Stik League as well as a trip to Wembley for the FA Vase final.

Glossop have this week appointed ex-Mossley joint-managers Peter Band and Lloyd Morrison in place of the axed duo of Mark Canning and former Shaker Andy Bishop, following a disappointing start to the season.

A new managerial appointment usually sees an up-turn in form, so Glossop will arrive at the HWRS full of commitment to show the new charges what they have, so we will need to be at our best.

So far, however, although only three games into his reign, Willcock has overseen a number of changes on the playing front and produced two league draws and a very welcome and deserved FA Trophy victory at Trafford last Saturday.

So a tight and hopefully entertaining game looks to be on the cards as both sides attempt to begin an upward push in the League table.

Category: Club News


The Rams have made many changes to the squad since the arrival of Chris Willcock - Here are the player proflies of the players recently signed by the manager

Nialle Rodney- began his professional career with Nottingham Forest. He then went on to play for Bradford City, Lincoln City, AFC Telford and Hartlepool, with a few loan spells in between. Nialle retired from the professional game in 2014 to pursue a career in business. A love for football found him turning out for a few local sides before ending up at Wythenshawe Amateurs where he impressed and caught the eye of the new manager. Nialle is an attacking forward who can play on either side and scored a header on his debut against Trafford.

Louis Rowe- after making his way through various age groups as a Striker at Barnsley FC and regularly impressing for the under 23’s Louis signed his first professional contract aged 18. He was released by the club in the Summer of 2018. With several offers to get back in to the game Louis accepted the call from Ramsbottom. Last year Louis was also called up the Republic of Ireland U19 squad.

Nico Evangelinos- Nico joins Ramsbottom after a very successful season with Ashton United, in which he scored several high profile goals including a goal in the EvoStik Premier Division playoff final victory over Grantham. Before Ashton, Nico plied his trade in the North West Counties playing for West Didsbury and Chorlton. Nico is a forward who is dangerous in any attacking role.

Eddie Moran- Eddie is a familiar face to the Rammy faithful as well as to the new Manager. Eddie was a key part of Chris Willcock’s 2015 Glossop team that won the North West Counties double and played at Wembley in the FA Vase final. After leaving Ramsbottom last year Eddie has been playing for Wythenshawe Amateurs.

Khalil Osi-Efa- A 21 year old defensive midfielder, Kal was brought to the club by Assistant Manager Lee Donafee who spotted him playing at County level in Merseyside. Kal has been on the books at Tranmere, Bolton Wanderers and Everton.

Tony Donaldson- A 20 year old quick and crafty central midfielder who is not one to shy away from a tackle. Tony began his career at Skelmersdale before signing a professional deal with Doncaster Rovers in 2017. After spells with Telford, Runcorn Linnets and Widnes Tony ended up at Marine before joining Rammy last week.

Joel Bembo Leta- The 25-year-old Congolese-born centre-back Joel Bembo-Leta joins from Glossop North End. The versatile Bembo-Leta is an imposing 6'2" defender who can play across a range of positions including centre back, defensive midfield and right back. He has represented the likes of Buxton, Altrincham, Droylsden and Marine AFC in his career to date, having begun his career with Stalybridge Celtic where he made over 150 appearances, scoring 6 goals.

Ruben Jerome- Ruben joins from AFC Emley after spells with Warrington Town, Brighouse Town and Southport. Ruben can play on the wing or as a centre forward. With a keen eye for goal he will be a big positive as the team looks to climb the table.

Craig Hindle- a left sided player who was spotted whilst playing amateur football in a Manchester league. He has appearances for a few teams in the North West Counties including Abbey Hey.

Category: Club News


The following members of the Ramsbottom United squad have departed:

Rob Henry has joined Mark Fell at Lancaster.

Ben Deegan, Phil Dean & Tom Brooks have also left the club

Jerome Wright has signed for Premier Division Hyde United.

Curtis Jones has joined Glossop North End.

Goalkeeping coach Andy Robertson has also departed.

The club will be making a further statement in the next few days.

Category: Club News


The Rams will travel to Frickley Athletic in the next round of the FA Trophy

Date: Saturday 27th October

Kick off: 3pm

Venue: The Bigfellas Stadium, Westfield Lane, South Elmsall, West Yorkshire, WF9 2EQ

Prices: TBC


1 Workington v Scarborough Athletic

2 Marine v Lancaster City

3 Warrington Town v Prescot Cables

4 Pickering Town v Droylsden or Tadcaster Albion

5 Frickley Athletic v Ramsbottom United

6 Whitby Town v Witton Albion

7 Farsley Celtic v Brighouse Town

8 Ossett United v Clitheroe

9 South Shields v North Ferriby United

10 Hyde United v Bamber Bridge

11 Cleethorpes Town v Marske United or Atherton Collieries

12 Stalybridge Celtic v Nantwich Town

13 Gainsborough Trinity v Tamworth

14 Buxton v King’s Lynn Town

15 Kettering Town v Stourbridge

16 AFC Rushden & Diamonds v St Ives Town

17 Belper Town or Stamford v Leek Town or Loughborough Dynamo

18 Cambridge City v Basford United

19 Carlton Town v Bedworth United

20 Newcastle Town v Chasetown

21 Mickleover Sports v Redditch United

22 St Neots Town v Matlock Town

23 Kidsgrove Athletic v Yaxley

24 Stafford Rangers v Rushall Olympic

25 Soham Town Rangers v Hednesford Town OR AFC Mansfield

26 Grantham Town v Halesowen Town

27 Alvechurch v Stratford Town

28 Barwell v Coalville Town

29 Chipstead v Berkhamsted

30 Sittingbourne v Wingate & Finchley

31 Brentwood Town v Whitstable Town

32 Hythe Town v Bishop’s Stortford

33 Molesey v Walton Casuals

34 Kingstonian v Bedford Town

35 Margate v Potters Bar Town

36 Horsham v Corinthian Casuals

37 Burgess Hill Town v Worthing

38 Dorking Wanderers v Sevenoaks Town

39 Biggleswade Town v Harrow Borough

40 Hitchin Town v Hayes & Yeading United

41 Maldon & Tiptree v Royston Town

42 Haringey Borough v Chesham United

43 Ashford Town (Middx) or Westfield v Lewes

44 Lowestoft Town v Enfield Town

45 AFC Hornchurch v Phoenix Sports or Ramsgate

46 Kempston Rovers v Beaconsfield Town

47 Folkestone Invicta v Leatherhead

48 Merstham v East Grinstead Town

49 Tonbridge Angels v Whyteleafe

50 Hendon v Staines Town

51 VCD Athletic v Leiston

52 Mildenhall Town v Greenwich Borough

53 Metropolitan Police v Carshalton Athletic

54 Canvey Island v Brightlingsea Regent

55 Bracknell Town v Bognor Regis Town

56 Whitehawk v Harlow Town

57 Aveley v Dunstable Town

58 Kings Langley v Needham Market

59 Herne Bay v Witham Town

60 Yate Town v Dorchester Town

61 Gosport Borough v AFC Totton or North Leigh

62 Cinderford Town v Street

63 Larkhall Athletic or Thame United v Bristol Manor Farm

64 Farnborough v Merthyr Town

65 Fleet Town v Salisbury

66 Taunton Town v Weymouth

67 Thatcham Town v Melksham Town

68 Poole Town v Frome Town

69 Hartley Wintney v Tiverton Town

70 Didcot Town v Mangotsfield United

71 Basingstoke Town v Wimborne Town

72 Swindon Supermarine v Banbury United

All ties to be played on Saturday 27th October

Winning clubs at this stage will also receive £3250 from the competition's prize fund.

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: Club News


This afternoon the draw was made for the FA Trophy Second Qualifying Round.

The Rams will travel to Kidsgrove Athletic or Yaxley on Saturday 10th November at 3pm

Their First Qualifying Round tie has yet to be played due to an FA enquiry.

We will update you on the progress of the FA Enquiry

More details to follow once the opponent has been decided