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: Club News

Haslam's Hut

Ramsbottom United’s chief Programme seller, match reporter and committee member Jon Haslam can look forward to a dry winter this season, as the Supporters Club have erected a Programme hut to keep him out of the Ramsbottom weather.

Club photographer Frank Crook was asked to cut the ribbon (who took the photo then, Frank?) and he did so ahead of the home game against Chasetown.

Jon commented “It’ll be good to keep dry but my only concern is that someone may lock me in it!”

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: Club News

Chester recall Brown & Downes

The two loanees who have been with the Rams since the start of the season, have been called back to CHESTER FC by former Ramsbottom joint-managers Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley with a 24 hour recall, as per the terms of the loan.

Both players were due to stay at the Harry Williams Riverside Stadium until the end of October.

Nathan Brown has featured regularly during his time with the club, whilst defender Alex Downes has spent some time on the substitute’s bench.

Ramsbottom United thank both youngsters for their efforts and wish them well for the future.

Alex Downes

Nathan Brown

Category: RUFC Articles

PREVIEW: Trafford (A) - Non League Day

Preview by Tony Cunningham

The Rams make the short journey over to Trafford for the FA Trophy hoping to revenge the narrow 1-0 league defeat at the HWRS recently.

Having failed at the first hurdle in the FA Cup, the Rams will be hoping to make progress and money by defeating their old foes.

Since the League defeat, a managerial switch has seen Mark Fell leave and Chris Willcock installed, and with the change comes a number of new faces into the Rams squad.

It’s likely that one or two will be making their debut for the club resulting in team line-up alterations from Chris’s first two games in charge, a 2-2 draw at home to Chasetown, and a 1-1 draw away to Widnes on Tuesday.

Usually games between the two sides are entertaining, so hopefully the team will be supported by a decent-sized Rammy contingent as we look to make it to the next round.

Should a replay be necessary, then it will take place at the Harry Williams Riverside Stadium next Tuesday 16th October at 7.45pm.

Category: Club News

Higgs Scoops Player of the Month

The supporters of Ramsbottom United have cast their votes for the club’s Player-of-the-Month for September and the winner is tenacious midfield player Jack Higgs who receives his case of beer from League sponsors Bowland Brewery.

Jack Higgs receives the award from Supporters Club member Matthew Frampton

The 25 year old arrived at Rammy during the summer of 2018, with an impressive pedigree including spells at Histon in the National League South and Enfield Town at step 3. Jack was also part of the St Ives team that won promotion from step 4 to step 3. Jack is originally from Essex and moved to Manchester last year for work, he played a handful of games for Glossop at the end of last season.

Category: Club News

PREVIEW: Chasetown (A)

After a week of upheaval, it’s back to where things matter the most….on the pitch.

With Mark Fell and Graham Lancashire departing for struggling Premier Division side Lancaster City, the Rams acted quickly to bring in the experienced Chris Willcock, most recently in charge of the now-defunct Shaw Lane FC and Glossop North End, with whom he appeared in the FA Vase Final at Wembley.

Visitors to the Harry Williams Riverside Stadium are Staffordshire side Chasetown, whose late move into the Evo-Stik West came about as a result of the afore-mentioned Shaw Lane’s demise.

It’s not been a good start for the visitors, who currently sit bottom of the pile with just one solitary win all season.

As for the Rams, it’s difficult to know what will happen as, when managers change, there is the inevitable movement of players.

Time will tell what changes there will be at Ramsbottom, but after a difficult week it will be a relief to get back to playing football and seeing how things develop over the next few days.

Category: Club News

BREAKING: Mark Fell leaves the club

Evo-Stik West side Ramsbottom United can confirm the departure of manager MARK FELL.

Fell has been in charge at the Harry Williams Riverside Stadium for over two years, initially joining the Rams in the summer of 2016, on a joint-manager basis with Paul Fildes. When Fildes left the club midway through the first season, Fell took sole charge, and in his two seasons has seen the club finish in 14th place in the League. However, the former Nelson boss has decided it’s time to move on.

“I’ve enjoyed two and a half years with the club and wish to thank everyone connected,” he said upon his departure.

“ The club is in an excellent position, one point off the playoff places and with a great squad full of good players and just as importantly, good lads for the new manager to work with.

“People are the lifeblood of non-league teams and I want to especially thank Harry, Tony and Andy for their unconditional support - all proper football men who have nothing but the club’s best interests at heart.

“For me there is an opportunity to move onto pastures new which I’m excited about and looking forward to.”

Ramsbottom United would like to wish Mark well for the future whilst acknowledging and offering thanks for his unstinting hard work both on and off the pitch during his time at Ramsbottom.

Category: Club News

Programme editor required

The Rams are looking for a volunteer to take over Matchday Programme editing.

The position would be ideal for someone looking to gain experience in the world of IT, publicity or printing.

The job entails collating various articles from regular contributors, along with a small amount of input from the editor, using a template which is then forwarded to our printer.

Anyone interested in taking up this position is asked to contact the club via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., when further information will be given.

Category: Club News

PREVIEW: Widnes (A)

Preview by Tony Cunningham

The new era with Chris Willcock in charge began with a home draw against Chasetown, who came back from two goals down to snatch a point with a late equaliser.

The draw left the Rams in 13th place in the table.

League newcomers Widnes – promoted from the North West Counties league in the summer, just a few years after their formation - currently sit one place higher on goal difference, so a tight game could be on the cards.

Although their official home is the Halton Stadium where relegated Widnes RLFC play, the football club is currently decamped at the home of Barnton FC just outside Northwich, whilst a new pitch is laid at their usual venue.

A number of new faces appeared on Saturday within the Rams line-ups, with the possibility of one or two others following the new manager to the HWRS.

There are still 84 points to be played for this season, so plenty of time for the changes to make an impact on the team, as all eyes are fixed upon a move up the table towards the play-off places.

Hopefully, Barnton’s ground will have a good scattering of Rammy fans eager to see the club move forward under Chris’s guidance.

Photo of Barnton FC


Barnton FC, Townfield Lane, Barnton, near Northwich, CW8 4LH


Adults: £7.00

Concessions: £3.00

Under 16's: Free

Stats below compiled by Adam Clark

This is the first meeting between the two clubs

The Rams have only won once on the road this season

Here's the current standing in the Evo Stik West

1Runcorn Linnets107121812+622
4Atherton Collieries96032515+1018
6Leek Town8521205+1517
7Prescot Cables85122112+916
8Kidsgrove Athletic8431137+615
10Market Drayton Town94231314-114
11Newcastle Town113441414013
13Ramsbottom United103431416-213
14Colwyn Bay113351720-312
16Kendal Town10217715-87
19Glossop North End10136617-116
20Skelmersdale United11137625-196
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The only other fixture in the Evo Stik West tomorrow is Kendal Town v Colne

Please follow our twitter & facebook pages for updates tomorrow night

Chris Stringer's Match Report will also be online on Wednesday.

Category: Club News


Ramsbottom United can confirm that CHRIS WILLCOCK has been appointed their new manager following the departure of Mark Fell to Lancaster City.

A former prolific striker with the Rams from 2000-2002, Wlilcock has had a successful career in non-league management, most notably leading Glossop North End to promotion into the Northern Premier League as well as taking the Hillmen to Wembley in the Final of the FA Vase.

Spells in the hot seat at Winsford United, Mossley, Woodley Sport and Stocksbridge Park Steel preceeded his last position when he took over the reins at Premier Division high-flyers Shaw Lane FC earlier this year. In his 15 games in charge, he oversaw 12 victories, before the club pulled the plug and resigned from the league and senior football.

The experienced manager will bring in his own back-room staff and begins his duties with the team’s training session ahead of the home clash with Chasetown this coming Saturday.

Category: Club News


Our match against Prescot Cables on Tuesday night is postponed due to Prescot taking part in a FA Trophy replay.

A new date will be announced in due course.

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: Club News

Fell Lands Lancaster Job

Following on from his resignation at Ramsbottom United, MARK FELL has been appointed manager of struggling Evo-Stik Premier Division side Lancaster City.

Joining the former Rams boss at the Giant Axe is Ramsbottom United assistant manager, former Burnley, Wigan and Rochdale striker GRAHAM LANCASHIRE.

Both take up their positions with immediate effect.

Meanwhile, Ramsbottom United are inviting applications for the manager’s position, with CVs to be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

In the meantime, goalkeeping coach Andy Robertson will take temporary charge of the team for training and matches.