Category: Club News

PREVIEWS: Bumper weekend of action - Mossley (H) & Radcliffe (A)

As the end of the season approaches, two games over the Easter holidays will prove crucial for the prospects of Ramsbottom United.

From a lower league placing to the possibility of a play-off spot has been the result of the appointment of Chris Willcock as manager in early October.

Greatly improved league form following a team rebuilding exercise, has seen the Rams enjoy an encouraging campaign, but the battle for the play-off spots is hotting up by the week.

Currently occupying the last of the four places, three victories for the Rams would ensure a place in the end of season lottery, with promotion to Evo-Stik Premier the much-valued prize.

However, standing in the way over the next few days are two of Ramsbottom’s main rivals – Radcliffe, who, after a number of years struggling at the wrong end of the table, have enjoyed a tremendous campaign, and Mossley, who likewise have had their best season in years.

Two wins would probably guarantee a top five finish, with a home game against mid-table Kidsgrove Athletic the following Saturday, but defeats could edge the Rams agonisingly out of the equation, which would be hard to take after the performances under Willcock.

As well as an excellent run in the League, no-one will forget the record-breaking FA Trophy experience, which saw a last gasp equaliser at home to Southern League champions Weymouth, followed by an astonishing victory on the south coast in the replay.

That, of course, took us onto the home game against Football League-chasing AFC Fylde on a miserable Tuesday night at the HWRS. And what a game that was! Twice coming back from a two goal deficit, the Rams staggered everyone by taking the lead late on only to be pegged back to 5-5. The replay was lost, but much admiration gained from around the country.

Ultimately though, the League is the priority, which is why this weekend is so crucial.

Both games should attract large crowds, and the club hopes supporters turn up in large numbers to cheer the lads to victories which would ensure an even better end to the season in what are always exciting and nail-biting play-off games.

Good weather is predicted with all teams in fine runs of form, so the entertainment should be well worth watching!

The Current Table is below (as at Thursday 18th April at 5.15pm)

Category: Club News

BREAKING: Tom Kennedy in Evo-Stik West Team of Year.

Tom Kennedy has been announced in the Evo-Stik team of the year.

Tom has made 45 apperances for the Rams this season scoring 4 goals so far.

He's been named in the team alongside; Danny Roberts (Leek Town); TOM KENNEDY, Callum Grogan (Radcliffe FC), Danny Lafferty (Atherton Colls), Waqas Azam (Colne FC); Daniel Trickett-Smith (Leek Town), Max Leonard (Mossley FC), Ben Hardcastle (Atherton Colls); Tunde Olowabi (Radcliffe FC), Alex Curran (Colne FC), Chris Almond (Prescot Cables).

(Photo below courtesy of the Evo-Stik League)

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Rams 1 Newcastle Town 2

Evo-Stik West Division

Tuesday 26th March 2019


Attendance: 200

Report by Adam Clark

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HALF TIME Rams 1 Newcastle Town 1

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

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

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

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

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

Unused subs – Donaldson, Kay

Match referee: Kieran Johnson

Category: Club News


As always, the supporters of Ramsbottom United vote for their player-of-the-month, and the winner by an almost unanimous vote for March was striker JAMIE RAINFORD.

Despite missing the first game of the month, his influence in the other six matches was enormous as he notched seven goals in those matches as the Rams chased a play-off place with an impressive run in the League.

He also received a case of beers from League Sponsor Bowland Brewery.

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Rams 4 Droylsden 0

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Un-used Subs: Bembo-Leta, Schofield

Category: Videos

REPORT: Runcorn Linnets 1 Rams 2

Evo-Stik West Division

Saturday 30th March 2019



Report by Jon Haslam

Ramsbottom United looked to respond to their midweek home reversal to Newcastle with a visit to a Runcorn side who were a single place above the Rams prior to kick off as the top four sides went head to head on Saturday on what could prove to be a pivotal weekend as the season draws to its conclusion.

The visitors starting line up had a more familiar look to it with four alterations from Tuesday night as Sam Ashton returned between the sticks with Kelvin Lugsden available after suspension as both Jamie Rother and Ruben Jerome also claimed a starting berth.

With both teams looking to consolidate their respective positions in the end of season play offs the contest began with the Millbank Linnets Stadium bathed in spring sunshine , the opening quarter of an hour was devoid of any serious attempts at goal as both sides looked to claim midfield supremacy on a noticeably dry and bouncy surface but in truth just cancelled each other out.

There were almost twenty minutes played before the first serious moment of concern in either penalty area when a Tom Kennedy free kick found Luke Thompson at the far post but the under pressure defender couldn't quite get his header on target as the attempt bounced just past home keepers Perrin near post.

Shortly afterwards the Rams appeared to be getting into their now familiar stride away from The Riverside as the combative Eddie Moran won a strong tackle in midfield before floating a cross towards leading scorer Nic Evangelinos but the headed attempt drifted over the crossbar much to the relief of the on loan Wigan Athletic goal keeper.

Then with almost a third of the encounter played the breakthrough occurred when a long ball forward from Runcorn wasn't dealt with by the Rams defence and recent acquisition Mitchell Bryant capitalised on the visitors defensive hesitancy by sending a low shot past Sam Ashton from the edge of the penalty area to give the hosts the lead with their first attempt on target.

Ramsbottom who were on an astonishing run of twelve games unbeaten matches away from home responded positively with new addition Spencer Harris testing Perrin with a long range effort which caused the home stopper to spill the effort but as Eddie Moran looked to pick up the rebound the referee decided a foul had occurred and blew up for a free kick.

Not to be deterred the Rams restored parity ten minutes before the interval when a Tom Kennedy cross into the penalty area was inexplicably handled by Runcorns number four Peter Wylie and referee Duckworth spotted the offence having no choice but to point to the penalty spot, up stepped leading marksman Nic Evangelinos to exact full punishment by drilling the penalty past the despairing dive of Perrin to level the contest at one goal each.

With little goalmouth action to report for the remaining minutes the sides went into the half time break unable to be separated which perhaps was indicative of a competitive first 45 minutes between two well matched teams that most observers would concur was a fair score line at the interval.

The opening minutes of the second period were largely uneventful from an attacking perspective with the home side appearing to prefer the longer ball forward, although Runcorn did have the first effort towards goal from distance but the wayward effort failed to trouble the relatively under worked Sam Ashton and sailed over the crossbar.

Ramsbottom then almost took the lead on 52 minutes when a superb ball forward from the wand like left foot of Tom Kennedy found the surging run of midfield dynamo Eddie Moran and with Perrin hurtling from his goal the Rams midfielder got to the ball first and looped a header over the onrushing keeper but sadly for the visitors the ball bounced fractionally wide of the post much to the relief of the home contingent.

Moments later the speedy Iyrwah Gooden entered the fray at the expense of Ruben Jerome before Linnets tested Sam Ashton with a well struck free kick which was easily dealt with by the returning number one and with both sides searching for the next goal of a well fought encounter the contest began to at last have a more open feel to it with the Rams looking menacing on the break.

Runcorn again threatened when some positive play down the home sides right flank saw an effort from the apron of the penalty area narrowly fly over the visitors crossbar as the hosts sought to increase the points difference between the two play off hopefuls. With just over an hour played the Rams perhaps had their best chance of the second period when Tom Kennedy stepped up to take a centrally positioned free kick some 20 yards from goal but the low effort missed the target as the former Bury full back looked for to replicate his exquisite free kick in the reverse fixture in December.

Then with three quarters of a tight contest played some purposeful play down the right hand side from Eddie Moran resulted in the midfielder finding some room to send in an inviting low cross which perhaps inevitably fell to goal poacher Jamie Rainford who confidently stroked home his 17th league goal for the Rams from close range much to the joy of the travelling Ramsbottom supporters.

Incidentally a point worthy of note is that the strike from Jamie Rainford was the seventh away match in succession that the well travelled marksman has scored in again proving what a vital addition the forward has been for Ramsbottom United.

Chris Willock then looked to his bench for the second time with twenty minutes remaining when the tireless Jamie Rother was replaced by Kieran Lugsden.

The remainder of the encounter saw Runcorn looking to push forward looking for a leveller with the Rams forward trio of Rainford, Evangelinos and Gooden keeping the home defence honest as the visitors looked for a match clinching third goal on the breakaway.

In truth the defensive unit for the visitors were at their combative best with the impressive partnership in central defence of Luke Thompson and Kelvin Lugsden ably assisted by the ultra consistent full backs of Jacobs and Kennedy who almost seemed to relish the increasingly competitive nature of the contest.

As the minutes ticked away Runcorns frustrations began to surface as the home side picked up four yellow cards in a little over ten minutes as despite their best efforts the Linnets couldn't find a pathway through to test Sam Ashton in the day trippers goal.

With the hosts progressively throwing men forward there was an opportunity for the Rams to seal the points when a strong run from Evangelinos stretched the Linnets rearguard once more but with alternative options available the clubs leading scorer decided to take a shot at goal but the effort flew wide of the target.

The remaining minutes were managed superbly by the Rams with the home side unable to fashion any more worthwhile efforts at goal and as the final whistle sounded a valuable three points on the road against a play off rival had and in some way avenged the 2-3 reverse earlier on in the season at the Riverside in a fiery encounter.

As the players and fans celebrated a potentially important yet well deserved victory manager Chris Willcocks outfit have now gone thirteen away matches unbeaten with a hugely impressive eleven victories in the win column during this period as the Rams leaped a place above their hosts for the day to sit in third position after the weekends results

, Ramsbottom United:- Ashton, Kennedy, Jacobs, Moran, Thompson, Kelvin Lugsden, Jerome (Gooden 55 mins), Rother (Kieran Lugsden 70 mins), Rainford, Harris, Evangelinos

Unused Subs- Donaldson, Bembo-Leto, Schofield

Category: Club News

PREVIEW: Newcastle Town (H)

With the end of the season clearly in sight, it’s a case of will-they-or-won’t-they when it comes to the Rams and their chase for a promotion place.

The win on Saturday, whilst not providing the best spectacle, earned the club another three points and hoisted them into third place on the league table.

There are just six more matches to play, and if the team have any realistic chance of winning the League, six wins would be needed.

A big ask, but the lads are full of confidence, and the first test is against mid-table Newcastle Town who arrive at the HWRS seeking some sort of revenge for the 6-0 thumping they received in the reverse fixture in Staffordshire last month.

This is a rearranged game as the original fell foul of the weather (one of only two to do so this season, compared with twelve last year!), so complacency needs to go out of the window as another three points is within the grasp.

The season so far has been both exciting and entertaining, and the hope is that the townsfolk will get down to the ground and create the sort of atmosphere to drive the lads on.

Missing tomorrow are banned duo Ryan Ellison and kelvin Lugsden, but the squad is big enough to cover those two absences, and keeper Sam Ashton returns to contention having been unavailable for the Prescot match.

Category: Club News


At a time when players seem to move from club to club on an annual basis, it’s good to report that two players have served RAMSBOTTOM UNITED well, and as a result have been recognised for staying at the Harry Williams Riverside Stadium.

Battling midfield player JAMIE ROTHER joined the Rams in the summer of 2014.

However, his first three seasons saw the player plagued by injury, so much so that a bad injury in a pre-season game at New Mills in the summer of 2016 saw him miss virtually the entire season, making a meagre four appearances late on.

Over the last two years, however, he has remained fairly clear of such, and is a regular and popular figure with his combative style in the centre of the park.

He has now reached the 100 game milestone for the club, and remains a firm favourite of the Rammy supporters.

Another who has forced his way into Rammy folklore is centre-half LUKE THOMPSON

Luke signed for the club in the summer of 2016 from NWCFL side Nelson, and has been a staple part of the Rams defence over the last three seasons.

With his never-say-die attitude, he adds to his defensive qualities by nodding home a good few goals at the other end, as his surge forward is usually accompanied by chants of “Thommooo!” from the Rammy fans.

Luke has now completed 125 appearances for the team, and, as with Jamie, will be looking to secure a play-off spot at the end of the season in the hope that the Rams can reclaim their place in Evo-Stik Premier Division.

Both players were presented with their photos ahead of the recent 4-0 home victory over Droylsden.

Category: Club News

PREVIEW: Runcorn Linnets (A)

After the disappointing – and unexpected – home defeat against Newcastle Town on Tuesday, this game really has the feel of a must-win contest.

Three home losses from the last four has severely put a dent in any possible automatic promotion hopes, so, in reality, it looks like the play-offs could be the only way to end the campaign on a successful note, although there are a number of other teams looking to pip us at the post.

Unusually, though, the Rams are now ahead of other contenders with regards to games played (that in itself is a miracle considering all the FA Trophy games we have had to fit in), and it’s now down to the last five games of the season, three against fellow-promotion hopefuls.

As we sit in 4th spot with 61 points from our 33 games, the hosts are one above us having played one game less, but with an extra point in the bag.

At home, Linnets have so far recorded ten wins, with just two league defeats, but it must be pointed out that since the arrival of Chris Willcock in early October, our only defeat away from the HWRS was that at AFC Fylde in the Trophy.

A continuation of that run will be essential against a Runcorn side that arrived in Ramsbottom in December and returned home victorious by 3 goals to 2 in a controversial game which saw two Rammy players dismissed.

So revenge should be in the air, and hopefully the Rammy supporters will be out in numbers to cheer on the lads, whose only absentee will be Ryan Ellison, serving the third of his four game ban.

This really is a big game for the team!

Category: Club News


Ramsbottom United manager Chris Willcock has brought three new faces to the club ahead of the transfer deadline on Thursday as the Rams look to gain promotion to Evo-Stik Premier.

Experienced midfielder SPENCER HARRIS joins the club from National League North Boston United where he had made 28 appearances this season, and he capped a debut on Saturday against Prescot Cables by scoring the second goal in the 2-0 win.

The 28 year old began his career at Huddersfield Town before moving on to Guiseley, Buxton, Farsley Celtic and Hyde United before joining Willcock at the now-defunct Shaw Lane club.

Also making his debut for the club, on his 27th Birthday, in the Prescot Cables game was goalkeeper DALE LATHAM, who has been brought in as cover for regular custodian Sam Ashton.

Latham has plenty of experience having turned out for the likes of Avro, Mossley, Droylsden, Salford City and Winsford United.

He joined the Rams, ironically exactly a year after he made his debut for his former club Atherton Collieries in their first defeat in ten games….0-1 away to Ramsbottom United!

Completing the trio is young 20 year old JACK KAY, who is on a dual registration from National League high-flyers AFC Fylde.

The youngster comes highly rated by the Mill Farm club, and will be looking to gain some valuable game time as he looks to make progress with the club whose Football League ambitions have been well documented, and who will now be looking forward to a trip to Wembley in the FA Trophy Final, having overcome a severe test against the Rams in the last sixteen.

Category: Club News


Evo-Stik League Ramsbottom United have teamed up with specialist sport and education provider Dragon Football Academy to set up a Ramsbottom United under 18 College team for next season.

Dragon Football Academy will also, as a key part of the agreement, deliver a study and education programme that includes an Extended Diploma in Sport & Physical Activity combined with a range of other level 2 and 3 qualifications.

The education and football coaching programme will be delivered by qualified and experienced tutors and football coaches employed by Dragon Football Academy and College League and FA Youth Cup.

Ramsbottom United FC and Dragon Football Academy are now launching a student recruitment campaign but the entry criteria requires footballers aged 16-18 to have the minimum of 4 GCSE’s. Enrolled students who meet the attendance and participation requirements of the course will receive a weekly allowance from Dragon Football Academy.

An open evening trials session is to be held at Wright Robinson High School, Manchester (M18 8RL) on Monday, 29th April starting at 6pm, and every Monday thereafter.

Students interested in joining should contact Dragon Football Academy, Academy coordinator Callum Davies on 07809420118 or by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Further information about Elite can be obtained by accessing their website

Dragon Football Academy said: “We are delighted to announce our partnership with Ramsbottom United FC which will offer talented footballers a realistic pathway into semi-professional football and beyond.”

A spokesman for the club added: “We are really pleased to partner up with Dragon Football Academy as this allows Ramsbottom United to move onto a new level, encouraging youngsters to gain degrees whilst improving their football skills and enhancing the profile of the club”.

Category: Club News

PREVIEW: Droylsden (H)

As the final month of the campaign hits home, it’s a quick return fixture for the Rams against a team beaten on their own patch less than three weeks ago, thanks to a last minute winner in a thriller that finished 3-2 to the visitors.

A similar result at home is essential if a play-off place (minimum) is to be guaranteed.

Just four games to go in what has been a momentous season for Ramsbottom United, and the jostling for positions at the top of the table looks like continuing until the very end.

Droylsden arrive at the HWRS in mid-table with little to play for other than pride, but for the Rams it is very much essential that all four final fixtures produce the maximum return.

Ryan Ellison completes the last of his four game ban, whilst the rest of the squad is available for selection (excluding long-term absentee Nialle Rodney, of course) and manager Chris Willcock will be hoping the poor home form can finally be consigned to the dustbin, as three defeats from the last four on home soil is totally at odds with the superb away form which sees the club unbeaten on it’s league travels since the change of management early in October.

This continued last week with an excellent 2-1 away win at fellow-promotion chasing Runcorn Linnets. Let’s hope the townsfolk turn out in numbers to encourage the lads to grab all three points and keep the tension going until the very last kick of the season.


****Due to the Chocolate Festival in town this weekend, supporters are advised to arrive earlier than normal, as parking in the town will be severely restricted. Indeed, public transport may be a favourable option.****