Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Rams 1 Newcastle Town 2

Evo-Stik West Division

Tuesday 26th March 2019

RAMSBOTTOM UNITED 1 NEWCASTLE TOWN 2

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: Match Reports

REPORT: Rams 2 Prescot Cables 0

Ramsbottom United 2 Prescot Cables 0

Saturday 23rd March 2019

Evo-Stik West

Att 300

Report by Damien Barlow

CABLES TIED UP AS RAMS PRESS FOR PLAY-OFFS

Ramsbottom's starting eleven showed 3 changes from the mid-week victory at Droylsden. Anthony Donaldson and Joel Bembo-Leto joined their team mates on the pitch along with newly accquired keeper Dale Latham who has been entrusted to keep the gloves of Sam Ashton warm in his absence.

The game started in quite a fluid manner, but the first questionable decision came afer only a minute of play as Prescot played the ball down the right, and as the visiting winger failed to beat his man and tried fervently to keep the ball from crossing the touch line, suggesting he had had the last touch, the linesman decision favoured him and so the corner count had started. The inswinger didnt cause any issues to the home defence as was easily cleared.

Ramsbottoms first pursuit on the Cables rear-guard came in the shape of a Tom Kennedy free kick which was sent long and nodded back for Donaldson, who eventually guided the ball out left for Evangelinos and in-turn to Rainford but the defence won that battle and lines were cleared. Prescot again, minutes later found a path down their right as Chris Almond fed a well weighted ball between the back line for Fishwick to latch on to, but his cross failed to match the quality of the original ball and a goal kick was the next action, which when picked up by Rother his equally fine ball searching out Evangelinos raised hopes of an early breakthrough, however, with a covering defender in close proximity the space didnt materialise enough to get the shot away and the ball was put out for a corner.

On 12 minutes the games arbiter spotted McCullochs hand had inadvertently made contact with the ball following a clearence from Latham, and as Bembo-Leto's head met Kennedys free kick and directed it towards the back post, Rainford was on hand to stab home the loose ball and indeed give the home side the breakthrough that had minutes earlier escaped them

12 minutes Ramsbottom 1 Prescot Cables 0 When Eddie Moran nipped in and stole the ball away from Klein-Davis and was wrestled to the ground in the centre circle, the first booking of the day was quickly issued. Plenty of protesting followed, and from that moment the game changed from a relativley free flowing affair to a more physical contest. Free kicks seemed to disrupt play and the visitors appeals for a home side yellow card were more animated. The battle in the middle third now showed every sign that this suited the away team more and were happy to stop Ramsbottoms attempts at getting the ball wide, with the scrappy half chances coming their way. James Edgar was able to run onto a ball played forward which momentarily flat footed the Rams defence which allowed him plenty of space to exploit and cause damage, but once again, the cross was high and wayward.

Prescots wishes were answered in 3 minutes either side of the half hour as Jerome and then Moran both picked up a booking. Jeromes for a robust challenge and then Moran for blocking a clearence with a high arm. The remainder of the half offered very little in way of goal mouth action. Prescot were arguably now enjoying more possession and territory, but play was being condensed beween both areas, and an equal measure of lack of quality from Prescot to get behind the Ramsbottom back four and a disciplined and well drilled protection of their clean sheet ensured the half ended with the hosts a goal to the good.

Half Time Ramsbottom 1 Prescot 0

The second half started with two good chances for an early second goal for Ramsbottom. The first one came from Rainford unsettling Cooper and forcing him into a rushed clearance which wasn't apreciated by Lenehan, this allowed Rother to take back the ball and find Ruben Jerome out right who retured the ball to the Rams number 8 who unfortunatley skied his effort. The second came from a ball from the left side which found its way to Jerome who found himself with space and time to assess his options. His well struck shot was turned onto the bar from Ollie Taylors out-stretched finger tips.

The 56th minute presented the hosts with the games most clear cut chance, again, was instigated by a vibrant Rother who was first to a loose ball and sent Jerome towards the area. His first time pass released Rainford with a one on one but his effort which was intended for the far post was caught with ease by Taylor.

The away bench blinked first in a bid to alter the scoreline, as Jordan Southworth replaced the earlier booked Klein-Davies. The hour mark brought the third booking for the homeside, as Thompson hacked down the attacking Prescot man on the edge of the box, luckily it was deemed just outside and the resulting free kick as dealt with and cleared.

65 minutes saw the first Ramsbottom substitution, with Donaldson being replaced by a second debutant, Spencer Harris. Harris's more physical presence would certainly lend itself more to the cause and help defend from the front and match up more against the Cables side.

The challenges continued to mount up with Rother and Lugsden both on the receiving end of heavy tackles, which the travelling Prescot supporters passionatley disputed, and even suggested that the free kicks should have been theirs.

A rasping effort from Moran almost put the game to bed. A cross from Kennedy was flicked to the edge of the box by Jerome perfectly for Moran to meet on the volley and was bravely blocked by McCulloch, whos thigh will still be stinging at the start of their next game.

78 mins saw the introduction of Tom Schofield at the expense of Jamie Rother.

82 minutes did see the game put beyond doubt, an inswinging corner from Evangelinos was met powerfully by the head of Harris. His effort was sent into the top corner of the goal and the sprawling keeper had no chance.

A final change on 85 minutes brought Iywriah Gooden into the action to replace Jamie Rainford.

In a game that started so easy on the eye, it was a shame it turned into such a physical battle. A battle though that Ramsbottom were more than equal to, who defended from the front and allowed no real encouragement to Prescot. The paucity of chances didnt make for a great spectacle, but with 6 games left of the season, its not necessarily how you play the game, but how you win the game, and the Rams found a way despite not being allowed to be their entertaining best.

Full Time Ramsbottom United 2 Presoct Cables 0

Team ; Latham, Kennedy, Thompson, Lugsden, Bembo-Leto, Moran, Rother, (Schofield) Donaldson,(Harris) Jerome, Evangelinos, Rainford (Gooden).

Subs not used Osi-Efa, Carey.

Category: Club News

PREVIEW: Droylsden (A)

As the season rapidly approaches the finale, just eight games remain, two of which are against local rivals Droylsden.

The first takes place on Tuesday at the Butchers Arms, and a healthy following of Rammy supporters will hopefully encourage the side to return up the M66 with all three points if the promotion challenge is to continue.

Eight points away from League leaders Atherton Colls appears to be a formidable challenge, but this team will not give up the fight until the play-offs become a more realistic route to Evo-Stik Premier.

Former top level side Droylsden have had a mediocre season lying in 13th position with 37 points from their 29 games, but have a better home record of 6 wins against 4 on the road.

Dave Pace’s team usually provide stern opposition, and nothing less will be expected as the Rams look to continue their unbeaten league record on the road under Chris Willcock.

They will still be hurting after failing to see the game out at Chasetown on Saturday when they played most of the 90 minutes with just ten men following the early dismissal of Ryan Ellison.

A late goal stole two precious points from the Rams, so a three point haul is essential in east Manchester in what will hopefully be a more pleasant evening weather-wise, than we have experienced just lately, which left a quarter of the HWRS ground covered by water on Saturday.

It’s tough at the top and a good run-in should see the Rams finish in at least a play-off spot, but football can be unpredictable, and the last six weeks of the season promises to be well worth keeping an eye on.


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

PREVIEW: Prescot Cables (H)

After three trips on the road which have yielded seven points, it’s back to the HWRS as the Rams take on old foes Prescot Cables.

With points ever-more precious as the final league fixtures come into view, the home side will be hoping for a repeat of the scoreline when the two sides met at Hope Street back in early November.

Making their second visit to the ground in four days, having previously beaten tenants Skelmersdale united 3-0, the Rams went one better against the Cables and came away on the back of a superb 4-0 victory, which included that fluke goal from keeper Sam Ashton.

Cables arrive in Ramsbottom in 8th place, ten points behind the hosts but with two games in hand.

Games between the two sides are traditionally entertaining and with Cables support dramatically increasing over the last couple of years, there should be a decent number of travelling supporters coming over to help create a good atmosphere for both teams.

Ryan Ellison will be unavailable as he serves the first of his four game ban following his dismissal at Chasetown last Saturday, whilst Nialle Rodney looks as though he will be out for the rest of the season.

That last minute winner at Droylsden, in a highly entertaining encounter, which increased the points total by two, could prove crucial as we enter the last five weeks of the campaign, and another three will be invaluable if the team can see off what will be a strong challenge from the team from Merseyside.

As always the support from the fans on the sidelines will be greatly appreciated, so let’s see a big crowd at the HWRS and another win as we look towards the top of the table.

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Clitheroe 1 Rams 2

Evo-Stik West Division

Saturday 9th March 2019

CLITHEROE 1 RAMSBOTTOM UNITED 2

Attendance: 291

Report by Adam Clark

If there was a game to have goals in it. It would be this one, The last 5 meetings between these clubs have produced 23 goals an average of just over 4 goals a game but today’s game wasn’t the case with only 3 goals in it.

The Rams made 5 changes from the team that lost 1-0 at home to Widnes last week, Luke Thompson, Anthony Donaldson, Eddie Moran, Jamie Rother & Ruben Jerome all dropped out. Kelvin Lugsden, Jamie Rainford, Joel Bembo-Leta, Tom Schofield & Kieran Lugsden all came into the starting eleven

The hosts made 3 changes from there team that lost 3-0 to Chasetown last Saturday, Jordyn Fitton, Andreas Bianga & Harry Pratt dropped out & Ryan Botell, George West & Jacob Gregory came in.

The first shot for the Rams came in the opening minutes, Tom Schofield took a chance from the edge of the area but it was easily saved by Clitheroe keeper Ben Purdham.

Schofield had another chance 11 minutes later when he headed a Tom Kennedy corner just wide of the right-hand post.

Clitheroe had there first set piece on 19 minutes when they had a free kick just inside the Rammy half but as the ball floated into the box referee Michael Herzog spotted a foul on a Rams defender.

The Rams were knocking on the door for a goal within the first 30 minutes, Evangelinos could have had a hat trick, two of his previous shots went over the bar but this one on 29 minutes was saved easily by Clitheroe’s keeper.

The Rams finally got their breakthrough on 36 minutes when Jamie Rainford broke the deadlock with a close-range shot after he brought it down well in the area to put the Rams 1-0 up.

Clitheroe were back on level terms within 3 minutes, former Ram Max Hazeldine looped the ball over the head of Sam Ashton from around 12 yards out.

Nothing much happened in the final five minutes of the first half, Tom Kennedy had a free kick easily saved and both teams went in level at the break.

HALF TIME: Clitheroe 1 Rams 1

Clitheroe had a free kick within the opening three minutes of the first half, it was well saved by Ashton but the Clitheroe attacker was offside.

Antonie Reizac wanted a penalty just two minutes later but his appeals were turned down by the referee.

The Rams got back in front on 56 minutes when Jamie Rainford got his brace, his shot came from just outside the box and into the bottom corner.

The Rams made the first sub on 61 minutes, Kyle Jacobs came off for Eddie Moran & shortly after that the second sub was made Jason Carey came off in place of Ruben Jerome.

The Rams nearly had a chance to put themselves 3-1 up when the referee gave a penalty for a handball against Michael Wilson but then the referee & his assistant had a discussion on the touchline and it was deemed a Ramsbottom attacker was offside as the ball travelled into the box.

Jamie Rainford went for his hat-trick, four minutes from time but his shot was just wide.

Nothing to note happened in additional time apart from a Tom Kennedy booking for a late foul on Clitheroe sub Harry Blackburn.

The Rams could head back across Lancashire with all 3 points and moving up two places to 4th in the Evo Stik West Division.

FULL TIME: Clitheroe 1 Rams 2

Rams boss Chris Willcock said post-match that “I was pleased, we've got back to winning ways after a couple of defeats, I thought overall the in first half we generally controlled the game, created some good half chances, we look a threat from set pieces & we were pleased to get our noses in front and I was then hoping for us to kick on"

“Second half we came out and the conditions played quite a part today it was a stiff breeze, both teams found it difficult to get out and play some decent football, I thought the pitch let us down at times when we got ourselves into good areas, but obviously they made a mistake and Rainford does what he’s been doing well over his career and gets a brace which is pleasing and we come away with the points which overall we thoroughly deserved

Full reaction page is avalible at the top of this page

Rams: Ashton, Kennedy, Jacobs (Moran 63’), Bembo-Leta, Ellison, Kelvin Lugsden, Carey (Jerome 66’), Schofield, Rainford, Kieran Lugsden,Evangelinos

Unused Subs: Rother, Donaldson & Osi-Efa


Category: Club News

THREE IN FOR FINAL PUSH

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: Match Reports

REPORT: Chasetown 2 Rams 2

Evo-Stik West Division

Saturday 16th March 2019

CHASETOWN 2 RAMSBOTTOM UNITED 2

Attendance-163

Report by Jon Haslam

Ramsbottom United headed for Staffordshire on Saturday afternoon with three important play off points on offer as a number of their promotion rivals were not in action due to the inclement weather.

Hosts Chasetown were the opponents in Chris Willcocks first match in charge for the Rams back in early October at The Riverside which ended with the honours even as the teams shared four goals.

As the match kicked in blustery conditions the visitors showed two changes from the victory seven days ago with Iyrwah Gooden and Jamie Rother replacing Jason Carey and Kyle Jacobs respectively on their first ever visit to Chasetown..

The first ten minutes were fairly even with both sides looking threatening down the flanks but neither goalkeeper had cause for concern in the opening exchanges.

Then,with a dozen minutes played a potentially match changing incident occurred when an aerial challenge on the half way line involving right full back Ryan Ellison ended with left back Callum Cockerill-Mollet writhing in agony and referee Brown decreed that that the incident deserved a red card and the Rams were down to ten men for the remainder of the contest.

Despite being a man light the visitors reorganised with Kieran Lugsden filling in at right back and it was the day trippers who almost broke the deadlock when Nic Evangelinos sent in a cross from the left flank which married up perfectly with the run of Tom Schofield and a well directed header from 8 yards out brought a fine finger tipped save from Pond in the home goal.

Minutes later the Rams created another opportunity when a raid down the right hand gave Jamie Rainford the chance to find the head of the marauding Jamie Rother but again Pond plunged down low to deny the visitors the opener.

With twenty goalless minutes played Chasetown threatened to open the scoring but a wayward attempt sailed wide of the target after good work down the left flank from the home side caused the first real moment of concern for the visitors.

Then midway through the half disaster struck for Ramsbottom United when a long ball forward was dealt with by Joel Bembo-Leto who played the ball backwards towards keeper Sam Ashton but as home forward Tom Hill chased down the back pass and as the Rams stopper stumbled on the edge of his own penalty area this left the Chasetown front man with a clear run on goal and with great delight rolled the ball into a gaping net to put the hosts a goal to the good.

A point worthy of mention is that the strike from Chasetown was the first time Chris Willcocks outfit had been behind in an away league game since the Widnes fixture back on the 9th October.

The Rams quickly made an adjustment with recognised full back Kyle Jacobs entering the fray at the expense of the unfortunate Tom Schofield with Kieran Lugsden returning to his more familiar midfield role.

Despite trailing and being down to ten men the visitors continued to create some goal scoring chances with Jamie Rother sending a well placed cross onto the head of Iyrwah Gooden but The Scholars shot stopper Pond was again called into action to preserve the hosts advantage.

Chasetown almost doubled their goal tally around the half hour point when a squall of pressure resulted in Tom Kennedy clearing a goal bound shot off the line and when the ball was cleared to the edge of the penalty area a well struck shot flew wide of the target as the home side looked to continue their recent good run of three consecutive victories.

Parity was almost restored ten minutes before the interval when a Tom Kennedy free kick was headed down to an unmarked Jamie Rainford whose well executed finish appeared to have put the away side on level terms but the sight of the linesman's flag being held aloft brought the celebrations to an abrupt end which had the travelling Rams supporters wondering if this was beginning to look like "one of those days". Even the elements appeared to take a turn for the worst when the windy conditions gave way to driving rain which did little to improve the mood of the loyal band of supporters from Lancashire.

As regular viewers of Ramsbottom United games will testify to this squad is made of stern stuff and despite events appearing to conspire against them the equaliser deservedly arrived with just four minutes of the half remaining when Iyrwah Gooden found himself behind his opposing full back before sending in a pinpoint cross from the right hand side along the six yard box to the unmarked goal poacher Jamie Rainford who gleefully tapped into an unguarded net to register his 13th goal in thirteen starts and again prove what an excellent acquisition the forward has been for the Rams.

As the half time whistle sounded an incident packed first half concluded with honours even and hopes were high that the second period would provide the same level of entertainment for the hardy souls braving the miserable weather at the picturesque Scholars Ground Stadium.

With both teams unchanged the second half began at a frantic pace with the hosts looking to take advantage of the extra player by utilising the wings and attempting to stretch the play at every opportunity whilst the day trippers looked to play positively when any attacking opportunities presented themselves.

As the rain continued to fall at an ever increasing rate neither side seriously tested the opposing keeper until around the hour mark when a break by the Rams found Nic Evangelinos tight to the goal line and as the ball was smuggled to Iyrwah Gooden the wide man was unceremoniously scythed down from behind by home skipper Wynter and referee Brown had no choice but to point to the penalty spot.

After a pause in proceedings as the bruised Gooden received some treatment up stepped leading scorer Nic Evangelinos to send the home keeper Pond the wrong way with a well struck effort from twelve yards that signalled the 50th league goal scored under the stewardship of manager Chris Willcock and the ten men had shown unbelievable tenacity to come from a goal down with one player less to take the lead as the Rams sought their tenth consecutive away league win.

Sadly Gooden could not shake off the injury and had to be replaced by Ruben Jerome as Chris Willcock continued with the now familiar positive approach which has seen the away day specialists unbeaten away from the Riverside in league fixtures since mid September.

Chasetown responded with a double substitution of their own as they looked for a way back into the contest although excellent work down the left flank gave Tom Kennedy the chance to find the head of the recently arrived substitute Ruben Jerome but the strikers header was comfortably gathered by the hosts stopper Pond.

With time ebbing away the remaining quarter of an hour consisted of the home side pushing forward with ever increasing desperation which gave the Rams the chance to counter attack as Chasetown committed more and more players forward in search of an equalising goal.

As the conditions worsened and the pitch became heavier by the minute the hosts continued to attack the Rams goal but some resolute defending and wayward finishing kept the away side in front and most neutral observers may have found it difficult to believe that the visitors had been playing for more than 75 minutes with ten men.

The hosts created and missed a series of chances with the ever present Sam Ashton forced to pull off a number of fine saves, one in particular stands out with ten minutes remaining when a 20 yard effort from Langston brought a flying save from the Rams keeper.

The hosts attacking momentum lead to a flurry of corners which kept the visiting defence under duress whilst only desperate defending at tge other end of the field prevented the Rams from adding to their tally when both Jerome and Rainford almost fashioned a match clinching third goal for the away team on a breakaway.

Unfortunately and with only a minute of the ninety remaining Chasetowns pressure finally found a way through the visitors rearguard and broke Ramsbottom United hearts when despite their a number of attempts the Rams couldn't clear the danger and the hosts took advantage by keeping the ball alive in and around the penalty area before the ball fell kindly to the home sides central defender Askey and his low drive flew past Ashton and into the corner of the goal to equalise late in the game.

Both sides pushed forward looking for the decisive fifth goal but without success and as an entertaining encounter came to an end the scoreline from the meeting earlier in the season had been repeated.

The Rams took their unbeaten away league matches to an impressive twelve and again showed their team spirit and fortitude to come away with a well earned point in testing circumstances whilst perhaps feeling slightly frustrated that their trip back up the M6 could easily have garnered a further two points in the search for one of the promotion berths come the end of the season.

Ramsbottom United:- Ashton, Kennedy, Ellison (Sent off 12 minutes), Rother, Bembo-Leto, Kelvin Lugsden,, Gooden (Jerome 64 mins), Schofield (Jacobs 27 mins), Rainford, Kieran Lugsden, Evangelinos

Unused Subs- Moran,Donaldson Carey

Category: Club News

REACTION: Chris Willcock on today's 2-1 win vs Clitheroe

Rams boss Chris Willcock said post-match that “I was pleased, we've got back to winning ways after a couple of defeats, I thought overall the in first half we generally controlled the game, created some good half chances, we look a threat from set pieces & we were pleased to get our noses in front and I was then hoping for us to kick on"

“Second half we came out and the conditions played quite apart today it was a stiff breeze, both teams found it difficult to get out and play some decent football, I thought the pitch let us down at times when we got ourselves into good areas, but obviously they made a mistake and Rainford does what he’s been doing well over his career and gets a brace which is pleasing and we come away with the points which overall we thoroughly deserved"

"I think the team needed a freshen up, it's the most changes we've made since I've been at the football club, I thought the lads that came in did well, I thought off the back of that the lads responded well, the most pleasing thing is that the lads who were left out & who came on also responded in the right manner and that's what it's all about, all of us being together, we've been hurting for the last week or so with the results, they've trained exceptionally well this week & we are pleased to get back to winning ways and we will kick on and work hard next week and look forward to travelling down to Chasetown"

On Irwyah Gooden; "We've extended his loan till the end of the season, he's in a particular point of his career at Mansfield where he's playing for a professional contract, he was going to be available for us today but he's tweaked his groin in training on Friday at Mansfield which unfortunately he was in the squad today but you know between ourselves and Mansfield we are in conversation with them as to when to use him and when to not, he's waiting for a decision on his career and whether he's going to get a pro contract or not and at the moment that's his priority but whatever decision is made on the lad whether he gets a pro contract or he doesn't he'll be a Ramsbottom player between now and the end of the season"

On Chasetown: "Well, I think he's changed a lot round since we played them in my first game as manager, they put us under a lot of pressure from set pieces, they had a guy who had a long throw and they were hurling it in from the halfway line and you know on that day they made it difficult for us, we know they are in good form at the moment, and we know from our point of view we are after back to back wins, the lads can take good confidence from today's game and we will go in there to upset the form table"




Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Droylsden 2 Rams 3

Evo-Stik West Division

Tuesday 19th March 2019

DROYLSDEN 2 RAMSBOTTOM UNITED 3

Attendance-191

Report by Jon Haslam

After Saturdays four goal thriller at Chasetown the Rams were back in action on Tuesday night with with a trip to the wonderfully named Butchers Arms to take on a Droylsden outfit for the first of two meetings within a three week period as the season reaches its inevitable exciting conclusion.

Ramsbottom United began the contest showing three changes from the battling point from the weekend visit to Staffordshire with Luke Thompson, Eddie Moran and Ruben Jerome replacing Joel Bembo-Leto, Tom Schofield and Iyrwah Gooden.

The encounter began positively for the away side when with less than five on the watch the visitors made the ideal start and opened the scoring when a threaded through ball from Ruben Jerome picked out the perfectly timed run of Jamie Rainford who broke through the Droylsden offside trap before confidently placing a low shot past the onrushing Thompson to give the Rams the perfect start to an important looking fixture.

After taking such an early lead the confidence began to course through the side as Chris Willcocks men looked assured as they attempted to press home their advantage with a second goal with the Rams playing some slick and attractive football which forced the hosts onto the back foot in the opening twenty minutes.

Shortly after the midway point of the first period Droylsden began to get more of a foothold into the encounter with home forward Sefton Gonzales looking a threat for the Bloods, a quick home breakaway was halted by Kieran Lugsden which resulted in a yellow card for the combative midfielder in a contest which would quickly turn sour for the Lugsden twins.

With the home side beginning to look more of an attacking threat the contest took a potentially decisive twist on 26 minutes when the hosts number ten Oli Ford dispossessed Kelvin Lugsden before setting off towards the Rams penalty area and the retreating defender tangled with the speedy forward which referee Evans deemed to be a red card offence and for the second time game in succession Ramsbottom were down to ten men.

From the resultant free kick Rigby tested Sam Ashton but the visiting custodian was equal to the effort and palmed the stinging effort to safety, almost immediately the Bloods almost levelled when another set piece was launched into the Rams penalty area before being a couple of free headers gave Gonzales a chance but the angular strikers downward header was gathered by Ashton much to the relief of the visiting supporters.

After the sending off of Kelvin Lugsden it was the turn of Kieran to leave the match prematurely when injury ended the midfielders evening early and Tom Schofield entered the fray to play at right back with Ryan Ellison joining the returning Luke Thompson in the centre of defence.

With half an hour played the hosts restored parity when a strong run down the left hand side from Liam Caddick opened up the Rams rearguard before an astute pass found Oli Ford unmarked just inside the penalty area and the forwards well struck low effort flew past Ashton and the scores were level.

The remaining minutes of the opening period saw the visitors fashion a couple of presentable chances to regain the lead when the energetic Jamie Rother tested Thompson with a long range effort before good link up play between Jerome and Evangelinos saw the latter play in Eddie Moran but the schemers well struck effort was again blocked by the hosts number one as the depleted Rams looked to take the initiative in an well contested first half of football which ultimately ended all square at the interval.

With both sides unchanged the contest restarted and the first incident of note was a yellow card for Ruben Jerome for a late challenge just in front of the home bench.

The opening minutes of the second half saw Droylsden create a promising opening when another strong run from the lively Caddick set up the recently arrived substitute Burgess and the somewhat wayward effort not only cleared the crossbar but also the stand roof much to the astonishment of both sets of supporters.

Despite being at a numerical disadvantage Ramsbottom United continued to play their high tempo football and almost re-established the lead when a long ball over the Droylsden defence was seized upon by Jamie Rainford and with the in form striker through one on one the hosts were grateful to their goal keeper Thompson who came out on top as the former Clitheroe number one blocked the well struck effort and a glorious chance to retake the lead had gone begging.

However just prior to the hour mark the Rams retook the lead when good build up play down the left flank allowed raiding full back Tom Kennedy the time to send in a superb cross which picked out the run of the prolific Rainford and a well directed header beat Thompson in the home goal and the striker had his 15th goal in the colours of Ramsbottom United.

The contest continued to have an open feel to it and with the hosts pushing forward looking for an equaliser and utilising the width to positive effect the away side protected Sam Ashton to great effect with central pairing Luke Thompson and Ryan Ellison needing to be at their combative best to retain their sides narrow advantage whilst the threat on the break made it highly likely that the scoring was far from finished.

A flurry of yellow cards were issued by referee Evans before the away day specialists flexed their attacking muscles again when Ruben Jerome stung the palms of Thompson from the edge of the penalty box.

Then with a fraction less than fifteen minutes remaining the Rams surrendered their advantage when good build up play down the right wing allowed the Bloods leading scorer Gonzales a sight of goal and somehow the forwards low effort found its way past Ashton before trickling into the back of the net and after battling against the odds there was a feeling of deja vu after Chasetowns late leveller just days earlier.

Despite the setback the visitors responded in a predictably confident manner and a rasping effort from leading marksman Evangelinos forced Thompson to acrobatically tip over his crossbar showed that Chris Willcocks outfit were far from content to accept a point. Then with just over ten minutes to play Jason Carey replaced Ruben Jerome and almost made an immediate impact when a through ball almost set the attacker through on goal but resolute defending kept the score line all square.

As an enthralling match entered the final minutes both sides pushed forward looking to strike the decisive blow and when a through ball caught the Rams defence out and with Sam Ashton stranded outside of his penalty area a winning goal looked inevitable but the hosts spurned the opportunity to secure the three points when an effort from distance looked to be rolling towards an unguarded net but much to the relief of the away side the ball tickled narrowly wide of the target.

Then with only little over a minute of additional time remaining substitute Carey picked up the ball on the right hand side of the pitch before driving towards the Droylsden penalty box where a superbly drilled cross along the six yard line found the perfectly timed run of Evangelinos whose first time finish won the contest for the Rams with a low effort that fizzed past Thompson to set off wild celebrations for all connected with the Rams, shortly afterwards the final whistle blew and a vital three points had been plundered in difficult circumstances which demonstrated the squads undeniable togetherness.

Incidentally this was the fifteenth time in the last twenty two league games under the current management team that the Rams had scored two or more goals which shows the progress the team has made in the five months since the arrival of Chris Willcock.

As was the case on Saturday the Rams had to compete for a large amount of the match with one man less but again Chris Willcock continued his positive approach by leaving all three forward players on the field when plenty of other managers may have chosen to introduce an extra midfield player at the expense of an attacking one in the hope of stifling the opposition and credit should be given that the brave decision was instrumental in Ramsbottom United collecting a well deserved three points in their promotion push.

Ramsbottom United:- Ashton, Kennedy, Ellison, Moran, Thompson, Kelvin Lugsden, Jerome (Carey 79 mins), Rother, Rainford, Kieran Lugsden (Schofield 32 mins), Evangelinos

Unused Subs- Donaldson, Bembo-Leta, Latham (GK)

Category: Club News

PREVIEW: Chasetown (A)

Ramsbottom United make the long journey down the M6 to the west Midlands for their first ever visit to Chasetown as the race for promotion hots up.

Trailing leaders Atherton Colls by nine points, but with a game in hand, three points are essential if the Rams are to continue their push for automatic promotion with just one place available. Otherwise, it’s into the lottery of the end-of-season play-offs, which in themselves are proving a fascinating contest.

Currently sitting in fourth spot, things have changed dramatically since the reverse fixture back in early October.

This was Chris Willcock’s first game in charge following his appointment four days earlier. At that time, the team were in the bottom half of the table and the visit from Chasetown probably answered a few of his early questions. Racing into a two goal lead during a first half that the home side dominated, the Rams were pegged back and had to settle for a 2-2 draw having been under considerable pressure during the second period.

Much, of course, has changed since those early autumn times, and Chasetown currently find themselves in 14th place with 35 points gained from their 30 games. 18 of these have been gathered at home with 4 wins and 6 draws.

As for the Rams, those two disappointing home reversals were put to bed last week with a hard-earned but much-deserved 2-1 win at Clitheroe in the same sort of miserable conditions expected in the midlands tomorrow.

It’s a long journey for the fans, but hopefully a good number will make the trip to encourage the team to return home with all 3 points.

Category: Club News

PREVIEW: Clitheroe (A)

The Rams make the short hop up the road to east Lancashire rivals Clitheroe for what is usually a goal-fest between the two old foes.

Earlier in the season before the arrival of Chris Willcock, the Rams came back from 3-1 down to grab a point in a 3-3 thriller, whilst recent games at Shawbridge have also seen the net bulge on many occasions.

Alas, of late, visits there have not been productive for a Ramsbottom team. Last year the home side grabbed all the points courtesy of a 4-3 win whilst the year before, an incident-packed match which focussed around the referee, saw the visitors troop home on the back of a 4-0 hammering.

Indeed, we need to go back to the promotion season of 2013/14 for our last win in Clitheroe courtesy of another game that produced six goals, this time in favour of the Rams 4-2.

Traditionally a team near the top of the league, this season has been a disappointment for Clitheroe.

Not helped by the news that Chair Anne Barker is to step down at the end of this campaign, results on the pitch have been poor. Just two home wins all season, with eleven home defeats, they find themselves in 18th position with 23 points, just four points ahead of Kendal Town in the second relegation spot.

The Rams, by comparison sit in sixth with 51 points, and ready to pounce on any slip-up by the teams ahead of them.

The visitors will also be looking to put a disappointing couple of home defeats behind them, and continue the excellent away form since Willcock’s arrival in October, which sees them still undefeated on the road in League games.

A healthy following of Rams supporters is expected for a game where victory is crucial to keep the team in touch with the other promotion hopefuls.