Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Kendal 2 Rams 2

Evo-Stik League West Division

Saturday 29th September 2018


Attendance: 104

Report by Jon Haslam

It was Kendal calling as Ramsbottom United made the journey up the M6 to Cumbria on Saturday afternoon with the home side looking to exact some revenge on their visitors from Lancashire after an injury time winner gave the Rams the three points less than three weeks ago at the HWRS.

The visitors gave a debut to new recruit Curtis Jones who slotted into the back line from the midweek loss to Trafford at the expense of Alex Downes , the other change saw Tom Brooks replacing Jamie Rother in the Rams midfield.

With both sides finding victories difficult to come by in recent weeks the contest began in a cagey fashion with neither goalkeeper being called into action until just after the ten minute mark when Clarke and then ex Ram Aaron Fleming brought a couple of routine saves from Ashton in the visiting goal.

After a dozen goalless minutes it was Ramsbottom United that would edge in front when a tantalising inswinging right wing cross from Nathan Brown fractionally evaded Lee Gaskells head before finding Jerome Wright at the far post, the midfielders first attempt bounced off the post before falling kindly to the same player who bundled the ball over the line from around two yards out despite the valiant attempts of the Kendal defence to keep the ball from entering their net.

With the Rams gaining the early advantage hopes were high that the away side would consolidate their position which was almost improved midway through the first period when a well struck 25 yard free kick from Nathan Brown beat Dixon in the Kendal goal but clipped the top of the crossbar much to the relief of the home fans in a crowd of just over 100.

As the half progressed and kicking down a significant slope the hosts won a couple of free kicks just outside the Rams penalty area, the first of which hit the side netting from Thomas before Fleming brought a comfortable low save from Ashton and despite Kendal having perhaps more possession of the ball the hosts found it difficult to create any clear goal scoring opportunities with half time approaching.

Ramsbottom United would double their lead on the stroke of the interval when a well worked corner by Jack Higgs found Jerome Wright whose unchecked run generated enough room for a low left footed shot which found its way between a couple of sets of legs before squirming underneath Dixon in the home goal and over the line with Tom Brooks claiming the final touch but the Rams leading scorer from last season had his second goal of the game and the visitors had a two goal lead to enjoy at the half way stage.

As expected Kendal returned after the break seeking to rectify the situation and it would be a test of the Rams resolve if they were to leave Cumbria with all the three points on offer.

Within ten minutes of the restart the Mintcakes had halved the arrears when a quickly taken free kick seemed to catch out the Rams rearguard with the subsequent cross finding Harries at the back post and the strikers cross shot fell kindly for the unmarked Gardner who had the simple task of tapping past Ashton and the visitors lead had been halved.

After four matches without a goal the strike appeared to give Kendal all the encouragement they needed to believe that there was still a chance that they could take something from the match with Ramsbottom United finding it difficult to keep possession of the ball and therefore temper the home sides attacking momentum.

Manager Mark Fell made a change shortly after the hour point of the encounter with Dean Stott replacing Jack Higgs which coincided with an adjustment in formation as the Rams looked to get more of a foothold in the contest in the hope of preserving their increasingly slender advantage.

Sadly Ramsbottom United would surrender their two goal half time lead on 73 minutes when a vicious right wing cross from full back McMahon was diverted past Sam Ashton by the outstretched boot of recent acquisition Kyle Jacobs giving the Rams stopper no chance and the home side had come back from a two goal deficit to restore parity in perhaps fortunate circumstances.

With the game entering the final ten minutes the Rams had an opportunity to regain the lead but Browns free kick sailed narrowly past the angle of post and crossbar.

With the palpable irritation of throwing away a two goal half time lead surfacing a flurry of bookings for the visitors increased the frustration levels as Kendal pushed for a winner which looked at best unlikely at the break.

As the clock showed five minutes remaining the Rams fashioned their best chance of the half when a fortunate ricochet fell kindly for Nathan Brown who surged past his marker and into the penalty box before firing an angled shot past the diving Dixon but agonizingly also past the far post for a goal kick. This incident was maybe an indication of how the second forty five minutes had gone for the Rams as they failed to trouble the home keeper in the second period.

With almost the five minutes of signalled injury time played Kendal almost snatched a winner when substitute Chilufya seized on a defensive slip before crossing into the penalty area where a goal bound effort was blocked by the ever reliable Luke Thompson and both sides had to settle for a point apeice as the referee brought proceedings to a conclusion.

The Rams made their way home surely feeling a huge sense of frustration and that this was two points dropped rather than one point gained as a seemingly commanding two goal interval lead was squandered with a disappointing second half performance, credit must be given to Kendal who never gave up and arguably deserved a share of the spoils over the 95 minutes.

Ramsbottom United:- Ashton, Kennedy, Jacobs, Higgs (Stott 63 mins), Thompson, Jones, Brown, Brooks, Gaskell, Wright, Dean

Subs not used- Rother, Downes, Foulds , Henry

Category: Club News

PREVIEW: Trafford (H)

The Rams welcome old foes Trafford FC to the Harry Williams Riverside Stadium to renew battles that began way back in the North West Counties League days.

Trafford, by their own standards, have had a mixed start to the campaign with three wins and three defeats from their opening six games, leaving them in 12th spot, and arrive on the back of an FA Cup defeat at Ashton United at the weekend.

Whilst that game was taking place, we were entertaining Clitheroe for the second time in four days, and after the Integro Cup defeat against our east Lancashire rivals, Saturday’s league game was a cracker. Spoils eventually shared, but we needed to come back from a 1-3 deficit with two late goals, to grab a well-deserved point which lifted us to 8th spot in the early season table.

Without Ryan Ellison, who has been in tremendous form, due to a family bereavement, Rob Henry and Tom Eckersley through late injury call-ups, and with their replacements unavailable, we had to contend with just one fit substitute on the bench, whilst Greg Daniels is still some way from being fit again.

Games between the two sides are generally close affairs, so it will be interesting to see which side comes out on top of what should be an entertaining local derby.

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Rams 3 Clitheroe 3

Report by Aaron Benson

The Rams made two changes to the side beaten against Clitheroe in the Integro Cup. Dean Stott and Ben Deegan were replaced in the starting eleven by Lee Gaskell and Jack Higgs.

The home side were looking to get back to winning ways in the league after the 4-0 thumping at Leek Town the previous Saturday. Yet the Rams were behind within seconds after kick off as Clitheroe put the visitors ahead after just two minutes.

Clitheroe striker Max Hazeldine headed home from a near post corner peeling away from the Ramsbottom defenders to give the away side a lightning quick lead, handing The Rams a nightmare start. However the home side responded in spirited fashion and were soon level shortly after. Clitheroe keeper Cameron Terry spilled a cross from the left wing only for Rams midfielder Jamie Rother to fire in from close range. to bring the sides level.

The home side continued to press on and could easily have tuned the tables straight from the kick off. Lee Gaskell won the ball on the press yet his pass to Rother was short and meant Clitheroe could clear their lines as the shot was blocked.

The chances kept coming for Rammy with Nathan Brown winning a penalty on twenty three minutes. His trickery won a twelve yard kick yet striker Gaskell failed to convert from the spot.

Rammy were left to rue their missed chances as they conceded their second goal in the sloppiest of ways. A Lewis Sugden corner ran to an unmarked Jay Jefferies whose shot flew past Sam Ashton in the Rammy goal and gave Clitheroe the lead heading into half time.

HT: Rams 1-2 Clitheroe

It was a case of Deja vu for Ramsbottom as the second period begun. Clitheroe score their third goal less than ten minutes into the second half as Rammy were left with a mountain to climb.

Substitute James Sloane snuck between the Rammy defenders and met a wide ball with pinpoint accuracy to give Clitheroe a commanding 3-1 lead.

However the home side never went away and Jack Higgs could have halved the deficit but could only fire over the bar.

Yet it wasn't long before Higgs got on the scoresheet to get Rammy back in the game. Higgs somehow managed to get the ball over the line as a goalmouth scramble took place in around the six yard area. Thompson should have drew Rammy level when he found himself unmarked in the box, however his shot went flying wide.

But Rammy's never say die spirit drew them level in the eightieth minute. Jerome Wright and Philip Dean combined with great affect on the left to send a ball causing havoc in the goalmouth. Tom Brooks was the eventual benefiter taking a rather 'smash and grab' approach smashing the ball home from close range.

Both teams had chances to win the game with the game on a knife edge. Clitheroe sub Antoine Recizac turned Dean yet his shot was straight at Ashton. At the other end, Lee Gaskell saw two headers come to nothing. In the end, a point apiece was the end result.

Despite more frustration in front go goal, Mark Fell took the positives from a nail-biting draw.

'From being three one down it's probably a point gained. We showed a lot of spirit, the players showed heart and desire to get themselves out of a whole.

'We need to be better in both boxes. We've been working on moving the ball quicker, we got in a couple of times which was great'.

'We still feel like we've been beat, The manner in the goals we conceded from where we are, we wanted to do some damage in the top half, we just couldn't quite do so today'.

FT: Ramsbottom 3-3 Clitheroe

Team: Ashton, Dean, Brooks, Kennedy, Thompson, Downes, Brown, Rother, Gaskell, Higgs (Deegan 79'), Wright

Unused subs: Foulds, Stott, Robertson

Category: Club News

PREVIEW: Kendal (A)

The Rams make the journey up the M6 into the picturesque county of Cumbria to take on a Kendal Town side that will be looking to gain revenge for a defeat at the Harry Williams Riverside Stadium earlier in the month.

On that occasion, in a low-tempo affair that had 0-0 written all over it, Ryan Ellison pounced with just a couple of minutes to go, to fire home a match-winning volley and grab the three points on offer.

The Mintcakes will be going all out to prove that they can do better than that on their own turf, although so far this season they have only won one league game there, suffering two defeats.

Indeed, Kendal’s form has not been good, as they have tasted victory just once on their travels, succumbing to three defeats away from home, leaving them in 16th place in the table.

After the disappointment of gaining just one point from the last two home games, the Rams will travel in the hope of claiming a much-needed victory, although it looks as though the squad will be depleted.

Long-term injury will keep Greg Daniels out, whilst Tom Eckersley will probably also miss out due to a knee problem, Also likely to be absent are Ryan Ellison (family bereavement) and Rob Henry (illness).

On the plus side, it looks like new signing Kyle Jacobs, who had a fine debut against Trafford, will make his second appearance for the Rams.

A fine weather forecast should mean a pleasant trip up to the edge of the Lake District.

Let’s hope it’s a pleasant trip back!

Category: Club News

Rams sign Tom Eckersley

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

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

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

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

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

Category: Club News

PREVIEW: Clitheroe (H)

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

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

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

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

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

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Leek Town 4 Rams 0

Evo-Stik League West Division

Saturday 15th September 2018



Report by Jon Haslam

Ramsbottom United made the journey to the County of Staffordshire on Saturday afternoon to take on Leek Town at the very impressive Harrison Park with both sides positioned in the top ten of the early league standings prior to kick off.

The visitors showed a single alteration from the midweek victory over Kendal with Jack Higgs replacing Jamie Rother in the Rams starting eleven.

It was the home outfit that began the contest in the ascendancy and with just over a minute on the clock Leek fired a fierce shot into the side netting which was an early example of what the away side would face throughout a chastening afternoon for Mark Fell's charges.

Whilst the early exchanges were fairly even, it would be the Rams that fashioned the best chance of the opening quarter of an hour when a fine run and cross down the left by the raiding Dean found the head of Gaskell but the strikers header was repelled by home keeper Chapman.

As so happens in football when one side misses a presentable goal scoring opportunity the other team goes up the other end and take their chance, if a further example was needed Leek provided it and opened the scoring on 16 minutes when a long ball caught the Ramsbottom defence appealing in vain for offside leaving Stevenson one on one with Sam Ashton before lifting the ball over the advancing keeper to give the hosts a lead they wouldn't ultimately surrender.

Sadly the hosts would double their advantage only two minutes after breaking the deadlock when Trickett Smith picked the ball up in the left channel some 30 yards away from goal before setting off on a mazy run evading some flimsy challenges before calming finishing through Ashton's legs from just inside the penalty area to give Leek a healthy advantage with less than 20 minutes played.

As the half progressed the Rams struggles continued as they found it difficult to put together any real cohesive passing going forward whilst looking unusually hesitant in defence with the home side looking the much more confidence team after their positive start to the match.

Ramsbottom United flickered into life just after the first third of the encounter when Nathan Brown fired in a shot from the edge of the penalty area after a long throw had been cleared to the Chester loanee but again Chapman pulled off a spectacular save to tip the effort over the crossbar.

As the interval loomed both sides would exchange attempts at goal with Leeks forward line firing a couple of efforts narrowly wide of Ashtons upright whilst Brown fired narrowly over the angle of post and bar as the visitors looked to try and reduce the arrears before the half way point did arrive with the hosts enjoying a deserved two goal advantage.

The second period began in similar fashion to how the first half ended with the lively Brown again firing an effort at goal but only finding the side netting before Leek played some incisive football down their left hand channel resulting in an effort from the edge of the penalty area which sailed narrowly over the crossbar signalling the hosts intention to increase their goals tally for the afternoon.

Ramsbottom United generated perhaps their most concerted amount of pressure on the home goal when a flurry of corners were tantalisingly delivered from Higgs but no visiting player could take advantage of five consecutive set pieces.

With almost an hour showing on the clock the Rams made a double substitution with Higgs and Stott making way for Rother and Brooks as the away side looked to try and wrestle some possession back from an increasingly confident looking Leek side.

Only minutes after the changes had been made the hosts increased their lead further and effectively but the result beyond doubt when a long ball was misjudged by the Rams defence leaving Johnson with a simple task of looping a header over the onrushing Ashton to give Leek an unassailable lead.

With the match meandering to a undeniable conclusion and Leek looking in control, a change of formation from the Rams for the remaining quarter of the game failed to pay dividends and in fact things got worse on 75 minutes when Stevenson was upended in the penalty area by Henry leaving Chadwick to tuck away the spot kick to complete the scoring on a miserable afternoon for all concerned with Ramsbottom United.

The remaining ten minutes of the contest generated a couple of goal scoring attempts for the Rams with Brooks bringing another flying save from Chapman in the home goal before a deflected effort from the edge of the penalty area found the head of Gaskell but the strikers effort lacked the necessary power to find the back of the net.

With the three minutes of injury time played the referee brought and end to a contest best forgotten from a Ramsbottom United perspective whilst acknowledging that the clinical home side fully deserved their victory. Thoughts now will turn to the midweek visit of Clitheroe in the Integro Trophy where the Rams will be hoping to respond with an improved performance whilst showing that their humbling in Staffordshire was no more than a bad day at the office.

Ramsbottom United:- Ashton, Dean, Henry, Stott (Rother 59 mins), Thompson (Downes 70 mins), Ellison, Brown, Kennedy, Gaskell, Higgs (Brooks 59 mins), Wright.

Subs not used- Robertson (GK)

Category: Club News

Rams sign Kyle Jacobs

Earlier this week, Former FC United defender Kyle Jacobs has made the switch to the Harry Williams Riverside Stadium. Jacobs, who played 140 games for FC comes in to strengthen the defence.

Starting his career in the professional ranks at Oldham Athletic, the 31 year old has also played for Macclesfield Town, Stockport County, Chorley and, most recently, Ashton United.

The club website team are sorry for the delay in releasing the article.
Category: Club News

MATCH PREVIEW: Leek Town v Rams

Preview by Tony Cunningham

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

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

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

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

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

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

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Rams 0 Trafford 1 - Heathcote strikes again


Tuesday 25th September 2018

Evo Stik Premier West Division

Attendance: 147

Report by Adam Clark

The Rams made 1 change from Saturday’s 3-3 draw vs Clitheroe – Kyle Jacobs comes in for his debut in place of Tom Brooks. As for Trafford their team news headline is that former Ram Sam Heathcote returns to face his former side.

Trafford had the first chance of the game on six minutes when Joseph Thompson was clean through on goal but linesman Jack Slater ruled him offside.

Rammy’s first chance came from Nathan Brown on ten minutes his free kick was easily claimed by Trafford keeper Cooper. Jerome Wright’s cross five minutes later was cleared away by Keil O’Brien

Trafford’s best chance of the half came on the half hour mark when an effort was cleared by a combination of Sam Ashton & Jamie Rother. Brown had a free kick in the final minutes of the half for the Rams but it the kick missed the target.

HALF TIME Rams 0 Trafford 0

Great start to the second half for the Rams, two chances in four minutes. Firstly, Jerome Wright’s shot was spilled by the keeper but Nathan Brown had the chance to run onto it but just couldn’t get to it, two minutes later Nathan Brown crossed from Wright but his header went wide.

Nine minutes into the second half, Trafford took the lead through former Ram Sam Heathcote, he nodded home from a corner.

Only one real chance for the Rams in the second half came on 65 minutes when Tom Kennedy’s free kick was blocked by the keeper, the ball re bounded off the keeper and it fell to Gaskell but his shot was saved

Trafford had a late chance in added time a shot from Derbyshire was well saved by Ashton.

FULL TIME Rams 0 Trafford 1

Rams team: Ashton, Jacobs, Kennedy, Higgs, Thompson, Downes (Deegan 78’), Brown, Rother (Brooks 56’), Gaskell (Jarrett 84’), Wright, Dean.

Unused subs: Foulds & Stott

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Rams 1 Clitheroe 1 (6-7 pens)

Integro League Cup 1st Round

Wednesday 19th September 2018



Report by Jon Haslam

Ramsbottom United entertained Clitheroe at the Riverside on a blustery Wednesday evening in the Integro League Cup for the first of two meetings within the space of four days.

The home side made a number of changes in both personnel and positionally from the weekend defeat to Leek but it was the visitors who started the brightest with a couple of long range attempts that flew high over Sam Ashtons goal in the opening minutes of the contest.

The Rams fashioned their first goal scoring opportunity with just over ten minutes played when an excellent through ball from Deegan found Phil Dean in the right hand channel but the wide mans shot failed to extend Terry in the visitors goal.

Clitheroe responded and almost broke the deadlock when a mix up in the home defence gave Cannon-Noren a glimpse of goal but young defender Alex Downes on loan from Chester made a vital clearance off the line in his first start since the second game of the season.

As the half progressed both goalkeepers were largely untroubled with a number of long range efforts failing to find their intended target as perhaps the breezy conditions affected the players goal scoring radar.

With half time approaching and the match goalless Clitheroe should maybe have taken the lead as Bianga and the dangerous Cannon-Noren linked up neatly before the latter shot wide of the target when well placed as the hosts escaped an incisive breakaway.

As the first half finished scoreless the home supporters were hoping that the second period would provide more of a goal scoring threat but it was the visitors who looked the more likely side to open their account minutes after the restart when Sloane found himself one on one with Sam Ashton but the Rams stopper pulled off a fine save to deny Clitheroe the lead.

Ramsbottom United then responded with a strike of their own when good link up play on the left hand edge of the penalty area gave Jerome Wright a sight of goal but the effort was repelled by Terry.

Unfortunately the Rams fell behind in peculiar circumstances when an attack down the right wing gave substitute Recizak the opportunity to cross to an unmarked Cannon- Noren in the centre of goal who proceeded to trip over the ball which wrongfooted Ashton and somehow the ball found its way into the net to give the visitors the lead just before the hour point of the encounter.

Shortly after the opener the Rams made two substitutions with new recruit Tom Eckersley replacing skipper Stott and Gaskell joining the action at the expense of Ben Deegan.

Clitheroe looked to clinch the tie with a second goal with Ashton again forced into action pulling off a fine save to deny the away side after an incisive break down the Rams left hand side.

The hosts were looking for a leveller with Higgs taking the place of the hardworking Jamie Rother with just over a quarter of an hour remaining and as the Rams pushed forward there was a risk that the visitors would exploit the extra space.

With the game entering the final ten minutes an ever increasingly desperate Ramsbottom United created a number of opportunities to equalise with Brooks, Higgs, Wright and Gaskell all shooting at goal without success.

As the contest ticked into injury time and with two of the five minutes indicated already played the Rams won a free kick almost in front of the home dugout, Jack Higgs swung his left foot to send the ball towards the Clitheroe penalty area and with a touch of assistance from the wind the ball sailed over the head of Terry and dropped into the back of the net to level matters and the substitute had made a positive impact. There was still time remaining for the away side to fashion another presentable chance moments after the equaliser when another penetrating break again brought the best of Ashton as he produced an excellent double save to keep the score at one goal each and with no extra time the tie would be decided by a contest from 12 yards.

Clitheroe took an early advantage as they scored with their first kick but then Jack Higgs had his effort saved by Terry, the next three spot kicks for each side were converted with Wright, Brown and Dean confidently registering for the hosts before Clitheroe’s substitute Onorou had the chance to win the match but Ashton responded to keep the contest in the balance. With nine penalties taken it was down to Lee Gaskell to take the spot kick competition into sudden death and he duly obliged by sending his kick high into the net and score read 4-4 after five penalties from each team.

With the result still in the balance Clitheroe scored their next two spot kicks with the Rams responding with Kennedy and keeper Ashton converting to level the score at six each, Snowden then smashed in his attempt leaving popular defender Luke Thompson to take the next penalty for the home side, unfortunately the effort flew over the crossbar and the away side progressed to the next stage of the competition by a score line of 7-6.

Whilst the Rams are currently unbeaten at home in 90 minutes this season this defeat was sadly the second penalty loss in cup competitions this term after the recent FA Cup elimination by Kidsgrove and bringing an end to the clubs involvement in the Integro trophy for this season.

Ramsbottom United get an early chance to exact some retribution on Clitheroe as the two sides reconvene on Saturday afternoon as league points are at stake in what should be a keenly contested match.

Ramsbottom United:- Ashton, Stott (Eckersley 62 mins), Kennedy, Brooks, Thompson, Downes, Dean, Rother (Higgs 76 mins), Deegan (Gaskell 64 mins), Brown, Wright.

Subs not used- Robertson (GK)