Category: Club News

MATCH PREVIEW: Rams v Market Drayton Town

By Tony Cunningham

The talking stops, the pre-season games have come to an end, and the closed season changes, both on and off the pitch have been made.

Now the season begins!

Tomorrow, the Rams open their Evo-Stik West account with a visit from Shropshire side Market Drayton Town to the HWRS.

This is the first time the two clubs have ever met, and do so as a result of the realignment of the second tier of the NPL Evo-Stik League from North/South to East/West.

Last season Town endured a difficult campaign in Evo-Stik South, often looking over their shoulders before Romulus finally accepted the fate of the only relegation spot in the Division.

No doubt, on the back of that, our visitors will have had quite a shuffle during the break, so last year’s final table placing will have no relevance on Saturday’s outcome.

For the Rams, it’s good to see so many of last season’s squad still with us, although like the supporters, they will be looking to better a slightly disappointing 14th spot last time.

We welcome the newcomers to the team, along with those newly recruited by manager Mark Fell, off the pitch, and trust that everyone manages to quickly create the sort of bond that every successful side needs.

It’s always difficult to predict what lies ahead over the next nine months, but as with any journey, we start with one small step.

Tomorrow’s game against market Drayton Town is Ramsbottom United’s.

Let’s hope for a decent crowd down at the HWRS and a winning start to what we all hope will be a successful season.

Rammy manager Mark Fell spoke to rammyunited.co.uk ahead of this fixture and he said:

"We’re all looking forward to getting cracking, I think things have really come together in the last 10 days and the lads have put the overtime in this week to ensure we’re fully prepared. We’ve done our homework on Market Drayton as they will have done with us so we have a good idea of the challenges they’ll bring - but we go into the game and the season with a confidence and optimism."

Category: Club News

The Rams have signed a striker and appointed a goalkeeper coach

Ramsbottom United have added forward Ben Deegan to their squad ahead of the new season, the 6ft 2 target man played for both Glossop and promoted side Hyde last season and arrives with an excellent goalscoring record with the likes of FC United and Nantwich. The 30 year old from Manchester was also a key part of the Warrington side that won promotion from the Evo Stik Division 1 North.

Manager Mark Fell commented “We’ve not had this type of striker since Gaz Seddon, he’s good on the ball for a big man, he can win the flick-on’s and bring others into play. He’s a good lad to have in the dressing room and knows what this division is all about.”

The Rams boss also gave an update on further recruitment before the season kicks off in just over a week’s time, “We’re working with 16 signed players at the moment, Greg Daniels and Harry Foulds both have around a month until they’ll be fit so we’ve got to make some further additions. We’re very close to a duo on loan from a National League club and we’ve our eye on a couple that are not featuring in sides higher up the pyramid at the moment - I expect there to be a lot of activity in the final week leading up to the season.”

The Rams have also completed their staff line-up for the new season with GK coach Andy Robertson joining the club. He is an experienced former keeper who played for Chorley, Droylsden, Mossley, Witton and Trafford during an illustrious non-league career. Andy is no stranger to the Riverside, playing 8 games for the club in 2008. Rubz, as he’s known, will work with the clubs goalkeepers as well as being registered as emergency cover.

Category: Match Reports

REPORT: Pontefract Colls 7 Rammy 1

Pre Season Friendly

Saturday 4th August 2018

PONTEFRACT COLLIERIES 7 RAMSBOTTOM UNITED 1

Report by Jon Haslam

Ramsbottom United suffered a heavy defeat in their penultimate pre season game on Saturday afternoon at the hands of Pontefract Collieries who have just been promoted to the Evo Stik Northern Premier League East Division.

The Rams got off to the worst possible start and fell behind with barely two minutes on the clock when a defensive mix up gave the unmarked Daly a simple tap in at the far post.

Pontefract would double their advantage before the ten minute mark when a free kick was played in the Rams penalty area before finding the head of Picton whose downward header beat Ashtons dive as the home sides early pressure was turned into a deserved early two goal lead.

The visitors were struggling for any real fluency as they attempted to recover from the early double strike but then out of nowhere a ball over top of the home defence found the pacey Marie who broke the offside trap and confidently lofted the ball over the onrushing goalkeeper to half the arrears and register his third goal in his last three matches.

With the Rams looking to gain some confidence their plans where disrupted somewhat on 25 minutes when Luke Thompson had to limp out of the action to be replaced by Jamie Rother resulting in captain Dean Stott dropping back to a central defensive berth.

The game continued to be an open affair with the home side looking the more threatening, indeed Sam Ashton was forced to make a fine low save with around ten minutes remaining in the first half.

The Rams best attacking moments involved Luke Jordan whose pace was proving a useful outlet for the Rams although the home keeper wasn't really asked any serious questions with both Marie and the angular trialist (number 10) not having too many clear sights of goal.

Sadly the next goal of an open contest would go to the home side five minutes before the interval when an incisive through ball found the impressive Hey who coolly slotted the ball past Ashton to restore the hosts two goal advantage at the half way point.

As the contest resumed and with a certain amount of symmetry the Rams contrived to present the home side with a fourth goal five minutes after the break when a sliced clearance from Ashton was pounced on by the hosts and after a neat interchange Redford made the visitors pay for their mistake as he converted with a low drive which found the corner of the net.

Ramsbottom United flickered into life briefly with Jordan again stretching the home defence before arguably the best piece of play from the visitors resulted in a superb cross from Wright which found Marie who was denied from close range before the Rams trialist forward couldn't smuggle the ball over the line when a goal seemed inevitable.

As the second period reached the half way point Pontefract increased their advantage further when Hey again controlled the ball well before firing a shot past Ashton for this second goal of the game with the Rams defence looking in disarray.

As the game continued towards the final quarter of an hour both sides made a number of substitutions which seemed to benefit Pontefract more than the day trippers from Lancashire.

Unfortunately the punishment wasn't finished there for the visitors as a long through ball again caught out the Rams backline and Redford lobbed the ball over the onrushing and worryingly vulnerable Ashton to make the score 6-1 to the hosts with just over five minutes remaining.

With almost the last kick of the match Pontefract added a seventh when Knights low drive beat Ashton, shortly afterwards the referee thankfully blew his final whistle to put an end to a chastening defeat for Ramsbottom United.

As the Rams made their way home over the Pennines contemplating a miserable trip to Yorkshire even the most ardent Ramsbottom United supporter would find it difficult to find any positives from a performance that will be a cause for concern with the league campaign only two weeks away.

Ramsbottom United:- Ashton, Trialist (Trialist 46 mins) Henry,Stott, Thompson (Rother 25 mins), Ellison, Jordan, Higgs (Brooks 64 mins), Marie (Gaskell 79 mins) , Trialist (Trialist 79 mins) Wright.

Match action photos will be available shortly!

Category: Club News

REPORT: Nelson 1 Rammy 3

Pre Season Friendly

Saturday 28th July 2018

NELSON 1 RAMSBOTTOM UNITED 3

Report by Jon Haslam

Ramsbottom United made the short trip to Little Wembley on Saturday afternoon to take on Nelson in their latest pre-season fixture hoping to continue the momentum from the second half performance from Tuesday nights victory over a youthful Fleetwood side

The starting eleven had a more familiar look to it than of late with just a single trialist taking his place in a back 3 alongside regulars Thompson and Ellison.

It was the Rams that made the perfect start when, with barely a minute on the clock Luke Jordan received a superb pass from Jack Higgs before the wide man sped past the fullback before sending a low cross into the danger area before finding its way to Lee Gaskell and the frontman made no mistake from close range to give the visitors an early lead.

Nelson were finding it difficult to make an impact on the Rams rearguard in the opening exchanges with the visitors looking an attacking threat in the wide areas with Dean and Jordan getting into some promising positions but the final crosses into the penalty area struggled to find their intended target.

The hosts would equalise with half an hour on the clock somewhat against the run of play when a swift breakaway opened up the Ramsbottom defence and Nelsons unmarked right winger sent a low shot past the outstretched hand of Ashton from just inside the penalty area.

For the remainder of the half the game was a fairly even affair with goal mouth action at a premium as both sides found it difficult to put together any serious attacking fluency and the referee brought the first 45 minutes to a conclusion with the scores level at a goal each.

After the restart it was Nelson that had the first goal scoring chance when a flowing move set up a presentable opportunity but the strike from the edge of the area failed to trouble Ashton in the Rams goal.

As so often happens in pre-season fixtures both sides utilised their substitutes bench fully as a number of changes punctured the flow of the match although the home side perhaps looked the more likely to create a goalscoring opportunity with the hour mark approaching.

Ramsbottom United flickered into life from an attacking perspective when the classy Higgs unleashed a long range attempt which just cleared the angle of post and crossbar.

As the weather conditions worsened and with fifteen minutes remaining Nelson almost took the lead when a corner caused chaos in the Rams defence before the crossbar came to the visitors rescue twice in quick succession, the ball was then cleared midway into the Nelson half and a defensive slip was seized upon by Jerome Wright who confidently strode forward before clinically finding the back of the net to give the Rams the advantage.

The goal seemed to give the visitors a boost which lead to a number of chances being created in the closing minutes of the contest as Nelson pushed forward looking to restore parity

. With only moments remaining the result was put beyond any doubt when a trialist crossed from the touchline and Dominic Maries stooping header fizzed past the home keeper to register his second goal in successive appearances.

As the final whistle sounded Ramsbottom United ran out 3-1 winners in a match that was probably closer than the final result would show but with another 90 minutes under the belt both teams could take some positives from a competitive run out designed to ensure that both squads are fully prepared for when the league action begins in the coming weeks.

Ramsbottom United:- Ashton (Stinca 68 mins), Henry, Dean (Trialist 46 mins), Trialist (Trialist 65 mins), Thompson, Ellison, Jordan, Higgs, Marie, Gaskell (Trialist 61 mins) Wright.


Category: Club News

Fixture Update

Due to Widnes' involvement in the Extra Preliminary Round of the FA Trophy on SATURDAY 29th SEPTEMBER, our AWAY game against them has been moved to TUESDAY 9th OCTOBER.

Instead on SATURDAY 29th SEPTEMBER, RAMSBOTTOM UNITED will be AWAY to KENDAL TOWN (brought forward from 13th April)

Saturday 29th September: Kendal Town v RAMS 3.00pm

Tuesday 9th October: Widnes v RAMS 7.45pm

Category: Club News

MATCH PREVIEW: Ramsbottom United v Lancaster City

FRIDAY 10TH AUGUST

RAMSBOTTOM UNITED V LANCASTER CITY

The final pre-season friendly before the League campaign starts on 18th August, is this coming Friday when the Rams meet Evo-Stik Premier Division side Lancaster City.

The game is being played at a neutral venue – Fulwood Amateurs ground in Lightfoot Lane, Preston (PR4 0AE) – with a 7.00pm kick-off.

This will be the last chance for any aspiring trialists to show manager Mark Fell that they have the required attributes to compete in what looks like being a very evenly contested Evo-Stik West League this time round.

With many of last season’s squad already having re-signed, along with a number of newcomers, the Rams boss will be hoping to put the disappointing result and performance at Pontefract last Saturday to bed, and begin the new season at home to Market Drayton Town on the back of an encouraging performance against a strong Lancaster City side, which established itself in the Premier Division last season following promotion.

Category: Club News

Supporters' Club AGM and Manager's Forum

The Supporters' Club AGM and pre-season Manager's Forum will take place on Tuesday 14th August at 8pm at Ramsbottom Cricket Club (the bar will be open).

The AGM will offer an opportunity to hear about and discuss the Supporters' Club Committee's plans for the upcoming season, elect committee members, and also to sign up for the new season and receive your exclusive Supporters' Club gift.

The Manager's Forum will give you chance to put your questions to Mark Fell, his staff and a player before the season starts. Questions at the ready!





Category: Club News

Backroom Staff Update

The summer at non-league clubs generally always see’s players come and go, but this summer Mark Fell has also taken the opportunity to refresh his backroom staff ahead of the new campaign.

As many supporters will be aware, Matt Booth left his post as physio at the end of last season to spend time with his young family, with Elliott Burke taking up a role abroad and therefore relinquishing his performance analyst role. Following a further backroom staff restructure, Scott Campbell moved onto pastures new after being in the role of 1st team coach for 18 months and GK coach Rob Sadler relocated to Cheshire with work and took a role at Northwich Victoria. All four leave the club with our thanks and very best wishes for the future.

The club are delighted to welcome Nathan Rooney, Ben Cole and Dominic Smith to the staff team.

Nathan Rooney joins the direct player management team with Mark Fell and Graham Lancashire, the UEFA A, vastly experienced young coach, has working both overseas and with local clubs Blackburn Rovers and currently Fleetwood Town with the u23’s and u18’s. Blackburn based, the 30 year old held a watching brief at the pre-season game on Tuesday but is expected to commence his work with the players from the weekend.

Ben Cole has been recruited as the new club physio and comes with an excellent pedigree. The Essex born medic who now lives in Rochdale spent time at Preston North End as well as working with elite athletes with Altius Heath - Ben started his role last weekend undertaking medical assessments for some of the current squad.

Dominic Smith is the clubs new performance analyst, the Cardiff University graduate lives in Macclesfield and will take over the filming of games and the coding of key performance indicators to assist the management team.

Speaking about the first names in his new staff line up, Rams boss Mark Fell, “the end of the season was a chance for me to take stock, I had some good chats with the board about how different staffing structures may work and then went about putting the right people into the right roles. We were all keen to learn from some of the issues which potentially cost us points last season and put them right. We’ve some new staff with fresh ideas and there is already a good dynamic within the group. I’ve known Nathan for a long time, he’s an outstanding coach and brings with him great ideas, a really professional way of working and a good network of contacts. Both Ben and Dom have really impressed me so far and they’ve both critical roles to play once we get cracking. I’ll be bringing a GK coach into the club in the next week or so and I want to add to our scouting pool. Things will look a little different from last season and that’s a positive, we want specific expertise within the club as well as the right characters"


Category: Club News

Cancellation of Manager's Forum - Supporters' Club AGM still to go ahead

Mark Fell is now unavailable for Tuesday's Manager's Forum due to an extended training session. The Supporters' Club AGM will go ahead as planned at 8pm (at Ramsbottom Cricket Club). The AGM is open to all current, former and prospective members and is an opportunity to hear about expenditure, discuss upcoming plans, and to sign up for the new season and get an exclusive Supporters Club gift!
Category: Club News

Lancaster City vs Ramsbottom United

Please note, Ramsbottom United's Pre Season Friendly vs Lancaster next Friday, will now be played at The Home of Fulwood Amateurs.

Address: Lightfoot Ln, Fulwood, Preston PR4 0AE

Kick off: 7pm



Category: Club News

Bank Holiday Fixture Change

Ramsbottom United’s scheduled HOME game against Atherton Collieries, due to take place on Bank Holiday Monday 27th August, has now been reversed to an AWAY fixture.

Despite this game having been publicised, the recent bad weather that saw the Twenty/20 cricket semi-finals and finals postponed last Sunday have seen the competitions finale rearranged for the same Bank Holiday.

Ramsbottom United, being aware of the issues regarding access and parking contacted both the Evo-Stik League and Atherton Collieries to explain that this was a decision taken without consultation, leaving the club in a difficult position.

Both agreed that in the interest of safety, the games between Ramsbottom United and Atherton Collieries would be reversed, and the home game will now take place on New Year’s Day.

The club wishes to apologise to all supporters for any inconvenience


Category: Club News

Chester duo arrive on loan

Ramsbottom United are pleased to announce a double loan signing from National League North side Chester FC.

Nathan Brown and Alex Downes have joined initially until October with an option to extend. Both players faced the Rams at the Riverside in Pre-season and both have already had first team involvement this term with Chester, Brown coming on as a substitute in their win over Curzon Ashton earlier in the week.

19 year old Nathan Brown has already impressed the Chester support with some dynamic performances last season and signed a contract extension in the summer, the young forward came through the Academy ranks at the Deva and was voted young player of the season and his winner against Bromley last season was voted goal of the season.

Nathan Brown

Defender Alex Downes joined Chester from Wrexham and made his debut last season in the Cheshire senior cup. He too signed a professional contract in the summer and is another tipped for big things with the Seals.

Alex Downes

Rams Boss Mark Fell says that the club have got two exciting talents, “Both are very highly thought of at Chester, Jonno (Chester boss Anthony Johnson) rang me a week ago giving me an indication of their availability and it’s clear they have high hopes for them both. It’s great that they see us as the right club to help them progress”

Category: Club News

Jack Higgs signs for the Rams

Ramsbottom United have continued their summer recruitment with the signing of Jack Higgs.

The 25 year old arrives with an impressive pedigree including spells at Histon in the National League South and Enfield Town at step 3. Jack was also part of the St Ives team that won promotion from step 4 to step 3. Clearly these teams aren’t North West based, Jack is originally from Essex and moved to Manchester last year for work, he played a handful of games for Glossop at the end of last season. Jack has featured in most of the friendlies so far and was on the scoresheet last night with the Rams equaliser against Fleetwood Town.

Rams boss Mark Fell says the midfielder had been on the Rams radar for some time, “I got a couple of reports about how good he looked last season, so we had a chat in the summer and he was keen to settle down at Rammy. He’s a classy midfielder and with every game and training session he’s getting fitter. He’s been great in the dressing room and the lads have really taken to him.”

Higgs wasn’t short of offers in the summer, but the Rams ambition made his switch to the Riverside a straightforward one. “When I spoke to the gaffer and saw how the club operate from a football professionalism perspective it was a no brainier. It’s a great club with a passionate fanbase and I’m looking forward to getting started.”



Higgs, pictured during his spell at Enfield, can be next seen for the Rams at Nelson on Saturday, KO is 2pm. He is also available for player sponsorship, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for details.