In a slight change to the normal ‘On This Saturday’ feature on Rammy Stats, we look back at the devilishly ghoulish (or should that be goal-ish) goings on by the river on the 31st October over the years…. Halloween!
But it has been a date that has given Rammy’s opponents nightmares and their goalkeepers sleepless nights as we have scored a total of 14 goals in just four matches played.
There has been no tricks for the Rams, only treats for the players and the supporters alike across the years.
However, despite their being four games played, only one of them was a league game – and that came in 1998 so Saturday’s game with Prescot Cables will be the first Halloween league game for the Rams for 22 years!
The game in 1998 came in the North West Counties League and strikes from Steve Orrell, Danny Goodall, Mike Langhorn and Russell Brierley saw off Cheadle Town 4-2, which was a much needed outing for Ken Bridge’s side having sat without a game for two weeks after the Southport FA Cup qualifying game which saw a record crowd at the Riverside.
Having said that there were no tricks, there have been a few scary moments along the way!
In the North West Counties League Cup second round game at home to Congleton Town in 2009, it was the Rams who were spooked initially as the visitors eased into a 3-1 lead just before half-time and the hosts were forced into two substitutions before the first half was out with Lee Connell and George Bowyer both making way.
Thankfully, Andrew Sensale struck twice after Bernard Morley has levelled the scores with Sarly’s 86th minute winner ensuring there were no terrors in the dressing room afterwards!
The only game that we didn’t win at Halloween was the FA Trophy first qualifying round game away at Ashton United on this Saturday in 2015 – this draw did eventually lead to the longest penalty shoot out in the club’s history on the following Tuesday night, as chronicled in the article about the penalty games from a couple of weeks previously.
Oldham Athletic loanee Jordan Bove opened the scoring before Jason Gorton responded for the hosts. It was to-and-fro stuff so when Shelton Payne – he of the many clubs – gave us the lead once more, excitement built. It was short lived as Martin Pilkington levelled again six minutes later and that’s how it ended, 2-2.
The final game turned out to be one that went deep into the evening and beyond the witching hour… well, it was a ‘Wizard’ who finished the spell to vanquish Shaw Lane at the HWRS in the FA Trophy Round 1 qualifying replay.
It was looking like an early night as Paul Clayton’s 15th minute goal for the visitors held sway. That was until Sam Heathcote hit the target with seven minutes left to extend the contest into extra-time.
As the mist rolled down The Rake – possibly – Jerome Wright broke Shaw Lane’s resistance with two goals in the second period of added time before Phil Dean – our very own Wiz – sealed our place in the next round where we would crash out to a Jordan Hulme inspired Altrincham 4-1.
Wha ha ha ha ha ha ha…… can you break the Rams Halloween spell, Prescot Cables?!?