It has been quite some time since the Rams and Bootle met up – in fact, you have to go back nine and a half years to April 2012 for the last – and, any look at Ramsbottom United history will know all about it.

For the 1-1 draw at The Riverside on that early April Tuesday night was the only points the NWCFL title winning Ramsbottom United side dropped in their last 13 league games from the start of March and that long, long night at Prescot Cables’ ground following the 2-1 reverse to AFC Liverpool.

That Bootle game, with Kevin Black opening the scoring for the Bucks right on half-time shook the home side before Ryan Moore’s equaliser on 68 minutes ensured we took something – or dropped two points rather than three in the grander scheme of things.

In fact, Bootle, who finished third that season had their own dreams of promotion that season and two of their 13 draws in the 2011/12 season came against the Rams – they only lost five games all season but finished 11 points behind us.

The reverse fixture, at the back end of February 2012, Tony Cunningham’s match report on the very old RUFC website, described as “nothing more than a damp squib with all the meaningful action restricted to the opening and closing twelve minutes”.

On eight minutes Micky Morrison cleverly created space by the right side bye-line before floating over a perfect cross for Lee Gaskell to head home at the far post.

Just four minutes later, the lead was doubled. As the visitors poured down on the home goal, the ball broke to Grant Spencer whose fierce drive from the edge of the box gave Doran in the home goal no chance.

However, with the clock chasing down, the Rams hopes were dashed by two late goals.

On 78 minutes a perfect delivery from the left wing saw substitute Foley sweep in between two defenders by the far post to turn the ball home.

And Bootle’s dominance finally paid off in the 90th minute. Dawson appeared to have done enough to save the day with a superb last ditch tackle that went for a corner. But the cross was not dealt with, and Thompson was on hand to bundle the ball home by the post to rescue a point for the Bucks.

The season before was a tale of two 3-1 victories for the Johnson and Morley’s team. Ian Flannery scored at both ends of the ground in September 2010, giving Bootle the lead. He then gave the Rams the lead following Danny Warrender’s equaliser and Lee Gaskell’s second half clincher. And then we headed to New Bucks Park on 1 March 2011 when Mark Drew took home the match ball with two goals in the first 19 minutes and then a penalty in the last after Daniel O’Connor had brought the scores level in only eight minutes.

The 2009/10 season finished 6-6 on aggregate in two wildly different games! The 148 strong crowd were very entertained on 10 October 2009 when goals from George Bowyer and a pair for Jon Robinson matched Ian Johnson, O’Connor and Anthony Hickey’s strikes – all within the first 29 minutes.

That was before the Rams pulled away with Barry Massey and a brace for Andy Sensale clinched a 6-3 away win.

Revenge was exacted though on 13 March 2010 when O’Connor scored twice either side of Chris Tyson’s goal to rush the Bucks to a 3-0 away day triumph.

The story of our head-to-history is full of long gaps between clashes as there was another eight year hiatus between games from 2000 to 2008 – and all of those either finished 2-1, 1-2 or a single 0-0.

So it is a warm welcome back to the Merseysiders to the Ramsbottom United fixture list as they finally made their way out of the NWCFL last season. Many congratulations – it’s great to see you once again!

at Rammy – Played 5, Rammy 2, Bootle 2, Draws 1, Goals for 7, against 8
at Bootle – Played 6, Rammy 3, Bootle 1, Draws 2, Goals for 14, against 9
TOTAL – Played 11, Rammy 5, Bootle 3, Draws 3, Goals for 21, against 17