Well, here we go again then! It has been a seriously long wait but the Rams get back to competitive league action with a trip over to the Wirral to face City of Liverpool.
Our hosts were only formed in 2015 and played their first match on 9 July 2016 and it has been a whirlwind ride as they have zoomed through the North West Counties League, taking the Division One play-offs in 2016/17 (their first season) and the Premier Division title in 2018/19.
This will be their first game at their new ‘home’ as they signed a two-year arrangement to share the Syncreon Arena in Ellesmere Port, the home of NWCFL Premier Division side Vauxhall Motors Football Club – having ended their relationship with Bootle after five years since their formation at the end of last season.
So, the big question and the whole point of this article is…. have we met before?
And the answer is a rather emphatic yes – emphatic because we have met twice before in the curtailed 2019/20 season and racked up 10 goals to two across the brace of fixtures some six weeks apart.
The first of the games came at the Harry Williams Riverside Stadium on 26 November 2019 where Tom Kennedy’s early penalty gave the hosts the lead which was extended by Iyrwah Gooden on 19 minutes.
Gooden added his second nine minutes into the second half before Ruben Jerome and Josh Hmami hit the target to seal a comprehensive 5-0 victory in front of 161 spectators.
New Year came and went and we headed over to Vesty Road where 382 witnessed another highly impressive Rams performance with Gooden, once more, the main focus.
He hit twice in the opening half hour, which sandwiched Liam Hynes’ goal for the Purps but Josh Hmami slotted home just before the interval to give us a 3-1 half-time lead.
Hmami added a second on 67 minutes and Gooden secured the match ball with just five minutes left. Elliot Nevitt, who secured notoriety by scoring a hat-trick for Warrington Rylands 1906 in the FA Vase Final in May this year and is now on Tranmere Rovers’ books, grabbed a late consolation as the Rams ran out 5-2 victors.
We were due to meet in the 2020/21 campaign, initially on 3 November 2020, but, of course, it didn’t happen.
As always, we look forward to heading across to Ellesmere Port – it’s only 54 miles (and just 8 miles more than it would be if we were going to Bootle!!).