Ramsbottom United and Glossop North End – two kindred spirit football clubs, both based near Manchester but sufficiently far enough out to not be, both proudly representing their small, rural towns in non-league football and both working tirelessly in their communities.
And we have been regular foes on the pitch, going all the way back to 1997 right the way up to the 2018/19 season when the league tinkered with the leagues and split us up once more.
In total, there have been 36 games – all in various leagues – with the Rams holding a 16-12 advantage in the head-to-head stakes with eight draws and that is reflected in the goal tallies too with us 66-52 ahead.
Our first ever competitive meeting in our semi-professional history came on 22 November 1997 when we headed to Surrey Street and came away defeated 3-0 and it was only fractionally better in April 1998 when Russ Brierley’s goal was all we took from a 1-3 loss.
But after that, the Rams went on a six-match unbeaten spell in NWCFL Division One – losing just one of the next 13 – from 1998 to 2004.
The only reverse in that time came in December 2001 in a match that the Lancashire Telegraph reported as a ‘thriller’ as Glossop won 4-3 in a game that finished with ten men a side!
David Yorke-Robinson gave the Rams the lead after just two minutes before Elliott Prest equalised on the quarter-hour and it stayed that way through to half-time. Prest added a second – the reporter felt it was off-side – and things heated up soon afterwards when Danny Goodall was flattened from behind in the penalty area which saw Danny Wild of Glossop and Allan Fairbrother, the Rammy goalkeeper, sent off – the ball still trickled into the net for 3-1. Brierley pulled one back for the Rams but Prest scored his hat-trick, heading past Jamie Taylor, the Rammy deputy keeper for 4-2. Stephen Sheil got a late third for the Rams but we couldn’t find an equaliser. Sounds quite a game!
Even in all of this, neither side really threatened to get out the NWCFL Division One until 2008 when the leagues changed and it became NWCFL Premier Division, all the while Glossop winning 8 of the next 13 games although one game the Rams did win was at Surrey Street just before Christmas in 2006 when Stephen McDonald equalised Darren Hamilton’s opener only for Ryan Moore to score either side of half-time and Anthony Johnson add a fourth on 65 minutes. Paul Nibloe grabbed a late consolation as the Rams scored a rare success.
Our last meetings in the North West Counties came in our promotion year of 2011/12 and it all started with a Tuesday night home win over the Derbyshire side (after we had lost to St Helens Town on the opening day). Samuel Hind opened the scoring for GNE but three second half goals from Lee Pugh, Jon Robinson and Kieron Pickup gave us a 3-1 win and it was the same story in the return game on 26 November 2011 as Hind gave the hosts the first half lead before Robinson, Michael Morrison, Pickup and Robinson again scored in the second period.
And there was a five year hiatus before our paths crossed again in the NPL and it was great to see them again although we only picked up a point from the possible six in 2016/17 campaign. Louis Myers’ double either side of the break gave us the lead after Michael Norton had opened the scoring but Karl Jones levelled on the hour and it was three familiar names on the scoresheet in the return game at Surrey Street in early October as Jamie Rainford and Max Leonard gave GNE a 2-0 lead only for Rammy’s current assistant manager Martin Parker to give us an own goal. The Glossop side also featured Ben Richardson and one Eddie Moran!
It was better for the Rams the following season as goals from Kyle Brownhill, Jerome Wright, Max Hazeldine and Jamie Rother lifted us to a 4-2 win – Courtney Meppan-Walter’s penalty and Ben Deegan slotting for the visitors and we came from behind in the reverse game after Andy Bishop put Glossop ahead after two minutes only to see Wright score twice and Sam Madeley give us a 3-1 success.
Our last two meetings in the 2018/19 season in Division One West were two comprehensive victories. Nialle Rodney and Joel Bembo-Leta scored in our home 2-0 win before we took a New Year trip to the Peaks and came away 5-0 victors thanks to two from Rainford and Nic Evangelinos and one for Richard Brodie.
So what is going to happen at the Harry Williams Riverside Stadium this time out. We have won the last four on our home ground since 2011 but Glossop have won 7 of their 18 games in Rammy so will be buoyed by a good record.
Whatever happens, welcome back again Glossop North End – enjoy the match as always.
RAMSBOTTOM UNITED v GLOSSOP NORTH END RECORD
at Rammy – Played 18, Rammy 8, Glossop 7, Draws 3, Goals for 31, against 28
at Glossop – Played 18, Rammy 8, Glososp 5, Draws 5, Goals for 35, against 24
TOTAL – Played 36, Rammy 16, Glossop 12, Draws 8, Goals for 66, against 52