And it is back to league action once again after the short soiree into the FA Cup with a trip into the beautiful Lake District for a Tuesday evening match with Kendal Town for match number three in the NPL Division One West.
This is not so much ‘West’ but much more ‘North West’ as he head to the south-eastern corner of England’s largest National Park for a game with a side that we have met ten times previously, all of them since 2013.
Rammy and Kendal Town’s paths didn’t cross until the end of November 2013 but since then we have been quite regular opponents in the various guises of the Northern Premier League’s ‘second tier’.
The Mintcakes were founder members of the Northern Premier League when it formed in 1968 – although they were called Netherfield then – but dropped down into the North West Counties in 1983 and even after a number of seasons at the wrong end of the Division One table, they were drafted into Division One of the NPL along with a number of other NWCFL Division One clubs but finished bottom in their inaugural season, winning just four of their 36 games. Also in that division in 1987/88 season were league winners Fleetwood Town, fourth placed Accrington Stanley and, in tenth, Harrogate Town – all of them now Football League clubs.
But our league placings never coincided until our second season in the NPL, the 2012/13 campaign, as Kendal Town were in the Premier Division in our first year.
The first ever meeting came at Parkside Road when goals from Lee Gaskell, Jordan Hulme and an own goal through Martin Grundy gave nine-man Rammy a 3-2 win. Danny Mitchley’s 80th minute strike for the home side made things interesting as did the red cards for Owen Roberts and Hulme on 68 and 86 minutes respectively!
While our record in the far north-west identical in every aspect – two wins, one draw, two defeats, nine goals for and nine against – our record at the Harry Williams Riverside Stadium is 100% undefeated.
Two goals from Phil Dean sandwiched Gary Stopforth’s strike as the Rams scored three in the first half on their way to a 3-0 win in April 2014 while Damian Green’s goal gave us a 1-0 win in the pre-New Year fixture in 2016 – Ryan Salmon seeing red for two yellows that evening.
April 2018 was the next home meeting and goals for Tom Brooks, Jon Robinson and Phil Dean sent us to a 3-1 win – Gary Basterfield’s 23rd minute goal was the only one that Kendal Town have scored in their four games at the HWRS before the game in October 2020.
That 100% record was only just maintained though as Ryan Ellison was on the end of Jerome Wright’s corner to slot home the 90th minute winner in the fourth of our home clashes in mid September 2018.
Kendal Town were one of the last sides we played prior to the early conclusion of the 2019/20 season on 7 March 2020 as Nic Evangelinos’ penalty and Luke Thompson’s last strike brought us a 2-1 win at the Lakelands Radio Stadium.
And they were our penultimate visitors to the HWRS before lockdown and cancellation struck once more – Sefton Gonzales and Mason Fawns giving the Rams the lead twice, only for James Hodgson and a Thomas Fagan strike in the 90th minute to give the visitors a share of the spoils.
Plenty of goals to consider there – an average of over three a game – so Tuesday night’s game could well be the same!
RAMSBOTTOM UNITED v KENDAL TOWN RECORD
At Rammy – Played 5, Won 4, Drawn 1, Lost 0, Goals for 10, Goals Against 3
At Kendal – Played 5, Won 2, Drawn 1, Lost 2, Goals for 9, Goals Against 9
TOTAL – Played 10, Won 6, Drawn 2, Lost 2, Goals for 19, Goals Against 12