Home, sweet home! Finally, competitive football returns to the Harry Williams Riverside Stadium on Tuesday night in the Pitching In Northern Premier League Division One West and we welcome a team that, before the new season kicked-off, had already played some football in the calendar year of 2021.
Marine’s magical FA Cup run gave the Merseysiders world wide recognition and a far from disgraceful performance against Jose Mourinho’s multi-millionaire’s of Tottenham Hotspur in the third round warmed many to non-league football.
Of course, the Rams have their own memories of playing at the Marine Travel Arena as it was the final action of the 2019/20 season on 14 March 2020 before the league was stopped and the campaigned deemed null and void.
So, let’s have a little look through the history between the Rams and the Mariners.
Our paths first cross in the NPL Premier Division on 2 September 2014 at the HWRS when goals from Jordan Hulme, Malachi Slaven and Steve Howson put the home side 3-0 up after 56 minutes but two very late goals from Thomas Owens and John Shaw gave the Rams a scare, thankfully to hold out for a 3-2 win.
It was a little easier just seven weeks later at the back end of October 2014 when Howson’s double sandwiched Osebi Abadaki’s strike which eased us 3-0 at the break. Andrew Fowler’s penalty on 71 minutes was a mere consolation.
Having played Marine in the early part of the 2014/15 season, we had to wait until the back end of the horrendous 2015/16 one to meet again.
A 1-1 draw at the HWRS came in late March – our fourth point from the last available 39 but when we travelled to Crosby seven games later, we had only secured one more point. Yes, it really was that bad!
16 April 2016 at the Marine Travel Arena saw the home side canter to a 3-0 win with a brace from Danny Mitchley and Liam Goulding slotting inbetween. It was the final straw for manager Garry Vaughan, who resigned shortly afterwards. Having not won in 20 games – it wasn’t a surprise.
The Rams went down but were followed for the 2019/20 season by the Lilywhites and we would cross swords once more.
A hugely entertaining game came on 2 November 2019 with six goals in the first half! Brett Mbalanda scored twice in the opening 11 minutes, Nic Evangelinos hauled one back for the Rams six minutes later, Anthony Miley and Niall Cummins added two more for the visitors and then Tom Kennedy closed the arrears to 4-2 at the break. Kennedy’s penalty on 72 minutes made it 4-3 but we couldn’t find an equaliser.
And then came 14 March 2020. I won’t say too much more here … but I will point you towards a great interview RamsbottomUnited365 did with Jamie Rother all about that game and the before and after that came too… https://www.ramsbottomutd.com/jamies-strike-the-last-hurrah/
Overall, it is 3-3 head to head wise with one draw and Marine lead 13-12 in goals scored. Which all means it will be a great game between two very closely contested sides.
Enjoy the game and come on you Rams!!!