HWM – CHADDERTON?
It is a matter of some 15 years since the Rams last faced off against Chadderton and you have to go back to 1998 to discover the last league meeting in the one and only season that the two sides were in the same division.
The Lancashire Telegraph reported that the Rams crashed out of the NWCFL League Cup competition with a lacklustre display as they were beaten 3-2 on 26 January 2008 at Andrew Street, the last time that they met on the park.
It was the visitors who started off the brightest and on four minutes, Rob Crank scored a peach of a goal on his debut for the Rams. Matt Ward broke forward on the wing and after beating his marker on the touchline, he delivered an inch perfect cross to Crank who made no mistake from six yards as he planted his header firmly past the stranded keeper.
Chadderton, at this point, looked a very ordinary side and the Rams travelling supporters where waiting for the floodgates to open such was their play.
However, the home side gradually got back into the game and they should have equalised when the ball was played to the right and but for last ditch defending by Matt Eckersley, Martin Campbell would have been beaten. And the Rams were giving the ball away with too much ease.
The second half was pretty much one way traffic with Chadderton causing the Rams all sorts of problems and when they finally equalised it came as no surprise.
A neat throughball found Cregan and with Campbell coming off his line, the ball was played around the keeper before being smashed low and hard into the empty net.
And within a minute of the restart, Chadderton took the lead when the Rams failed to clear a free-kick and Chadderton cashed in.
More chances fell to Chadderton but in the dying seconds of the game the Rams broke forwards. The ball was played into the area and it was Eckersley who was first on hand to score.
Chadderton won the game in the last five minutes when a cross Campbell could only parry a cross and Fulham made no mistake from five yards.
Carl Lomax scored twice for the Rams as they progressed in the FA Cup from the Preliminary round in August 2002 when Chadderton were beaten 3-0, the home sides’ third was an own goal.
On 24 November 1998, it was another cup game, this time the League Cup again as the Rams headed to East Manchester and returned 2-1 winners in round one thanks to Steve Orrell and Billy McCartney’s strikes.
Our only league season together came in 1997/98 in North West Counties Division One and it was a double win for the Rams that campaign.
31 January 1998 game at Andrew Street was sealed with just one goal, coming from Russell Brierley while the reverse fixture was much more entertaining with the Rams sealing a 5-3 success with Steve Orrell and Mike Langhorn both grabbed a brace while Brierley hit the fifth for the home side.
Unfortunately, ground grading issues would cost Chadderton their place in the division, despite finishing eight points and five places about the Rams in 12th place that year while the Rams were down in 17th ahead of Salford City and Warrington Town!
The first ever clash between the Rams and Chadderton was in the FA Vase Preliminary Round on 10 September 1997 at The Riverside. And what a game it was!
Sadly, there doesn’t seem to be a match report available in any of the local newspapers of the time but the game went to extra time and it was the visitors who made it through to the next round with a 5-4 win. The Rams goals were scored by Paul Cuddy, Martin Hulme, Mark Keegan and Mel Burke but the visitors would take the spoils.
Six games in total and 29 goals is the record between the sides – that sure is some entertainment!