For the third time in this FA Trophy run of 2018/19, the Rams had brought their original match opponents back to the Harry Williams Riverside Stadium for a replay and, like the previous three, progressed to the next round.
But this was no ordinary ‘next round’ – it was the first time ever that Ramsbottom United had made it into Round 2 of this prestigious competition as they downed their higher league opponents Workington 2-0.
The home side made a single change from Saturday’s wet and wild contest up in Cumbria with Khalil Osi-Efa replacing Simon Woodford and it was the hosts who had the early chances as Nic Evangelinos’ dual headers were firstly tipped over by Aaron Taylor and the second lifted over the bar.
This stung Workington into action and they were unfortunate when Joel hit the post and the rebound found Tinnion who smashed his volley wide of the target.
Half time came and, like the previous 90 minutes in the far north-west, the scoreline remained goalless. Who was going to break?
Workington started the second half the brighter with Joel’s effort ruled out for offside and then Evangelinos’ fierce shot at the other end was blocked by the keeper.
The break through finally came on 58 minutes of the game – the 148th of the contest overall. After a bit of pinball in the penalty area, the ball fell to Ruben Jerome who, at his third attempt, slotted the ball home to put the Rams 1-0 up.
Once again, the Reds came back strongly as Scott Allison’s scooped over the bar, which was a huge chance missed as a goal then would have made for a nerve-jangling last quarter.
Those nerves though were eased hugely when the Rams doubled their advantage on 74 minutes and it was Evangelinos again, who had caused Workington huge problems all evening, reaped the reward as he raced through and crashed an unstoppable shot for 2-0.
The evening ended on a sour note, however, when Nialle Rodney had his shot blocked by a sliding challenge by defender Dan Wordsworth but is saw the Rammy winger seriously injured as his lower leg collided with the post.
A break of 33 minutes ensued while he was attended to and he was carried from the field to a rousing round of applause.
The Rams saw out the final few minutes and progressed to the uncharted waters of Round 2 of the FA Trophy where they would welcome National League South promotion chasing Weymouth in mid-January.
Five rounds passed, three replays, what else could this incredible FA Trophy run throw at us. This was but the tip of the iceberg!
RAMSBOTTOM UNITED: Sam Ashton, Tom Kennedy, Ryan Ellison, Eddie Moran, Luke Thompson, Khalil Osi-Efa, Nialle Rodney (Regan Jarrett 81mins), Jamie Rother, Ruben Jerome, Tony Donaldson, Nic Evangelinos. Subs not used: Jamie Hart, Louis Rowe, Martin Parker, Harry Foulds.
Thanks to Frank Crook for the photos.