by | Nov 5, 2023

Luke Sephton’s 96th minute header helped the Rams snatch a point.

NWCFL Premier Division • 5 Nov 2023
There were definitely fireworks down at the HWRS as two goals in added time rescued a point for Rammy in this Sunday afternoon encounter with Longridge Town.
Leckenby's Tea Rooms

For the second time this season Rammy left it late against Longridge to salvage something from the game.

Johnny Black managed to rescue all three points back in August with a 99th minute thunderbolt and this time it was Luke Sephton who came to Ramsbottom’s aid to earn them a point in the 96th minute.

Leckenby's Tea Rooms

The hosts started the game well with Luke Sephton going extremely close on five minutes but a superb save from Barry denied him. Throughout the early knockings the home side were seeing a lot of the ball with wing backs Oscar Radcliffe and Harvey Hayhurst having plenty of joy down their respective sides.

It wasn’t long before Sephton went close once more as on 14 minutes the pacey forward managed to connect well with a Radcliffe cross but the goalkeeper made another great save to keep the scores level. However, despite Rammy’s dominance it was in fact Longridge who found themselves with an excellent chance of opening the scoring on 27 minutes when they were awarded a penalty kick.

What looked to be a fair challenge from the stands by Martyn Jackson was seen differently from the referee who was in a much better position and therefore a penalty kick was awarded. Striker Dean Ing stepped up to the spot and he dispatched calmly into the bottom corner giving Calderbank-Park absolutely no chance.

The goal from the visitors didn’t seem to deter Ramsbottom in any way and they managed to respond with a goal of their own on 34 minutes. It was lovely build up play down the right-hand side and it was Jackson who sidefooted it past the on rushing goalkeeper to level the score, and make up for giving away the penalty.

The goal seemed to fill the home side with a bundle of confidence and they looked eager to get ahead before the break as Matt Dudley saw an effort cleared off the line by Marshall.

As the second half began the two sides were all level but despite the Rams carrying all the momentum into the break it was, in fact, Longridge who started the brighter of the two sides.

It wasn’t long before the away side regained their lead as on 50 minutes Dean Ing managed to nod home from close range to grab his and his side’s second of the afternoon. It was poor defending from the freekick from Rammy and a goal that could have been so easily prevented.

The visitors continued to push and very nearly extended their lead just two minutes later when Homson-Smith saw his effort superbly tipped over the crossbar from close range. With Longridge continuing to probe it looked only a matter of time before they added their third of the afternoon and that eventually came on 72 minutes.

Another poorly defended freekick from the Rams saw Homson-Smith’s freekick dribble right through a crowd of players to extend their lead to two goals.

The away side looked to be seeing the game out superbly as Rammy weren’t getting a sniff of the action. However, when the board went up indicating six minutes of time added on, it almost seemed to put a whole lot of belief into the Ramsbottom squad and supporters. With 90+1 on the clock substitute Kuda Chingwaro held the ball up well waiting for Harvey Hayhurst’s overlap who then fed Matt Dudley to turn home the low cross from six yards to give his side a chance.

With time now really against them and an equaliser looking less and less likely, the hosts continued to probe. Then in the very last minute, super sub Chingwaro put a sensational ball into the box which Luke Sephton attacked with real force and he managed to nod one past the on rushing goalkeeper to get Ramsbottom level.

Then in the remaining seconds, the Rams could have clinched a win but brave defending from the visitors ensured the points would be shared, something unimaginable just minutes before.

When all hope looked lost, the team once again showed incredible spirt and desire to clutch a point in the very last minute. Not the best performance we will ever see but certainly an extremely entertaining one.

Manager Steve Wilkes seemed confused after the final whistle, “Not quite sure how I’m feeling actually.

“I thought first half was the best we played and was extremely disappointed to go in one all, after creating so many good chances.

“Second half, the demons came back to haunt us as we conceded two goals from set pieces, both identical.

“But when you’re down 3-1 and the board goes up to say 6 additional minutes, I’d have bitten your hand off for a point but I must admit we should have won it in the final minute.

“One thing is for sure, we certainly keep the crowd entertained, too much for my liking!”

RAMSBOTTOM UNITED: Calderbank-Park, Radcliffe, Hayhurst, Walker, Lent, Johnson (Collinge 67), Rigby (Bartram 81), Sephton, Dudley, Whyte (Chingwaro 75), Jackson (Lewis 87) Sub not used: Ogunby

Att: 284