by | Apr 4, 2024

Theo Butterworth provided an aerial threat at set pieces for the Rams. 

NWC Premier Division • 4 April 2024

The season continues to deteriorate for a Ramsbottom United side that initially had hopes of a swift return to the Northern Premier League, but which looks like finishing in the club’s worst league position since the 1990s.

Leckenby's Tea Rooms

Another disappointing result saw them twice surrender the lead before conceding a late winner on the Fylde coast.

Leckenby's Tea Rooms

Yet the game had begun so brightly with a goal within the first three minutes when Harvey Whyte was in the right place to convert a cross from Oumar Camara.

The visitors looked to add to the lead with Theo Butterworth seeing his effort charged down, before an almighty goalmouth scramble was eventually cleared by the Gate defence.

However, the home side regained a foothold on 37 minutes when James Hughes equalised.

As with the first half, it was the Rams quickest out of the blocks as the second period began, and they regained the lead on 50 minutes when a delightful through ball from the halfway line by Harvey Hayhurst, split the home defence allowing Camara to stride through and confidently plant the ball past the advancing keeper.

But as has happened so many times this season, the Rams defence failed to tighten up, and just five minutes later, a productive move down their left-hand side, saw the home team slip the ball into the box, and as it was flicked on, Hughes was again the beneficiary and he fired home a low drive from twenty yards out to level the scores.

Chances came at both ends as the half progressed. Indeed, the Rams felt they should have had a penalty when Harvey Hayhurst raced into the box, only to be flattened as he played the ball across goal, but the referee would have none of it.

The Rams had their opportunities to regain the advantage, with another goalmouth scramble ending with the ball fired high over the bar, but the home side also created a number of opportunities, one of which was to prove decisive.

On 81 minutes, as the visitors looked to penetrate the home defence, the ball was quickly cleared and as the Gate winger took advantage of the space left at the back, he raced forward before sending over a perfect cross for Joshua Few to side foot home from ten yards out.

Another body-blow in a season that has seen Ramsbottom United on the back of so many others.

Not for the first time, manager Steve Wilkes was at a loss.

“Another disappointing result in a game we should have been out of sight in the first 25 minutes. When you miss the amount of chances we did and once again defend poorly, you are always giving the opposition encouragement.

“We should have been 3-0 in front before Gate had a shot at our goal.

“We gave the players specific instructions at half-time. The pitch wasn’t in good condition so we told them no football to be played in certain areas and to turn the opposition at every opportunity. We did exactly that for the second goal and then didn’t do again the whole game.

“We told the players to keep their discipline with the referee, yet we get two players sin-binned. And to top it all off. We get another three injuries that will probably be season-ending for two”.

RAMSBOTTOM UNITED: Thompson, Radcliffe, Hayhurst (Walder 66mins), Allen, Lent, Butterworth, Walker, Sephton (Whittingham 53mins (D.McMahon 90mins)), Camara, Whyte, Chingwaro(Ogunby 80mins)

Att: 104