We once again dip into the Ramsbottom United archives to see what happened on this respective Saturday in our non-league semi-professional history. And, it will be centered on 2011, 2005 and 2000.
SATURDAY 12th FEBRUARY 2011
RAMSBOTTOM UNITED 1 CONGLETON TOWN 0
(Tony Cunningham’s report from the very old RUFC website)
A 55th minute penalty from Mark Drew was enough to see Ramsbottom United defeat Congleton Town by 1-0 in a hard-fought contest at the Harry Williams Riverside Stadium and maintain their challenge for the top places against one of the regular participants in that battle.
The weather finally relented to allow the Rams to kick-start their promotion campaign after an enforced lay-off which saw them play just 2 games in 12 weeks.
Visitors, Congleton Town, still had an outside chance of battling for the top spot, so the likelihood was always going to be of a tight and well-contested match. So it proved, and a single goal was enough to settle the game in favour of the home team.
With a scarcity of chances, it was probably inevitable that it would take a penalty to separate the two teams. The decisive moment came after 55 minutes when a low cross from the left saw Joel Pilkington flattened as he strove to reach the ball. Mark drew strode up to plant the kick firmly home and gain the Rams another three points as they aim to catch New Mills at the top.
The Rams welcomed back Ryan Moore after a number of years away, and he had a fine game on the right in place of Dominic Smalley who pulled up just before kick-off with an injury.
The first half saw most of the chances on offer fall to the home side. Mickey Saunders through ball found the on-rushing Joel Pilkington but his low drive was turned round for a corner by the Town keeper, and a similar fate awaited a fierce 30 yard effort from Phil Dean.
Ian Flannery just failed to get on the end of a high floating ball, whilst the best chance of the half fell to Saunders when the diminutive striker was on the end of a perfect Barry Shuttleworth cross, but his header went disappointingly wide. Saunders had another chance just before the break, but he couldn’t control the ball six yards from goal.
Within moments of the restart, the ever-dangerous Reaney almost gave the visitors the lead, but Grant Shenton in the home goal pulled off a superb save. Minutes later the same player saw Shenton again deny him by pushing his goal-bound effort behind for a corner.
The Rams then took the lead only to almost throw it away from the kick-off. Again it was Reaney on hand but fortunately for United, he mis-kicked in front of goal.
Jon Lea’s dangerous run down the right set up substitute Carl Lomax, but he mistimed his shot and it scooped harmlessly wide of the post.
At the other end, that man Reaney was again denied by the agile Shenton, at which point the Congleton man must have realised it wasn’t going to be his day.
As the game wore on, the visitors took the game to Ramsbottom, but the home defence held out to ensure a third consecutive clean sheet and maintain the best defensive record in the Division.
The game ended in controversy, however, when Rams joint player-manager Anthony Johnson was booked for “diving” when the free-kick ought to have been awarded for a foul. Johnson continued his argument with the referee as the final whistle was blown and was promptly shown a straight red card as the players left the pitch.
A tense contest with few clear-cut chances, but another crucial three points in the Rams’ quest for the league title
RAMSBOTTOM UNITED: Shenton, Lea, Shuttleworth(Johnson 72mins), Pilkington, Dawson, Flannery, Moore, Drew(Morley 77mins), Saunders (Lomax 53mins), Sharples, Dean
SATURDAY 12th FEBRUARY 2005
RAMSBOTTOM UNITED v FORMBY
Another week off for the Rams as the weather once again intervened – stopping the Rams in their tracks after two wins on the spin over Salford City and Abbey Hey.
SATURDAY 12th FEBRUARY 2000
RAMSBOTTOM UNITED v SKELMERSDALE UNITED
(Report from the Lancashire Telegraph archives)
It was another blank weekend for the Rams but they had been rocked when influential midfielder Steve Brennan decided to quit the Riverside and join UniBond First Division outfit Netherfield Kendal.
But secretary John Maher insisted the club could not afford to dwell on his departure as they prepared for the visit of Skelmersdale United.
“Steve was a good player but it’s one of those things and we’ve just got to accept it.
“He had a good think about it but, at the end of the day, they were offering him a higher level of football and more money so there wasn’t much we could do about it.”
Mike Smith is United’s only injury doubt after picking up a knock against Bootle last weekend.