Week number three of the season but let’s have a look back on what had happened on previous Saturday’s in our non-league semi-professional history. And, it will be centered on 2010, 2004 and 1999.
SATURDAY 28th AUGUST 2010
CHEADLE TOWN 1 RAMSBOTTOM UNITED 3
FA CUP Preliminary Round
(Tony Cunningham’s report from the very old RUFC website)
Ramsbottom United sailed through to the next round of the FA Cup with an easy victory over Vodkat League First Division pace-setters Cheadle Town, comfortably winning the tie 3-1 to set up a clash with Skelmersdale United.
Jon Robinson and Dominic Smalley both had chances to open the scoring before Mickey Saunders nodded home in the tenth minute following a good move involving Smalley and a cross from Bernard Morley.
Within two minutes, though, the scores could have been level as the home forwards outwitted the visiting defence and debutant keeper Grant Shenton had to be alert to block a close range effort.
From then on, it was one way traffic as the Rams attempted to increase the lead.
Ian Flannery was inches away with a header from a Mark Sharples free-kick, Smalley and Danny Warrender combined well before the ball into the box evaded the Rams forwards, then Saunders trickery in rounding the keeper set up Joel Pilkington, but he fired over the bar.
Lovely footwork from Robinson on the left found enough space for him to send in a low cross that was turned behind for a corner, from which Flannery saw his powerful header palmed away by McDonagh.
Robinson, having a fine game, fed Smalley and his sweetly-struck effort missed the target by inches.
The home side had an amazing series of let-offs as the half came to an end. Sustained pressure saw the ball twice strike the post, with McDonagh somehow clawing the ball away from just underneath the bar, as a second goal looked inevitable.
The second half followed the same pattern with Saunders left-wing cross headed inches over by Robinson before the second goal eventually arrived.
On 52 minutes Warreder floated a high ball into the penalty area which found Robinson, and he laid it back for Pilkington to fire home from 15 yards.
An Eddie O’Neill free-kick was inches away from Robinson’s head before Flannery hooked it over, then Mark Sharples foraging run found Pilkington who couldn’t quite connect.
It was 3-0 after 67 minutes, when substitute Phil Dean’s low left wing cross was neatly tucked home at the far post by Robinson.
At that point the visitors took their foot off the pedal, and for the first time in the match, the home side came into the game. Clorly’s fine effort was expertly palmed away by Shenton, and eventually they gained some reward with a goal on 77 minutes. A free-kick was floated over to the far post where Shenton got a hand to it, but the ball came back off the post and, despite a desperate goal-line clearance, the linesman decreed that it had gone over the line.
The Rams still had opportunities to increase the lead. O’Neill had a fine effort pushed over the bar, Dean fired one inches wide before Anthony Johnson found Andy Sensale, and his angled drive was turned away.
In the very last minute Cheadle’s Clorly somehow scooped the ball over the bar from two yards out, but by then the tie had been well and truly won, without the Rams really having to be on top of their game.
RAMSBOTTOM UNITED: Shenton, Warrender, O’Neill, Pilkington, Dawson, Flannery, Smalley(sub 45mins Dean), Morley, Robinson(sub 66mins Sensale), Sharples, Saunders(sub 74mins Johnson). Sub not used: Campbell
SATURDAY 28th AUGUST 2004
ALSAGER TOWN 3 RAMSBOTTOM UNITED 1
With seven points from their opening three games, the new management pair of Derek Egan and Andy Grimshaw went into the game with Alsager with plenty of confidence.
Unfortunately it was deemed to be misplaced as just a Matt Edgington goal was all the Rams had to say for themselves, going down 3-1 at the Town Ground.
It was certainly disappointing, given the decent start to the campaign with wins over Nantwich Town and Atherton Collieries and a home draw with Atherton LR, scoring three goals in each of them.
Later in the week, Egan told the Lancashire Telegraph, “It was our first defeat of the season but we just had an off day.
“Alsager were better than us on the day and we weren’t at the races”
SATURDAY 28th AUGUST 1999
NEWCASTLE TOWN 4 RAMSBOTTOM UNITED 1
(Excerpts from Lancashire Telegraph archives)
Played 3, Lost 3 became Played 4, Lost 4 on the road for Ken Bridge’s depleted Ramsbottom United side suffered a 4-1 loss away at Newcastle Town.
Steve Brennan and Steve Strange were both non-started while Carl Trimble and Danny Goodall were struggling to shake off knocks.
And it got no easier as David Yorke-Robinson’s strike was the only take away from another disappointing game.
“A trip to Newcastle is never easy at the best of times but we’ll just have to get on with it and hopefully some of the players will return to fitness soon.”
They did finally get off the mark points wise on the Tuesday night with a 1-1 draw away at Cheadle Town.
The Rams were finally able to head for home for the first time having been forced to play their first six games in August on the road. Find out why … next week!