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 2010, 2004 and 1999.


(Tony Cunningham’s report from the very old RUFC website)

Any dreams of a successful run in a potentially winnable national competition were short-lived on the back of this disappointing defeat to lower league opposition at The Riverside, going down 1-0 to Staveley Miners Welfare.

Not that the performance of the match officials helped. The first half was brought to an end after just 44mins and 13 seconds, despite a couple of stoppages for injuries, and the only goal of the game was allowed despite the goalscorer being clearly offside.

However, reasons for such a defeat should not be laid at the feet of the men in black. The Rams had more than enough possession during the 90 minutes to have won the tie. A lack of penetration up front ultimately proved fateful against a well-organised team from one league lower in football’s pyramid. Not that the Rams defence had that much to do, for most of the play centred on the middle of the park, with the usual Rams attacking wingers looking particularly out of sorts.

The main chances were those created from set-plays. Up lumbered the two towering centre-backs, Andy Dawson and Ian Flannery, to add weight to the front-line, but invariably their headed efforts went wide or easily into the arms of the visiting custodian.

After a spirited opening few minutes from the visitors, it was the home side that took charge of the game, without ever looking really dangerous. Dominic Smalley miskicked when the ball fell invitingly for him in front of goal, and minutes later Smalley laid back a perfect ball only to see Mick Morrison’s effort miss the target. Mark Drew fired a 30 yard free-kick low and hard, but it sailed just wide of the post, but for all their possession, the home side rarely looked like troubling the visiting defence.

Ten minutes into the second half saw Joel Pilkington’s acrobatic overhead kick within inches of giving the Rams the lead, but 2 minutes later the visitors created their first real chance. Damms raced through the defence to create space for himself, but then inexplicably fired over the bar when he looked certain to score.

If the Rams were breathing a sigh of relief, it didn’t last long. In the very next attack on 58 minutes, the ball was fed through to Fox, standing a couple of feet offside on the left hand side of the penalty area. As the home defenders appealed the lineman incredibly kept his flag down, and the youngster perfectly flighted the ball past Grant Shenton into the far corner of the net to put the visitors 1-0 up.

Whilst that goal boosted the visitors, it was still the home side who had the majority of the possession, but it never looked as though they could convert this to goals. Too many stray passes prevented the Rams from creating the chances needed. Andy Sensale did manage to feed Morrison in front of goal but the ball was snatched off his toes by some desperate defending, whilst an excellent free-kick from Lee Gaskell was pushed away by Deakins in the Staveley goal.

The closest the Rams came to salvaging the game came four minutes from time, when a last ditch tackle saw Anthony Johnson’s close range effort sail over rather than under the bar, and so Staveley hung on for a famous victory, and a cheque for £900.

Having struggled past other lower league opponents in Holker OB on Tuesday, the sooner the Rams get back to playing sides from their own level the better!

RAMSBOTTOM UNITED: Shenton, Drew, Rothel (Sensale 64mins), Pilkington, Dawson, Flannery, Smalley (Saunders 64mins), Morley, Gaskell, Morrison, Dean (Johnson 77mins) Subs not used: Ince, O’Neill


(Report from the Lancashire Telegraph archives)

Dreams of FA Cup glory ended as a strong Southport outfit proved to have too much class for their North West Counties opponents.

For much of the 90 minutes the Rams competed competently against the Sandgrounders’ pace and power, but a disputed penalty decision and a moment of slack defending cost them dearly as the visitors took full advantage.

Missing were influential players Adam Kozlowski, Michael Saunders and Ewan Purcell. They were replaced by the returning John Blackley, Chris Mackay and making his debut, recent signing from Padiham, Daniel Stubberfield.

The Rams began confidently and almost grabbed a shock lead when a fierce in-swinging corner from Adam Cook evaded everyone, with only the slightest of touches required to divert the ball into the net.

Southport started to gain plenty of possession and on 11 minutes the first real test on the home goal saw Mark Andrews pulling off a comfortable save following a swerving Lee Mulvaney strike, followed shortly afterwards by a header flashed wide.

On 36 minutes the Rams created possibly their best chance when Stubberfield fired high and wide of the upright from the corner of the box.

The miss proved crucial and minutes later a dangerous free kick caused mayhem inside the Ramsbottom area, with the referee awarding a dubious penalty following appeals from the Southport faithful behind Mark Andrews’ goal, and Terry Fearns calmly stepped up and slotted beyond the Rams’ stopper.

The Rams kicked off the second period attempting to claw their way back into the encounter, but on 47 minutes had the worst possible start, when the ball was floated to the back post and Steve Daly was well positioned to crash it beyond Andrews.

On 56 minutes he was once again called into action with a double save to deny both Steve Pickford and Mulvaney.

The Rams failed to create any meaningful attempts on goal and even the introduction of Lee Buggie and Matt Edgington could not break down the well-drilled Southport defence.

The Rams’ defence endured a torrid period with Fearns and Daly causing plenty of problems and only a stunning performance from Andrews between the posts restricted them to the two goals.

He pulled off a series of top drawer saves, perhaps the best arriving on 83 minutes when an attempted Fearns’ lob was acrobatically tipped over.

The Rams nevertheless were able to hold their heads high after a gutsy display against a much superior team, but the defence can gain confidence from the way it performed against a potent strike force that will score many goals throughout this campaign.

RAMSBOTTOM: Andrews; Raywood; Skarratt; Blackley; Robertson; Ingham; Mackay; Denning; Stubberfield; Morley; Cook. Subs: Edgington (for Stubberfield), Buggie (for Skarrat), Brooks (for Mackay), Spence.


(Report from the Lancashire Telegraph archives)

Ramsbottom came so close to netting a maximum-points haul from their trip to big-spending opponents Prescot.

Among the Merseysiders’ midweek captures was the Accrington Stanley striker Billy O’Callagan.

But after a tentative start, with play concentrated in midfield, both goals came under threat with Russell Brierley and Steve Orrell testing Prescot’s keeper David Poole. At the other end long range efforts from Brian Fairbrother and Eddie Taylor brought Mike Kelly into action.

With 10 minutes played Martin Hulme’s free kick clipped the Cables’ crossbar with Poole well beaten. Minutes later a fine diving save by Kelly kept out Lee Riley’s downward header.

However, he could do nothing on 15 minutes when Chris Stanton found the top corner with a spectacular drive from 20 yards.

Although a goal behind, Ramsbottom looked the better side.

Three minutes before the break the Rams were level when Russell Brierley out-jumped two defenders to head home Hulme’s cross.

Then, 10 minutes into the second half Ramsbottom looked to have taken the lead, Danny Goodall back headed Jamie Ramplin’s free kick across the six-yard line and Russell Brierley again soared above the Prescot defence to send his header into the back of the net only for an assistant’s flag to cancel out the strike.

The Ramsbottom defence looked rock solid with Dave Roach and Neil Wallace keeping Peter Cumisky and O’Callagan in check.

The home side’s main threat came from set pieces and they also had a goal ruled out when Riley pushed Scott Fairhurst before bundling the ball into the net following a corner on the left.

With 15 minutes left the injured O’Callagan left the action and his replacement. In the closing stages Ramsbottom finished the stronger of the sides.