Here is our latest edition of Rammy On This Saturday as we look back at the events on the pitch on the respective Saturday’s in our non-league history.


This increasingly difficult season continued to besiege the Rams with this match against Grantham Town being called off, bringing the total of matches stopped because of the weather to a merciless 13 … which would become 14 the next Tuesday nigth when the game against Nantwich Town went the same way.

It gave the team a little bit of time to regroup, having been thrashed 4-0 at Moor Lane by a familiar looking Salford City side containing a number of former Rams in their side.

And some new signings came in too during the enforced break to try and boost our survival hopes. Would they be the magic touch?


(Richard Isaacs’ match report from the game)

One thing that has been said of Ramsbottom United this season is that they don’t know how to win ugly. Well, they do now as they had to achieve just that in beating a tenacious Abbey Hey outfit 1-0 on a difficult Riverside surface.

Against the side with just three wins under their belt all season and rooted to the foot of the Vodkat League, the Rams were embroilled in a battle and were dragged down to the strugglers level on a pitch which hampered the hosts’ flowing football style.

Rammy made three changes to the side that beat Atherton LR last week. Barry Shuttleworth and Lee Connell were both ruled out with hamstring strains so Phil Dean and Mark Sharples came in while John Robinson took the departing Barry Massey’s place.

For the opening half-hour, there was only one side in the game but, try as they might, despite peppering the Abbey Hey goal, Ramsbottom’s endeavours went unrewarded.

The unfamiliar strike force that is John Blackley has the best of the early opportunities. From corners, the defender had his shot at the back post well saved and then was denied on 17 minutes by another fine Sam Jones stop before Bernard Morley followed up and Jon Robinson headed over.

The match took a bit of a turn for the worse as the play being tetchy. Abbey’s Gareth Wager and Rammy’s Robinson were both booked and the former was lucky to stay on the pitch as his hot-headedness continued despite the referee’s attentions.

It was frustrating for the home side, as the game could have been wrapped up. But, with the scoreline still goalless, Abbey Hey got their foot into the match and Rammy suddenly found themselves backpeddling.

John Hardy fired wide of the mark and then Wayne Welbeck, the brother of Preston’s on-loan striker Danny of Manchester United, floated a ball into the box and Hardy’s audacious overhead kick was blocked.

And the scoreline remained empty but that was in no small measure down to some outstanding keeping from Tommy Allen, playing in his second game for the Rams. Welbeck and Hardy both brought acrobatic saves from the veteran stopper, the second a one-handed diving effort from point-blank range.

Andy Dawson’s long range effort just before the break brought the hosts back into the contest and then, once more from a corner from the right, John Blackley rose and headed home although Abbey thought they had cleared it off the line but the lineswoman adjudged it over.

With a goal advantage carried into the second half, it was expected that the Rams would stamp their authority on proceedings but it just didn’t happen. Quite how Abbey Hey are so far adrift at the foot of the table was beyond many of the 154-strong crowd.

The Rams continued to press but without success. Joel Pilkington hit the side netting and Carl Lomax had his effort deflected wide. From the corner, Robinson lifted his header over the bar and Joel Pilkington was just out of reach of George Bowyer’s cross, which the keeper fumbled but there was no-one to follow it up.

With Rammy sensing three points secured, Abbey set nerves jangling when substitute Lee Knowles saw the field open up in front of him but he, surprisingly, passed the ball instead of taking a shot and he had another chance in injury time but he was wide of the mark with his shot.

Relief was the overwhelming factor on the final whistle as Rammy claimed the three points to become the second side this season to reach 50 and maintain second place but co-manager Anthony Johnson admitted his charges were poor.

“We got dragged down to their level after the first 20 minutes or som,” he felt. “The pitch didn’t help us much as it slowed us right down but Abbey Hey had a good go at us and they worked hard.

“But I have no problems with us digging deep and getting ugly wins. On the plus side, it’s three points and a clean sheet and I was really pleased for Tommy Allen, who silenced his critics after last week and Mark Sharples, who looked back to his old self.

RAMSBOTTOM UNITED: Tommy Allen, John Blackley, Andy Dawson, George Bowyer, Phil Dean, Joel Pilkington, Bernard Morley, Eddie O’Neill (Andrew Sensale 79mins), Mark Sharples, Carl Lomax, Jon Robinson. Subs not used: Damien Rooney, Jonathan Lea, Scott Craggs.


(Report from the Lancashire Telegraph)

Ramsbottom United secretary John Maher said after his side’s 3-1 defeat at Skelmersdale United: “They are a decent side and you can see why they are fourth in the league.”

“This was a good contest, full of good football but if you don’t take your chances, you don’t get anything out of it. We should have known it wasn’t going to be our day when one of our subs got injured in the warm up.”

Keeper Paul Horridge was at fault for both Skem’s opening goals. The first on 18 minutes he allowed to sneak in at his near post and two minutes before half time he looked favourite in a 50-50 challenge but missed out and the home forward poked into an open net.

A free kick was driven in on 53 minutes by the Merseysiders and Rams full back Dave Roach dived to head clear only to see the ball nestle nicely in his own net.

Four minutes from time Russell Brierley scored the best goal of the day.

The Rams get a swift chance of revenge with a quirk in the fixture schedule seeing Skelmersdale the visitors to the Riverside Ground next weekend.