by | Jan 12, 2024

Weekend number two of the calendar year and, only one match postponed on this particular Saturday in our non-league history as we take a glance back at the events played out on Saturday 13th January.


Evo-Stik Northern Premier League North Division
(match report by Jon Haslam)

Ramsbottom United suffered injury time heartache in an action packed local derby at Colne on Saturday afternoon. The visitors made four changes from their home draw with Skelmersdale giving new goalkeeper Sam Ashton his first outing in a Ramsbottom United shirt.  The other changes saw Dean Stott, Ben Richardson and Eddie Moran starting in place of Sam Heathcote, Liam Brownhill and Alex Meaney.

It was Colne that started the contest on the front foot with Knox testing Ashton on five minutes before the Rams replied with a shot of their own after good work from Greg Daniels set up Lee Gaskell whose shot was gathered by Burton in the home goal.

With a quarter of an hour on the clock, a free kick was awarded to the home side after a heavy challenge from Thompson who received a caution for his troubles, the subsequent set piece from Azam was flighted over the wall before striking the post and the rebound was struck wildly over the crossbar.

As the first period continued it was Ramsbottom United that grew into the game and proceeded to create some goalscoring chances with Jerome Wright being heavily involved, firstly hitting the target with a free kick before having a shot blocked when well placed.

A keenly contested fixture was interrupted all too often by the officials whistle as frustrations from both teams began to surface, Colne almost broke the deadlock just before the half hour point when a corner was headed towards goal but was scrambled clear much to the relief of the Rams rearguard.

The game was being played in a good atmosphere but the Rams almost silenced the vociferous home support when Wright again sent a free kick narrowly over the bar whilst moments later some good link up play sent Rother scurrying down the right wing before his inviting cross just evaded the onrushing Gaskell.

With half time approaching the referee spotted an incident believed to be retaliation between Rams midfielder Jamie Rother and a Colne player before pulling out his red card and reducing the visitors to ten men.

The decision incensed the Rams players and bench alike which resulted in manager Mark Fell being sent from the dugout as the half finished on a goalless yet contentious note.

Both teams remained unchanged as the second half began as Colne looked to take advantage of the extra player and had the first attempt of the half as a shot from distance tested Ashton but it was the Rams that looked a threat with Dean and Wright looking to support Gaskell when possible.

With the contest scoreless it looked increasingly likely that one goal would take the points but with an hour gone the Rams were more than holding their own and not content with defending proceeded to look lively on the counter attack.

The home side made a couple of substitutions as they looked to freshen their attack up but it was the visitors that continued to look for the breakthrough but a mixture of good defending and misfortune prevented the Rams from seriously testing Burton in the home goal.

As the clock ticked towards 70 minutes the impressive Dean stung the palms of Burton from distance as the deadlock threatened to be broken.  Colne then responded with a cross which was headed wide of Ashton’s post before the Rams introduced some fresh legs with the hard working Gaskell and Daniels being replaced by Sam Heathcote and Alex Meaney respectively.

With the minutes ticking away the home side created a further couple of chances which were cleared away by the Rams defence as they looked to come away with at least a point after a positive second half performance in which the back four and midfield performed exceptionally.

As the 90 minute mark was reached and with half of the four minutes of injury time being played, disaster struck for the Rams as a cross from the left was cleared to the edge of the box before a sweetly struck shot from Morgan gave Ashton no chance and cruelly decided the match in the home teams’ favour leaving the Rams searching for their first clean sheet on the road this term.

It was heart breaking for the Rams to concede so late in the match ensuring that for the third match in the last five played that an injury time goal had cost Ramsbottom United valuable points.

It was testament to the performance that anyone who turned up at half time wouldn’t have known the Rams were playing the second half with one player less.

As the players trudged wearily from the field, defeat for the ten men was scant reward for an excellent team performance full of effort and team spirit that must give the Rams management, players and supporters hope for the upcoming fixtures.

Manager Mark Fell commented on the game afterwards.  “I’m gutted for the players, they worked themselves into the ground, carved out the games’ best chances, looked the better side with 10 men only to be hit in injury time by an excellent strike.

“The game was ruined on 40 minutes, that’s all I’ll say about it, we’ll dust ourselves off Tuesday and prepare for Scarborough at home next week.”

RAMSBOTTOM UNITED: Ashton, Stott, Richardson, Moran, Thompson, Mohammed, Dean, Rother, Gaskell (Heathcote 72mins), Daniels (Meaney 82mins), Wright (Williams 86mins).  Sub not used: Hindley


North West Counties League DIvision 1
(report from Lancashire Telegraph archives)

The Rams were looking to ‘wreak revenge’ on Congleton Town for their 1-0 home victory earlier in the season.

The only thing that wreaked was the weather as the game fell foul to the weather – which was a shame as the Rams had lost just one of their last seven league games.

Manager Lee Sculpher was hoping that Carl Lomax, who missed the last game with Trafford due to a flu virus, would be back in contention along with Liam McManus and Chris Steele.

As it happened, it didn’t matter as the weather won the day.


North West Counties League Division 1
(report from Lancashire Telegraph archives)

TWO second half goals finally overcame a stubborn Nantwich side as Ramsbottom continued to put pressure on the division’s leading lights.

The Rams’ injury problems continued with John Bowman and Barry White coming in for Mike Langhorn and Danny Goodall.

Right from the first minute Nantwich were forced back and Russell Brierley had the ball in the net on four minutes with a spectacular overhead kick, but a linesman’s flag ruled out the goal for offside.

On nine minutes Neil Wallace struck the crossbar with a header following a corner on the left. In the opening 15 minutes play was almost entirely concentrated in the Nantwich half with both John Bowman and Barry White prominent down the left side.

Nantwich keeper Stuart Heeps, who had a spell at the Riverside a couple of seasons ago, made a brave save at the feet of the onrushing Brierley.

Somehow the visitors survived with their goal intact and Heeps was again in action with a fine fingertip save to deny Brierley.

By the 30-minute mark Nantwich’s tactics of putting nine men behind the ball were certainly paying dividends as they continued not only to frustrate Ramsbottom, but mount a few spasmodic attacks of their own, with the lively Danny Griggs bringing a couple of saves from Keith Nield.

A promising build-up involving Chris Willcock and Brierley gave Phil Porter a chance, but the ball bobbled at the last moment and the midfielder fired over the top.

The first half ended goalless with Nantwich looking pleased to be still on level terms.

The second half opened with the Rams again on the attack, winning a corner in the opening minute. Brierley did well to get a header in, but unfortunately it finished high and wide of the Nantwich goal.

On 51 minutes, Paul Cameron picked up a half clearance and hammered in a shot from the edge of the box that beat Heeps, but was a couple of inches over the crossbar.

Nantwich then had their best chance of the game when Andy Hough fired wide from a good position. The tricky Griggs then brought a fine save from Nield as the Cheshire side started to ask a few questions of their own.

The Rams introduced Darren Bowman for Paul Cameron as they looked for that elusive opening goal and on 63 minutes Andy Grimshaw’s header did the trick.

Darren Bowman’s free-kick was flicked on by Willcock and Grimshaw headed into the top corner, leaving Heeps helpless. After going behind Nantwich became a little more adventurous with Griggs the main threat and he came close to an equaliser with a shot from 12 yards that was no more than a foot over the Rams’ crossbar.

Ramsbottom went 2-0 up on 75 minutes when the Nantwich defence failed to clear Porter’s cross and Willcock capitalised by crashing the ball into the roof of the net from 10 yards out.

The final 15 minutes saw Ramsbottom looking to build on their two-goal advantage, but in the end they had to settle for those two second half strikes.

RAMSBOTTOM UNITED: Nield 8, Wallace 8, J Bowman 8, Smith 7, Thomas 7, Grimshaw 8, Porter 7, Cameron 7, Brierley 7, Willcock 8, White 7. Substitutes: Orrell (for J Bowman, 75 mins), D Bowman (for Cameron, 50 mins) 7, Briddon (for White, 70 mins) 7.


North West Counties League DIvision 2
(match report from Rossendale Free Press)

Ramsbottom United suffered a set-back after recent good run of form when they went down 2-1 to Ashton Town in a scrappy affair.

After going down 1-0 after five minutes, United equalised when Mark [should be Martin] Hulme finished off a move involving Steve Johnson and Carl Stanley.

United are looking to pick up valuable points when they entertain Stantondale at the Riverside Ground in a week’s time.