by | Sep 16, 2023

It is time to have another look back at our history when games were played “On This Saturday” in our non-league history … so let’s take a glance at Saturday 16th September.

Northern Premier Divison 1 North

It was almost unbelievable. It was incredible. The Rams had started the season unbeaten going into the game away at Mossley with four wins and two draws from their opening six games and were sat in second place in the table. The Rammy fans were daring to dream of a hasty return to the NPL Premier under Mark Fell’s management. Yeah…… time for a reality check!

Here is Jon Haslam’s match report from the game.

Mossley began the contest the brighter side and gave the visitors defence an early examination with Martin Fearon being called into action to deny home skipper Dean from a well flighted set piece. The Rams didn’t heed the warning and on 17 minutes as former Rams loanee Jack Tuohy’s free kick found its way to the back post where McLellan headed the hosts into a deserved lead.

It could be argued that Mossley’s direct style of play was more effective in the first quarter of the game with the Rams struggling to get a foothold in the match as the visitors laboured to produce any of the exciting football that had seen them score ten goals in the previous three matches.

Indeed the hosts looked more likely to add to their lead as Mossley attacked with purpose without giving the Rams any time on the ball to create a presentable goal scoring chance in the opening 25 minutes, subduing the Ramsbottom attacking players as proficiently as any team has done this season.

Ramsbottom did improve as the half wore on as they began to find their passes with more regularity, perhaps the clearest chance arrived around the half hour when a Jerome Wright free kick was headed into the danger area by Brad Roscoe and Max Hazeldine headed over the bar when well placed.

Mossley had a shout for a penalty turned down before the visitors created their best chance of the match on 40 minutes when a through ball found Hazeldine who outpaced the defender before shooting straight at Martin in the hosts goal. A further half chance fell to the Rams when a long Poscha throw was headed towards goal from Brownhill but Martin again saved low down. As the half came to an end it was the away side that threatened an equaliser via a number set pieces rather than in open play.

The sides re-emerged from the dressing rooms unchanged with the Rams looking to impress their travelling fans although Mossley were in no mood to give up their goal advantage and defended resolutely whilst looking a threat on the break.

Clear chances were few and far between in the opening 15 minutes of the second period as both sides battled to gain the upper hand in the contest as the referees’ whistle punctuated the match with frustrating regularity.

As the hour mark approached Mossleys forward line decided to try their luck from distance bringing a smart save from Fearon before Taylor sent a drive wide of the target as the hosts searched for a second goal, almost immediately Ramsbottom made their first change of the day with Alex Meaney replacing Tom Brooks in midfield.

Sadly for the Rams the home side doubled their lead midway through the second period when a strong run and cross from the impressive Ellis found Harrison whose close range shot beat Fearon to give the Rams an uphill task. The hosts perhaps could have added their lead with a number of counter attacks but some brave blocks and wayward finishing kept the lead at two goals.

The match was starting to become fractious and after a mistimed tackle from Rams skipper Stott resulted in a yellow card a melee ensued which involved the majority of the outfield players as tempers started to become frayed.

As the yellow card count increased so did the chances for Mossley as the hosts created more excellent opportunities to increase their lead with Ellis looking a particular threat up front for the hosts. Mark Fell made a further two changes with Nathan Webb and Ben Richardson replacing Jamie Rother and Hazeldine respectively as the Rams manager looked to continue his excellent record of late with substitutions having had a positive effect in recent matches.

Frustrations were building as the Rams struggled to find any fluency in their play to reduce the arrears and in injury time Daniels received his second yellow card and a subsequent red for an indiscretion the referee deemed worthy of a second bookable offence.

Things got worse for the visitors when manager Mark Fell was dismissed and sent to the stands for the second consecutive year at Mossley as the Rams disappointingly succumbed to their first league defeat of the season.

Unfortunately this was a game that the Rams were destined to not take any points from as their efforts would be without reward on a day where not much seemed to fall kindly for the visitors. This was the first time this season that Ramsbottom United had failed to find the net and even the most ardent Rams supporter would find it difficult to argue that the final result was a fair reflection of the match as they fell to their first league loss of the campaign.

An understandably frustrated Ramsbottom manager Mark Fell summarised the match as follows:-

“It’s obviously a very disappointing result for us after a good start. Credit to Mossley, they outworked us and frustrated us. The first goal is soft, not picking up from a set-play and then we’ve had 3 great chances towards the end of the first half – but not converting any of those has hurt us and in the end. Second half we huffed and puffed but ultimately we were half a yard of the pace all over the pitch. The good news is we have a quick turnaround on Tuesday at Kendal, where we’ll look to put it right”

Ramsbottom United: Fearon, Poscha, Brownhill, Stott, Thompson, Roscoe, Brooks(Meaney 61mins), Rother (Webb 70mins) ,Hazeldine(Richardson 79mins), Daniels, Wright Subs not used: Ashburner, Williams

North West Counties League Division 1

Having started the season undefeated after three games, the Rams had firmly hit the buffers as they suffered a sixth defeat in the space of seven games with a 1-0 reverse away at Congleton Town.

It was another serious jolt to the Rams who were facing down the barrel at the bottom end of the table as Richard Bailey’s single goal after 68 minutes split the side in favour of the hosts.

The Rams’ 3-1 win over Bacup Borough at the start of the month was looking a long distant memory but they had a chance to put it right on the Tuesday night away at Maine Road.

FA Cup 1st Qualifying Round

After the brilliant defeat of Gretna in the preliminary round of the FA Cup, the Rams headed east to face Goole … but our FA Cup run would come to an end as the Lancashire Telegraph reported..

Ramsbottom United were knocked off the FA Cup trail by a Goole side who looked far hungrier for the challenge.

Ramsbottom kicked off into a strong wind and Goole were first to show, Mike Smith charging a shot down.

A lengthy delay followed after a collision between Andy Grimshaw and Mark Hine. Both players needed treatment for head injuries

A half chance fell for Darren Bowman after Russell Brierley and David Yorke-Robinson combined to set him up, but Bowman fired over.

Ramsbottom contained Goole for the first 20 minutes and took the lead two minutes later. Russ Brierley played the ball in to Francis Vaughan who unleashed a stunning drive from 25 yards into the top corner.

Goole hit back and former Hull City and Burnley striker Andy Saville forced Keith Nield into a good save. Sean Lanaghan also had Nield in action again minutes later.

On 34 minutes full back Chris Clegg got in a looping header, but Nield turned it over for a corner.

Five minutes later Goole grabbed an equaliser. A long throw-in fell for Clegg, who shot. That was parried by Nield, only for Saville to stab in the rebound.

At the start of the second half Vaughan’s reverse pass set Yorke-Robinson free down the left, but a poor cross let him down.

Dobson in the Goole goal denied Bowman and on 68 minutes Lanaghan put the hosts in front.

A corner from the right was headed home to give the Northern Counties Premier League team the lead.

All three substitutes were sent on and one of them, Dave Gardiner, missed a great chance to rescue it for the Rams. A frantic last couple of minutes saw Ramsbottom force a couple of corners and from one of them Dave Roach dived in to head just past a post.

But it wasn’t to be and Goole held on against a Ramsbottom side who can have no complaints at the result.

North West Counties League Division 2

The Rams put up a spirited rearguard against a good Castleton Gabriels side but they couldn’t replicate their excellent performance of seven days previously as they sunk to a second defeat of the week.

The Rossendale Free Press report said this about the game..

Ramsbottom United put up a spirited performance against unbeaten Castleton Gabriels on Saturday before losing by the odd goal in five.

The Rams got off to a flying start with a goal in six minutes when midfielder Paul Mills got on the end of a good through ball and slotted the ball past the keeper.

Andy Clarke added a second goal when Steve Johnson lifted a free-kick into the box and Clarke steered the ball past Castleton’s keeper.

Castleton surged forward in the second half and scored through Tony Diamond and ten minutes later Lee Wilkinson equalised for Castleton with a firm header past Tanner.

And Castleton edged in front when Diamond scored his second goal of the game.

Steve Johnson and Andy Clarke went close for Ramsbottom but Castlton held on to maintain their unbeaten record and leave the Rams looking for their first home win.