by | Oct 21, 2023

Time to look back once again at what happened on the equivalent Saturday in our non-league history and today is Saturday 21 October … and it is not a great one!!!

Northern Premier League Division 1 North

After those very heady days of being in the early shake up at the top of the table, the Rams’ continued slip down the league table under Mark Fell continued when they were stung by a handful of Rammy old boys!

Here is Tony Cunningham’s report on a very strange day at the Harry Williams Riverside Stadium…..

Sometimes football has a habit of throwing up a result that fails to reflect the activities on the pitch, and this one came fairly close to that.

A 4-0 home defeat looks like a mauling, but in reality the game swung on the inability of the Rams usually effective attack to punish the visitors from numerous chances, whilst the team’s Achilles heel – defensive frailties – were again evident in presenting the east Lancashire neighbours with four goals that were all preventable.

It was credit to both sides for the effort put in throughout 90 minutes of horrible conditions with the wind and driving rain persisting throughout. No player chose to hide, and the crowd of almost 300 who turned up despite the conditions, were treated to a full-bloodied and entertaining game.

The Rams began in fine fashion, and were unlucky on three occasions not to take an early lead. Eddie Moran was denied by visiting keeper Hakan Burton before the same player kept out a close range effort from Jamie Rother.

Shiraz Khan produced a fine run for the visitors but home keeper Danny Taberner smothered the ball on the line to keep the game goalless.

Former Colne player, Phil Dean, then sent a sizzling shot inches wide from 30 yards, as the indications were that the home side looked very much on target for another home victory.

However, the first defensive lapse on 18 minutes gave Colne the upper hand, against the run of play. A sloppy pass in midfield saw former Ram Lee Pugh pick up the loose ball before sending through another former Ram Danny Wilkins who strode into the area before firing confidently past home keeper Taberner.

Rother and Greg Daniels both teed up chances to equalise before the break but failed to find the net.

The second half began with Wilkins rattling the Rams post following a corner, but the game then swung back in the hosts favour with chances being created but spurned.

Half-time substitute Sam Heathcote was inches away from converting a cross, before Daniels brought out a fine save from Burton.

Jerome Wright then went on a typical mazy run only to see his final effort drift wide of the post, and he then put in a fine cross which just evaded the un-rushing Rother.

As if to punish the home side for failing to take their chances, the under-worked home defence fell foul of failing to deal with a left-wing attack by the visitors, and from the tightest of angles, yet another former Ram, Olly Crankshaw drove home a second goal for the delighted Reds on 70 minutes.

That seemed to indicate that it was not going to be the Rams day, and Colne gleefully took the rest of the game to the home side.

On 79 minutes Wilkins drive was excellent saved by Taberner, but with the home defence flat-footed, Crankshaw followed up to stroke the loose ball home to make it 3-0 and there was still time for Colne to rub more salt into the wounds.

However, they added another whilst down to ten men. Wilkins was adjudged by the referee to have used an elbow and his afternoon finished with an early bath.

A fourth goal arrived on 83 minutes and this time a further ex-Ram did the damage, and how he enjoyed what has to go down as the most unusual goal of the season.

Lee Gaskell received the ball on the left wing, some 40 yards out, and spotting Taberner off his line, attempted a ludicrous lob that caught the wind and swirled into the net with the home custodian desperately scrambling back but unable to tip the ball over.

That just about summed up the afternoon for the Rams.

A game that provided many chances for a home win was turned on it’s head by a collection of former Ramsbottom players whose delight at putting one over their old employers was evident by their celebrations.

As for the Rams, it was a disastrous afternoon at both ends of the park, as a 4-0 score-line barely reflected the game, yet proved the point that football is all about putting the ball into the back of the net.

Rams manager Mark fell was naturally disappointed.

“It’s a disappointing result for us, we didn’t take our chances early in each half and it cost us. Credit to Colne they were dangerous on the counter and made us pay. We’ll lick our wounds temporarily and come back stronger for the experience I’m sure.

“Football is a funny old game and we’ve gone from dominating a team from the league above on Tuesday to capitulating on Saturday, it’s a lesson for us, we’ll learn and move on.”


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

For the second successive game, Ramsbottom put in a no-show to gift their opponents all three points.

The writing was on the wall early on as Maine Road flew into a two-goal lead within the first nine minutes.

Their first goal came after just four minutes via a corner that saw Mike Turner rise the highest to nod the ball past Martin Campbell in the Ramsbottom goal.

Five minutes later and worse was to come for Ramsbottom as Campbell tried to take a quick goal kick but his clearance came back off the backside of Gareth Richards who reacted the quickest to turn and put the ball into the empty net from five yards out.

Maine Road’s Oliver McGee scored an own goal on 82 minutes.

FA Vase Round 1

Ramsbottom United crashed out of the Carlsberg FA Vase at the first hurdle but they’ve only themselves to blame.

They made all the running but couldn’t put the ball in the net against a resiliant but unadventurous Easington Colliery side, who only had four shots in the entire 90 minutes and scored three.

Rammy raced out of the stalls and dominated the opening quarter. Andrew Davis came close with a shot and Paul Cameron missed a good chance when he headed wide from a David Yorke-Robinson cross.

But despite their dominance they fell behind on 17 minutes when Easington made a rare sortie upfield. Paul Pitman scored the goal, rounding Rams keeper Keith Neild and rolling the ball in though the home side thought the ref should’ve blown for a foul on Andy Grimshaw.

The goal rocked the Rams and for a few minutes they lost their composure and only a last-ditch Mike Smith tackle on Ian Matthews prevented Easington from doubling their lead.

 But the home team soon recovered and Yorke-Robinson was desperately unlucky when he hit a wicked shot which Easington keeper Joe Thompson just managed to push onto the bar.

Rammy piled on the pressure forcing three successive corners and from one Andy Grimshaw hit a fierce shot just wide.

The visitors somehow made it to the break with their lead in tact and when the referee restarted proceedings the script stayed the same with the Rams doing everything but putting the ball in the net.

Russell Brierley cut in from the right but saw his shot saved by Thompson, Steve Orrell hit a shot agonisingly across the face of goal from a narrow angle and Easington defender Paul Brown headed off his own line.

A goal had to come and it did on 70 minutes, shortly after Rams boss Ken Bridge brought on Dave Roach for Steve Brennan and switched to a more attacking formation.

Orrell and Yorke-Robinson combined well and set up Russell Brierley who swept home a cross to level the score.

But Rammy weren’t on terms for long. Just six minutes later Easington produced a sweeping move from left to right which ended with a stunning header from Andrew Davis flying into the roof of the net giving Neild no chance.

As the home team pushed forward in search of the equaliser they began to leave gaps at the back. And three minutes from time Pitman made the most of it when he scored his second, breaking clean through and beating Neild with a low shot.

Rammy were desperately disappointed with the result because they know it was a match they could and should have won.


North West Counties League Division Two
(report from Rossendale Free Press)

Ramsbottom manager Ken Bridge is threatening to ring the changes for tomorrow’s derby clash with Haslinden at Ewood Bridge.
Mr Bridge is concerned about the attitude and the current form of some of his players.

“Some of the players thing they are still playing in the Manchester League,” said Mr Bridge.  “They do not seem to be used to the higher standard of football.

“They are not consistent with their attendance at training despite the fact that we probably have the best facilities in the area at Goshen Sports Centre in Bury.  They might as well play park soccer.”

Bridge could not beliver the number of chances that were wasted in the 2-1 defeat against Middlewich Athletic on Saturday.

Andy Clarke and Martin Hulme missed several chances while Marcus Isherwood, John Fleming and Phil Rose also failed to find the back of the net.

“These were not half chances,” fumed Bridge.  “These were perfect opportunities to score.”

Ian Lees and Paul Stanley are in the reckoning for the derby match for Ramsbottom.

“I will be making some changes after last week’s performance.  This is going to be a hard game for us and we will be starting the game as underdogs.”