OTS – 23rd MARCH

by | Mar 22, 2024

The Rams booked a place in the Final of a Cup competition and recorded a fine victory but a little ‘what could have been’ has appeared in our look back on the events in Ramsbottom United’s non-league history “On This Saturday”.

Evo-Stik Northern Premier League West Division
(Damien Barlow’s match report)

Ramsbottom’s starting eleven showed 3 changes from the mid-week victory at Droylsden. Anthony Donaldson and Joel Bembo-Leto joined their team mates on the pitch along with newly accquired keeper Dale Latham who has been entrusted to keep the gloves of Sam Ashton warm in his absence.

The game started in quite a fluid manner, but the first questionable decision came afer only a minute of play as Prescot played the ball down the right, and as the visiting winger failed to beat his man and tried fervently to keep the ball from crossing the touch line, suggesting he had had the last touch, the linesman decision favoured him and so the corner count had started. The inswinger didnt cause any issues to the home defence as was easily cleared.

Ramsbottoms first pursuit on the Cables rear-guard came in the shape of a Tom Kennedy free kick which was sent long and nodded back for Donaldson, who eventually guided the ball out left for Evangelinos and in-turn to Rainford but the defence won that battle and lines were cleared. Prescot again, minutes later found a path down their right as Chris Almond fed a well weighted ball between the back line for Fishwick to latch on to, but his cross failed to match the quality of the original ball and a goal kick was the next action, which when picked up by Rother his equally fine ball searching out Evangelinos raised hopes of an early breakthrough, however, with a covering defender in close proximity the space didnt materialise enough to get the shot away and the ball was put out for a corner.

On 12 minutes the games arbiter spotted McCullochs hand had inadvertently made contact with the ball following a clearence from Latham, and as Bembo-Leto’s head met Kennedys free kick and directed it towards the back post, Rainford was on hand to stab home the loose ball and indeed give the home side the breakthrough that had minutes earlier escaped them

12 minutes Ramsbottom 1 Prescot Cables 0 When Eddie Moran nipped in and stole the ball away from Klein-Davis and was wrestled to the ground in the centre circle, the first booking of the day was quickly issued. Plenty of protesting followed, and from that moment the game changed from a relativley free flowing affair to a more physical contest. Free kicks seemed to disrupt play and the visitors appeals for a home side yellow card were more animated. The battle in the middle third now showed every sign that this suited the away team more and were happy to stop Ramsbottoms attempts at getting the ball wide, with the scrappy half chances coming their way. James Edgar was able to run onto a ball played forward which momentarily flat footed the Rams defence which allowed him plenty of space to exploit and cause damage, but once again, the cross was high and wayward.

Prescots wishes were answered in 3 minutes either side of the half hour as Jerome and then Moran both picked up a booking. Jeromes for a robust challenge and then Moran for blocking a clearence with a high arm. The remainder of the half offered very little in way of goal mouth action. Prescot were arguably now enjoying more possession and territory, but play was being condensed beween both areas, and an equal measure of lack of quality from Prescot to get behind the Ramsbottom back four and a disciplined and well drilled protection of their clean sheet ensured the half ended with the hosts a goal to the good.

Half Time Ramsbottom 1 Prescot 0

The second half started with two good chances for an early second goal for Ramsbottom. The first one came from Rainford unsettling Cooper and forcing him into a rushed clearance which wasn’t apreciated by Lenehan, this allowed Rother to take back the ball and find Ruben Jerome out right who retured the ball to the Rams number 8 who unfortunatley skied his effort. The second came from a ball from the left side which found its way to Jerome who found himself with space and time to assess his options. His well struck shot was turned onto the bar from Ollie Taylors out-stretched finger tips.

The 56th minute presented the hosts with the games most clear cut chance, again, was instigated by a vibrant Rother who was first to a loose ball and sent Jerome towards the area. His first time pass released Rainford with a one on one but his effort which was intended for the far post was caught with ease by Taylor.

The away bench blinked first in a bid to alter the scoreline, as Jordan Southworth replaced the earlier booked Klein-Davies. The hour mark brought the third booking for the homeside, as Thompson hacked down the attacking Prescot man on the edge of the box, luckily it was deemed just outside and the resulting free kick as dealt with and cleared.

65 minutes saw the first Ramsbottom substitution, with Donaldson being replaced by a second debutant, Spencer Harris. Harris’s more physical presence would certainly lend itself more to the cause and help defend from the front and match up more against the Cables side.

The challenges continued to mount up with Rother and Lugsden both on the receiving end of heavy tackles, which the travelling Prescot supporters passionatley disputed, and even suggested that the free kicks should have been theirs.

A rasping effort from Moran almost put the game to bed. A cross from Kennedy was flicked to the edge of the box by Jerome perfectly for Moran to meet on the volley and was bravely blocked by McCulloch, whos thigh will still be stinging at the start of their next game.

78 mins saw the introduction of Tom Schofield at the expense of Jamie Rother.

82 minutes did see the game put beyond doubt, an inswinging corner from Evangelinos was met powerfully by the head of Harris. His effort was sent into the top corner of the goal and the sprawling keeper had no chance.

A final change on 85 minutes brought Iywriah Gooden into the action to replace Jamie Rainford.

In a game that started so easy on the eye, it was a shame it turned into such a physical battle. A battle though that Ramsbottom were more than equal to, who defended from the front and allowed no real encouragement to Prescot. The paucity of chances didnt make for a great spectacle, but with 6 games left of the season, its not necessarily how you play the game, but how you win the game, and the Rams found a way despite not being allowed to be their entertaining best.

Team; Latham, Kennedy, Thompson, Lugsden, Bembo-Leto, Moran, Rother, (Schofield) Donaldson,(Harris) Jerome, Evangelinos, Rainford (Gooden). Subs not used Osi-Efa, Carey.


Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Division 1 North

A snow covered pitch would put paid to our scheduled trip to Skelmersdale United on this particular Saturday back in 2013.

The match would be rearranged for later in the season – 4th May to be exact. It would be the most heartbreaking of all games … if only it had happened when it should have done, who knows what would have happened!!!


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

Ramsbottom couldn’t take their NWCL Division One unbeaten record to five games after slipping to defeat against Curzon.

Ramsbottom started the game in their usual slow manner and invited Curzon at them and they didn’t need a second invitation, for after 10 minutes they took the lead.

A long through ball down the middle seemed to have been dealt with by Blore, but instead of clearing his lines, he decided to take on the Curzon striker, lost the ball and was made to pay for his mistake as Colin Heywood hammered the ball into the net via the far post.

Curzon should have doubled their advantage on 15 mins, but defender Porter closed down and unmarked visiting player who had taken too long.

Ramsbottom had nothing to show for the first half, quite simply because they didn’t deserve anything and were lucky to be going in at half time only trailing by a single goal.

If the first half belonged to Curzon, then the second half belonged to Ramsbottom as they came out a totally different team.

Both flanks became active and the centre of midfield, non existent in the first half, decided to put some pressure on the opposition.

Ramsbottom equalised when a long clearance from Horridge caused panic along Curzon’s back line and as the defender hesitated Carl Lomax nipped in to lob the ball over the advancing keeper. It was his third goal in four games.

But it was during Ramsbottom’s best spell of the game that Curzon grabbed what turned out to be the winning goal.

As the home side attacked down the left, the move broke down and Mike Langhorn was caught in posession. Josh Mitton collected a long ball to hit the ball under Horridge in the 70th minute.

Ramsbottom tried in vain to get back on terms but never really had what it required to break down a resilient Curzon rearguard.


North West Counties League Division 2 Trophy Semi-Final 2nd Leg
(Ramsbottom United won 7-3 on aggregate)
(match report from Rossendale Free Press archives)

Ramsbottom United have booked their place in the North West Counties Second Division final on 18 April at Darwen.

They will take on Cheadle Town and United manager Ken Bridge is expecting a more physical confrontation than in the semi-final against Middlewich Athletic.

Leading 2-0 from the first leg, United soon put themselves into an invincible positon when Phil Rose opened the scoring after 18 minutes.

Two goals in a four minute spell from Steve Johnson, 28 minutes, and Martin Hulme, 31 minutes, put Ramsbottom into the driving seat.

Ian Palin pulled a goal back for Middlewich Athletic just after half-time before Mel Burke and Steve Orrell added to United’s tally.

An Ian McNally own goal gave Athletic a late consolation as Rammy won 5-2 on the day and 7-3 on aggregate.

Despite the convincing result, Bridge was still concerned about the lacklustre way his team approached the start of each half.

Bridge said, “This is one of my main concerns. We start very slowly at the beginning of each half. Whatever we try and do, the problem remains with us.

Although it was not very significant at the end of the day we were punished with a goal a minute into the second period.

“We managed to frustate them in the first 15 minutes of the opening half, preventing them from playing football.

“Mark Hulme and Mark Keegan had great games down the flanks but we still need to get more quality balls into the box. But we were looking strong in all departments.”

Ramsbottom Reserves failed to reach the final of the Reserve Division Cup.

They went down 1-0 to Castleton Gabriels at Chadderton on Tuesday conceding the goal on the hour.

Rammy should have scored from a penalty on the stroke of half-time but James Richards’ spot-kick crashed against the cross-bar.