MATCH: Ramsbottom United v Bootle
VENUE: Harry Williams Riverside Stadium, Ramsbottom
COMPETITION: Pitching In Northern Premier League West Division
DATE: Saturday 15th January 2022
You can pay on the gate – adults £9, concessions £5, students (age 17-18) £6, children under 12 £1 (with a paying adult). Pie and Peas available throughout the afternoon – and tea and coffee in a proper mug! Programmes are £2 each.
OK. Let’s not beat around the bush here. Saturday’s match at home to Bootle is a revenge mission! The 5-0 humbling that we received at the Berry Street Garage Stadium on Saturday 25 September 2021 still lingers like a rotten smell in the noses of all Ramsbottom United supporters who endured that particular 90 minutes. It was a horror show for the Rams and today is a change to rebalance the books. Isn’t it?
Well, you would certainly like to hope so – it’s a home game, on our own patch where we have a good record of six wins from 10 this season and we are unbeaten against the Bucks at the HWRS since September 2010! OK, we have only met twice since then but, hey, records is records.
As you can tell, it is all about trying to find the positives in a season which has tottered and stumbled and we have picked up just 13 of the last 45 on offer and recorded a single win in our last five – the much needed but overall, rather forgetful 1-0 win over City of Liverpool pre-Christmas.
And both sides come into this game on the back of a lack of match time. The Rams saw their game away at Leek Town postponed last weekend due to a rise in Covid-19 cases in the home sides squad while Bootle have been sitting on their hands since their stunning 3-0 victory at league leaders Marine just after Christmas in front of 2,150 spectators – a result which certainly rose a few eyebrows.
Add in a 3-0 win over Mossley and a superb 2-2 draw away at Workington and you will see that Bootle’s away record this season of six wins from 11 means that this trip east should hold little in the way of worries for Brian Richardson’s side who have been quite superb in their first season at this level following their promotion from the North West Counties.
So, what can we expect on Saturday? Manager Lee Donafee expects the team to put their Mossley disappointment from a couple of weeks ago behind them and attempt to turn their season around to, at least try, and mount a challenge on the top half of the table. It won’t be easy as the ever spinning turnstile of non-league football has seen a crucial member of the squad, Jake Thompson, depart for Bamber Bridge in midweek but the squad have to put that behind them and produce a performance that the supporters, who still come through and support, can be proud of again.
Whether its rub of the green, a bit of fortune or just plain bad luck, the Rams need to look to the remaining 17 games of this season and target top 10 at the very least with the play-off places now a chasm 17 points away. 17 wins would do it though!
STAT OF THE PREVIEW:
The 2021 calendar year has just passed with the Rams winning eight of their 20 games played – a win% of 40. We scored an average of 1.4 goals per game and conceded 1.9.. our worst record since 2017 in terms of win% and 2016 in terms of goals for and against average.
LEAGUE FORM GUIDE (most recent game first):
Ramsbottom United: L L W L L W
Bootle: W W W D L W
You can read all about the history between the Rams and Bootle in our comprehensive “Have We Met” article – originally produced for the September fixture so just add that horror 5-0 to it!
Rather than read Lee Donafee’s quotes, you can actually hear him today as he previews the match with Bootle in an interview with Bobby Jones.