by | Apr 19, 2024

Manchester Optical

And so, for the final time this season, we open the gates to the Harry Williams Riverside Stadium. But this is no ordinary fixture. For the Rams, it is just another weary step towards the end of the season. For the visitors, it’s 100% must win. It’s the Black Pudding Derby with everything on the line for the reformed Bury.

Manchester Optical

MATCH: Ramsbottom United vs Bury
VENUE: Harry Williams Riverside Stadium, Ramsbottom, BL0 0BS
COMPETITION: North West Counties Premier Division
DATE: Saturday 20th April 2024
KICK-OFF: 3:00pm

Security will prevent unauthorised access

• Arrive as early as you can
• If local, please walk to the ground
• Travel by public transport if possible (buses, ELR etc)
• There is NO car parking available at the ground
• Use town centre car parks (some have time restrictions)
• Local street parking available but be mindful of residents

I think you can very safely say that this is the fixture that every single Ramsbottom United supporter looked out for when the fixtures were released eleven months ago. You can be certain that every single Ramsbottom United supporter hoped that it would be a title decider between the sides.

For the Rams, who are still marooned down in 18th place and can only really climb one place to 17th before the season is out, if it was any other opposition, it would be a quiet game with a sparse crowd and probably last on the Match of the Day roster.

But this is no ordinary game, for it has been sold out for weeks now and all 2,000 tickets have gone. If you haven’t got a ticket for this game, it’s too late now. There is no pay on the gate today.

This could have been trophy presentation day for Bury. However, a defeat to Padiham on Tuesday night at FC United’s ground has left them hoping for intervention. League leaders Wythenshawe are away at 22nd placed Squires Gate while Wythenshawe Town host long-relegated Skelmersdale United. Nothing more than a victory will do for the new Shakers as the Wythy duo are a point ahead of them and even goal difference is not on their side as they trail the Ammies by five.

For those of us with a statistical mind, the Rams have two targets in their last two games. Their lowest ever league finish at this level was 18th in 2005/06. And only once have they conceded 100 goals or more, that was in the relegation season from the NPL Premier in 2015/16 when we shipped 112 from 46 games. We have conceded 96 so far … neither are records of great joy but at least this season won’t go down in history if they can be staved off.

With two blanks this week already against Colne and Padiham, the season-weary Rams will go again and, if they perform as well as they did on the cabbage patch of Gigg Lane 10 days ago, then there will be plenty to be encouraged about.

There is likely to be a fever-pitched atmosphere at the HWRS so get in early, enjoy the facilities, look after them and enjoy the match.

Because, at the end of the day, it’s just a game of football.

This is the third time that the Rams and Bury have faced each other this season with Saturday’s visitors coming out on top on both occasions – on penalties in the Macron Cup and, of course, down at Gigg Lane 10 days ago when they took a 2-1 victory.

Who knows what will happen this time around?

Here is the report and pictures from the game at Gigg Lane last week.