by | Mar 25, 2024

Manchester Optical

And then there were 10. Ten more games to play in this marathon season. The Rams return from their Island excursion knowing that things have to improve if they are to stave off any unimaginable thoughts of back-to-back relegations but face a daunting trip to fourth placed Chadderton.

Manchester Optical

MATCH: Chadderton v Ramsbottom United
VENUE: Falcon Fire Stadium, Andrew Strett, Chadderton, OL9 0JT
COMPETITION: North West Counties League Premier Division
DATE: Tuesday 26th March 2024
KICK-OFF: 7:45pm
ADMISSION: Adults £7, concessions £4

Away day number three in this run of four on the travels sees us made the short journey down the M66 and M60 to the north-west side of Oldham to face possibly one of the surprise packages of the season in Chadderton, who are sat in fourth place in the table and looking good for the play-offs.

A beleaguered Rams side head there hoping for some good fortune. With just two wins in their last 14 games, Steve Wilkes’ side are more than nervously looking over their shoulder. The FA haven’t – and probably can’t – say how many may be dragged into a relegation melee but just five points separate the Rams in 18th to Pilkington in 23rd.

Of course, the Rams still have games in hand but we have been saying that for quite some time and, one by one, they are being whittled down and they are still far too perilously close to being hauled into the mire.

A victory against a Chadderton side who have themselves hit a slightly barren run of just one victory in their last seven – a thumping 4-0 win at Charnock Richard last Tuesday night – will still leave Rammy in 18th place but at least give themselves a little breathing space.

With players back from their either enforced absence from the Isle of Man trip or those who were unavailable, the manager is hoping to be able to pick from a fairly fully fit squad for this crucial game.

Without a win in six games and just one single point collected in those matches, the time is most definitely now to stop the rot and allow everyone to breath a little easier.

With 9 wins, five draws and only five defeats on their Andrew Street home patch, it will be a tough examination of the squad to come home with something.

This will be our first visit to Andrew Street for a league game since 1998 although we did go in 2008 for a League Cup third round contest. Maybe a little bit concerningly, we haven’t beaten our hosts since 2002 in the FA Cup Preliminary Round at the Riverside 3-0 but there is only two games to speak of in that time!

A thrilling game was what we saw when Chadderton headed to the HWRS back in October with the visitors holding on for a 3-2 success. For a reminder, here is Tony Cunningham’s match report.


“Another tough fixture away at play off chasing Chadderton.

“With 10 games to go, it’s important that we utilise the squad as we have less than four weeks to fulfil our fixtures. This in itself poses problems as we cannot keep a settled side.

“The five players that couldn’t make the Isle of Man trip come back into the equation. So once again we will be rotating.

“We know Chatterton are chasing a play-off spot so we also know that it is going to be another tough evening. but we will be giving it everything to get a result that is desperately needed.”