MATCH: Ramsbottom United v City of Liverpool
VENUE: Harry Williams Riverside Stadium, Ramsbottom
COMPETITION: Pitching In Northern Premier League West Division
DATE: Saturday 18th December 2021
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.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year… ding, dong, ding, dong. And what better place to be than in Ramsbottom the weekend before Christmas.
In truth, any time is a good time to be ‘back home’ as we head for the familiar surroundings of the Harry Williams Riverside Stadium for the first time in some four weeks after the postponement of the Clitheroe game a fortnight ago.
And with just one home defeat since our opener at the HWRS against high-flying Marine on the first Tuesday night, there is plenty of encouragement ahead of this crucial match with mid-table City of Liverpool.
This game is the reverse of the first game of the season – Lee Donafee’s managerial bow – when we headed over to the Wirral and returned with a drab 0-0 point.
Much has changed since then, both sides are sat in mid-table, both looking to move upwards but both certainly wanting more from 2022 than they saw in 2021.
The Rams performed well in the 3-1 defeat at Marine last weekend, a considerable improvement on their last away day while the Purples demolished Prescot Cables 6-0 last time out away from home – with a familiar name on the scoresheet in James Murphy.
Saturday’s game promises to be a very good contest between two sides with plenty to play for and plenty to prove.
STAT OF THE PREVIEW:
The Rams have won their last three games at home, City of Liverpool have won their last two on the road.
LEAGUE FORM GUIDE (most recent game first):
Ramsbottom United: L L W W L W
City of Liverpool: W D W L W W
You can read all about the history between the Rams and City of Liverpool in our comprehensive “Have We Met” article, which is below.. just add the 0-0 draw from earlier in the season.
With a level of consistency starting to become more and more apparent, manager Lee Donafee names the same squad that featured at Marine plus previously suspended George Wyatt, who returns.
The boss was in good spirits ahead of the return fixture with City of Liverpool on Saturday and admitted, while his side made him proud at Marine, there were still little mistakes that ultimately cost them.
“We did play well against Marine,” he admits, “but there were just a few errors that didn’t help us. We set up to frustrate them and hit the bar before they scored their first which hit us.
“But considering that everyone was expecting us to get ironed out, we didn’t, we had a good go and I was proud of the team.
“We are getting some consistence in the squad now with the players I have brought in but there are a few that just need a kick up the backside still.”
Looking ahead to the match, he knows it will be a tough game, as all of the games are but “I am more concentrating on getting our house in order. I respect them as a team but I have to focus on us.
“They had a good win last time out and we are coming up against Murphy, who played for us earlier in the season. Both sides have had a lot of changes since we last saw them in August and both are looking for a big pre-Christmas win.”
He is very much hoping that their Christmas celebration around the town on Saturday evening is one that isn’t tinged with disappointment – 90 minutes on Saturday afternoon will set that mood.