by | Jan 8, 2024

Manchester Optical

** Although the pitch was playable all day, the plummeting early evening temperatures froze up an area of the goal mouth in front of the Jack Wolfenden stand which was then deemed unfit for play and the game was called off. **

The third match of 2024 and it’s only the 9th January! Doesn’t happen very often (2020 for those asking) but we welcome some old friends from Colne to the HWRS, a side that do regularly enjoy their visits down the valley although they wouldn’t have wanted to follow us down the slippery slope back into the NWCFL as they did last year.

Manchester Optical

MATCH: Ramsbottom United vs Colne
VENUE: Harry Williams Riverside Stadium, Ramsbottom, BL0 0BS
COMPETITION: North West Counties Premier Division
DATE: Tuesday 9th January 2024
KICK-OFF: 7:45pm
ADMISSION: Adults – £9, Concessions – £5, U12 – £1 (with paying adult)

There is very likely to be something missing tomorrow. It is thought, for the very first time in our 58-year history, the Harry Williams Riverside Stadium will be minus … a Harry Williams! We couldn’t start a preview without mention of our founder and chairman who suffered a tumble in the car park at Litherland and underwent an operation on his hip on Monday – we wish him well and hope for a swift recovery. 

After the late, late, late, late, late show of Litherland, the Rams return to home comforts where Colne make the relatively short trip down the valley looking to extend not only their own seven match unbeaten run in the league this season but a terrific run of results over us where the Rams have won just one of their last 10 since 2017!

Coming with a highly impressive 5-0 home win over AFC Liverpool on Saturday on their last outing, Paul Weller’s side are handily placed in eighth place, just seven points off of the play-offs and a healthy goal different to boot, helped by scoring 22 in their last six to top the form table.

And eight away wins this season, a record that only Bury and Wythenshawe can beat all leads to a firm away win if you were heading down to a bookmakers to lay a few pennies!

The Rams are winless in the league in their last four games although the losing rot was stopped with the 1-1 draw in front of 98 distant fans but the events in Liverpool have certainly given manager Steve Wilkes a renewed sense that his charges are able to put together a run of results that are required if they are to not just sit in mid-table for the rest of the season, as we currently sit in 15th place, seven points behind our visitors with a game in hand.

It is likely to be a very chilly night as we play our third match of the year – as mentioned, just the second time it has happened in our semi-professional history and we hope that the events of that particular year don’t return! Although a ‘null and void season’ …….

Positivity, people! The worm is turning, it isn’t officially the year of the Ram (sheep or goat) in the Chinese zodiac – it’s dragon actually! But, let’s do it for our missing leader, let’s do it for Harry!!

This will be the 34th competitive meeting between the Rams and Colne since the first in Division 2 of the NWCFL in August 1996, a game that the Rams won 4-1 and we would secure promotion as league champions that season.

But the story in more latter years has been a tale of woe for the Rams with just one victory (3-1 in September 2021 with goals from James Murphy, Eddie Cooper and Godwin Abadaki with Lee Pugh claiming a last minute consolation) across the last 10 games, a 0-0 draw in November 2022 breaking up the Red tide of three point claiming!

The record at the HWRS is 7 wins for Rammy, 9 for Colne and the one draw although the Rams’ record at Holt House is 8 wins to 7 with one draw so overall, Colne lead 16-15 but the Rams lead in the goals stakes 49-48! What will be added to our long history on Tuesday night?

Whatever it is, wrap up warm!

“Tuesday night sees us up against another in form team in Colne who are unbeaten in their last seven games.

“Both clubs were relegated last season and it’s Colne who are currently higher in the league. But we still have 21 games left and need to start putting a run together of wins.

“We were left disappointed with the result on Saturday and know we need to start winning games on a regular basis. We have it in us to do so but just need to turn the chances we are creating into goals.”

Steve offered some team news in that Harvey Whyte will be out for a few weeks with a hamstring injury but we do welcome back Owen Collinge, who has been away on holiday.