by | Feb 26, 2024

Manchester Optical

The Tuesday afternoon rain scuppered this game yet again!

Dear Mother Nature, please can you stop this raining from happening so we can actually get this home game with Colne played at the third attempt, without any interupptions or cancellations half way through. With much love from everyone at Ramsbottom United FC (and, no doubt, Colne FC too)!

Manchester Optical

MATCH: Ramsbottom United vs Colne
VENUE: Harry Williams Riverside Stadium, Ramsbottom, BL0 0BS
COMPETITION: North West Counties Premier Division
DATE: Tuesday 27th February 2024
KICK-OFF: 7:45pm
REDUCED ADMISSION PRICES: Adults – £5, Concessions – £3, U12 – £1 (with paying adult)

It was just ten days ago that we welcomed Colne to the HWRS for the second time this year. 9th January was the first time when the game was postponed an hour before kick off and then, a week Saturday ago, Colne led 1-0 at half-time when the referee decided enough was enough as the heavy rains battered the already saturated ground.

And so here we are again! A reduced admission fee as a thank you to all those who braved the elements and a hope that we will actually get a full 90 minutes in, something that we haven’t done for 17 days since our last minute defeat at Wythenshawe Town.

Our recent form, really since our disappointing 4-1 reverse under the Friday night lights at the NORI Stadium, has been encouraging with back-to-back successes over Lower Breck and a clinical hammering of Litherland REMYCA and the last minute defeat to the promotion chasing Wythenshawe Town.

With a few more new additions for the heavy run-in to the end of the season – we have a remarkable 15 games to go to be played by the 20th April (yep, even though we started this season in July and having already played 40 games … yes, FORTY GAMES … there are still 15 to go – yes, that is totally ridiculous!!!!!) – manager Steve Wilkes knows that this is probably the hardest part of the campaign with the hectic back-to-back nature of the games.

(As an aside, you have to feel for Charnock Richard who still have 20 league games to play having seen their last six games postponed due to the weather, they are also in the Macron Cup Quarter-Finals and are already looking at three-games-a-week with twelve games already scheduled for March! This is crazy but also completely unacceptable!)

Colne are winless since that 4-1 victory over the Rams on the 26 January with a defeat at home to Irlam and draws with Lower Breck and Barnoldswick Town in their last three. They sit in 10th place in the table, some nine points shy of the play-offs but still 14 games to play so will still be harbouring hopes of reaching the top five.

The one saving grace is that any of the niggles have been eased and the manager comes into this game with a nearly fully fit squad – well, apart from himself of course!

This will be the 35th 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.

The story in the more recent history is not one the Rams are fond of – just one win in their last 11 games (3-1 in September 2021 with goals from James Murphy, Eddie Cooper and Godwin Abadaki with Lee Pugh claiming a last minute consolation). That victory was at the HWRS but the last six games on our patch have been 4 Colne wins, 1 draw and 1 win.

The record at home is 7 wins for Rammy, 9 for Colne and one draw and the visitors hold a 32-26 goal lead too.

If you need a reminder, there is the report from the game at the back end of January…


Manager Steve Wilkes, still recovering from his knee surgery, knows that this game will be hard but will still be a good gauge as to where the team are after three positive performances in their most recent games.

“So for the 3rd time of asking we play Colne at home. After a postponement and an abandonment, let’s hope this time we get through to a full 90 minutes.

“Tom Walker and Caldon Hendon are both still a couple of weeks away from full fitness but we hope to have them back sooner rather than later. Let’s hope we can get ourselves back to winning ways and see where the final 15 games take us.”