by | Apr 15, 2024

Manchester Optical

Head into Ramsbottom, through the town, cross over the railway line and then turn immediately right – the ground is down there. Oh, it’s just a reminder of where our ground is as it was 12 March since we have played there. In the meantime, just the eight consecutive away games! But get used to home comforts as its the first of three in five days (yeah, I know!) as Colne try and come for a fourth time this year.

Manchester Optical

MATCH: Ramsbottom United vs Colne
VENUE: Harry Williams Riverside Stadium, Ramsbottom, BL0 0BS
COMPETITION: North West Counties Premier Division
DATE: Tuesday 16th April 2024
KICK-OFF: 7:45pm
REDUCED ADMISSION PRICES: Adults – £5, Concessions – £3, U12 – £1 (with paying adult)

We are finally into the final furlong. 262 days have passed since our opening league game of the season, in the sunny and warm climes of Wythenshawe and, at last, we can see the sunset of the 2023/24 North West Counties League campaign.

The Rams have just four games left and three of them come in the next five days at the Harry Williams Riverside Stadium. You could say that all four are ‘local derbies’ so it is a warm welcome to our long-time friends from Colne who have endured more than most the travails of the British weather. The men in red still have six to play and have to plough through ‘three in fives’ for the next two weeks.

You have to feel for Colne, who have had a staggering 16 games postponed and one abandoned – that coming at the HWRS – in just this calendar year! That is hence why they are forced to squeeze in as many games as possible and finally got a bit of leeway to ease what could have been a farcical situation of five games in 7 days as was the original plan.

Colne have had a steady season and, with six games left to play, are still not mathematically out of the play-off picture as they are able to reach 79 points and Kendal on 79 and Prestwich Heys on 77 are both still within grabbing distance, despite our visitors being down in twelfth place. Charnock Richard are another side who have play-off ambitions with their seven to play – the men in red travel to the HWRS with plenty of purpose.

With Lucas Weaver, Colne’s prolific goal scorer with a 33 in the league this season, they are certainly a force to be reckoned with and given their recent record against the Rams of just one defeat in their last eleven – that coming in NPL 1W in September 2021 when we won 3-1, they will travel with some confidence.

However, the Rams have built up some confidence of their own with two wins in their last three games and a solid performance on the cabbage patch of Gigg Lane in the derby against Bury despite the defeat. This confidence was in plentiful effect as Pilkington were dismissed 5-1 for a second time this season so the Rams are looking to close out the season with a spring in the stride.

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…


“I think it’s the fourth time of asking that we see ourselves playing Colne at home this season.

“We both come into the game on the back of a win at the weekend. It’s the first of three games in 5 days, so hopefully we can keep up the good form from recent weeks.”