MATCH: Ramsbottom United v Kidsgrove Athletic
VENUE: Harry Williams Riverside Stadium, Ramsbottom
COMPETITION: Pitching In Northern Premier League West Division
DATE: Saturday 20th November 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!
The Rams are enjoying playing games at home this season. A 4-0 win over Newcastle was separated by some three weeks before we defeated Widnes last weekend 3-2 at the HWRS to creep up the table a couple of places and back within shooting distance of the top half.
Our biggest home crowd of the season enjoyed the victory last weekend, completed with three headers from Jamie Rother, Hugo Rodriguez and John Murphy. And although there was a little bit of a lapse in the second half which made the last quarter interesting, the Rams held out for a crucial three points.
But heading our way this weekend are Kidsgrove Athletic, currently sat in ninth place but just two points ahead. A win for the Rams will see them leapfrog our opponents – who have won three of their six on the road this season, including their last away match two weeks ago at Kendal Town. And, anyone who has read our history piece on matches between the teams will know that beating our Staffordshire visitors on our home patch is not an easy prospect… in fact, it’s never happened before!
What has been especially encouraging of late has been the ever improving attendances – our 383 crowd last week one of the biggest since the pandemic struck and we are in the top 10 of home crowds this season with an average of 328. Manager Lee Donafee is one man who is very happy to see the numbers getting behind the lads going up and that will only increase as the performances continue to be entertaining and the results keep coming.
And they are – gradually – as Lee starts to put the round plugs in the round holes in his team. Saturday’s game will be a tough test, for sure, but it is one that is winnable.. even if the history says otherwise!
STAT OF THE PREVIEW:
The Rams have lost just one of their last six home games – the 0-2 defeat to Leek Town at the start of October.
LEAGUE FORM GUIDE (most recent game first):
Ramsbottom United: W L W L L L
Kidsgrove Athletic: W W L L L W
You can read all about the history between the Rams and Kidsgrove Athletic in our comprehensive “Have We Met” article, which is below:
The Rams have lost the services of Altrincham’s Ramsbottom-born defender Will Hall, who was recalled from his loan spell with us and sent on a similar arrangement with NPL Premier side Ashton United. He played 16 games in all for the club during his stint, scoring one goal, which was our opener in the 3-0 win over Mossley.
“It is a massive blow losing Will but it is one of them things when you get a lad in on loan,” admitted the manager.
However, Godwin Abadaki is in line to return to the squad having missed a number of weeks with injury but Khalil Osi-Efa remains sidelined.
Nosa Iyamu and Ronaldo Brown have both been sent out on a dual registration with Cheshire Football League side Denton Town while Joel Earps has suffered another set back in his ongoing fitness issues.
“We had agreed for him to go off to Ashton Town to get some game time in but his knee gave way again at training on Thursday and that could be a major set back for him.”
Looking ahead to the game on Saturday, Lee feels that he is not far away from having a team in his mould. “We are maybe two players away from a full, healthy squad. Godwin coming back does make us stronger but we probably need two more and losing Will is disappointing for us.
“But we are looking forward to another home game, where we can look to set the tone early like we did in the Newcastle and Widnes games but, as always, I am not getting carried away and we just need to keep backing up the performances with results.
“And we are aware of the record that Kidsgrove have at Rammy and that gives us something that we want to do!
“The table is mad but if we win on Saturday, we will have come a long way from the defeat to 1874 Northwich and gives us a good platform to move our way back up the table.”