MATCH: Ramsbottom United v Leek Town
VENUE: Harry Williams Riverside Stadium, Ramsbottom
COMPETITION: Pitching In Northern Premier League West Division
DATE: Saturday 2nd October 2021
You can pay on the gate – adults £9, concessions £5, students (age 17-18) £6, children under 12 £1 (with a paying adult).
Time for an overhaul! That was the thoughts of manager Lee Donafee as he spoke to RamsbottomUnited365 on Friday ahead of a crucial match with Leek Town on Saturday.
With no wins in the last four games and just a solitary goal, by way of a penalty in the 2-1 reverse to Prescot Cables, changes are afoot in the Rammy camp.
In fact, the Rams have gone 366 minutes without scoring from open play and the scorer of that goal, our third in the 3-1 win over Colne, Godwin Abadaki, has barely played since.
It is a major concern for the manager, who has taken the 5-0 defeat last Saturday to heart and knows that the pressure is building on him, despite still sitting in ninth place in the table.
Striker Jamie Rainford, who was left on the bench after starting the previous two games, has left the club but Donafee has been working hard to strengthen the squad this week.
“If I can get them all over the line, I am hoping to have signed seven new players ahead of Saturday’s game with Leek,” he admits.
“I am not going to tolerate performances like we saw at Bootle on Saturday. I am simply not having it any more and that is why changes are needed.”
The changes that he is looking to make will excite the supporters but he will be having a busy Friday getting them signing on the dotted line.
“The supporters deserve better. Those that were at Bootle on Saturday deserve a lot better than what we produced and that is why I am looking to get more players in.”
However, standing in the way are in-form Leek Town, a team we have not beaten in two previous games in 2018/19 and were unbeaten in their previous six games before slipping to a 3-2 defeat in midweek at Mossley.
And in Will Saxon and Dan Trickett-Smith have two proven goalscorers in the ranks so it will be a stern test of the underforming Rams.
But, as we have seen across the season so far – anything can happen.
STAT OF THE PREVIEW:
The Rams have not gone five league games without a win since the tail end of Mark Fell’s managerial spell with the club and the first two games of Chris Willcock’s reign – when we went six league contests without a victory in September/October 2018.
LEAGUE FORM GUIDE (most recent game first):
Ramsbottom United: L D L L W W
Leek Town: L W W W D W
You can read all about the history between the Rams and Leek Town in our comprehensive “Have We Met” article, which is below:
“You can pick the team if you want to,” Donafee jokes, but with a number of changes hopefully in the pipeline, naming his 16-man squad for Saturday will be a difficult one.
But he did state that Eddie Cooper is once again struggling for full fitness and Jake Thompson trained in midweek but “didn’t look himself.”
Altrincham loanee Will Hall dislocated his shoulder during the Bootle defeat but the manager is hoping that he will not be suffering too many affects from that.
“I need to assess my squad and there are going to be some changes to it. Some players might leave, or they can stay to fight for their places but Saturday was a disgrace and that is why I have had to go out to strengthen.
“I know I have been loyal to the lads but I cannot accept what happened last week.”