PREVIEW – LOWER BRECK (H)
Do you remember 2012? Do you remember that belief the team had that they had to win virtually every game in order to get promoted? And they did!
It is time for the team of 2024 to summon up those memories written large in the history of Ramsbottom United FC.
MATCH: Ramsbottom United vs Lower Breck
VENUE: Harry Williams Riverside Stadium, Ramsbottom, BL0 0BS
COMPETITION: North West Counties Premier Division
DATE: Tuesday 30th January 2024
ADMISSION: Adults – £9, Concessions – £5, U12 – £1 (with paying adult)
What do the Rams really not want right now after playing the team at the top of the current form table? A game against the team in second place in that very same ladder!
It’s been a difficult season for the Rams, winless in their last six games and having only collected one point, which should have been three had the referee blown for full time when he should have at Litherland, and with just three wins from our last 15 games, dating back to the 6-2 thrashing of lowly Skelmersdale United back in September, it’s not a record of great success.
The revolving door of players in and players out tells its own story. 43 players have been used this season – it was always likely to be a high number considering that this is match number 38 of the season (not including friendlies but including cup games) but the turnover has not led to manager Steve Wilkes and his team being able to field a regular XVI player set-up.
There is still a mild belief that the play-offs are within reach, although they are 20 points away as it stands today and the Rams sit in 15th place, having played 28 of their 46 games and collected 34 points. Prestwich Heys hold the final play-off spot on 54. It really is a long way off.
Having endured a very difficult couple of years on the pitch after the return to action following the enforced Covid-19 break and the relegation from the coverted NPL last year, hopes were high for an instant return. It has proven to be much more of a challenge than expected.
And so we receive Lower Breck to the HWRS on Tuesday evening, a team and support staff where a number know their way to the HWRS and they are a team on a high with five wins and a 0-0 draw against high flying Wythenshawe Town to their name. They sit in 7th place with 48 points, poised dangerously to pounce on the much wanted play-off berths.
Everyone who travelled and was part of the 122 attendance will remember their visit to Anfield Sports Centre where Ryan Hamer’s first-half red card left untried Luke Roscoe in the net and unfortunately having to pick the ball out five times in the second half with a handful of former Rams scoring for the side in red.
The time is now for the resurgence. Because I will throw this stat in right now… we won promotion to this level in 1997. Our lowest finish at this level is 18th in 2005/06 under Lee Sculpher. We are 15th now – only 8 points clear of Burscough in 23rd.
The time for resurgence is most definitely NOW!!!!
We have just the one previous meeting and that was back on 2 September when the Rams took the lead on just three minutes through Oscar Radcliffe but that’s pretty much as good as it got as we went down 5-2 to a second half barrage against stand-in keeper Luke Roscoe after Ryan Hamer’s early red card.
If you want to remember that game… here’s the match report!
STEVE WILKES’ THOUGHTS:
“Our second half performance at Colne was not good enough and we will be looking for an improvement on Tuesday.
“Things didn’t go our way for parts of the game but we have to dust ourselves off again and find some form.
“Lower Breck are another side in very good form so it will not be easy but I do believe these players have it in them to turn things around.”