MATCH: Market Drayton Town v Ramsbottom United
VENUE: Greenfield Sports Ground, Market Drayton, TF9 3SL
COMPETITION: Northern Premier League West Division
DATE: Saturday 16th April 2022
DISTANCE FROM RAMMY: 70 miles
You can pay on the gate – adults £7, concessions £6, children £1 (with a paying adult). Licensed bar and cafe within the stadium.
A win in this game will secure Rammy’s position in the division for another season. It is probably the best way to commence this preview by stating that fact – a win at Market Drayton Town will ensure the Rams have enough points to not dip into dotted line at the end of the season and face the possibility of a relegation play-off.
In a season that started with so much disorganisation, so much change so close to the beginning of the campaign but still had so much anticipation, it has turned into a baptism of fire for manager Lee Donafee but one that he and his team have come through – well, at times, with difficulty but at times, with a flourish. Whilst Rams fans would have wanted to be pressing for a play-off chance come this stage of the season, that hope was probably torn away when the previous manager upped sticks for more cash 170 miles away two weeks before the season started.
So, it comes down to this final three games to close the season with more panache, but there is a task to complete first and that is to secure that place in the division with a very rare away victory over bottom side Market Drayton Town.
And this game will not be an easy one, regardless of MDT’s record. For their home record of two wins, three draws and 12 defeats is exactly the same as Rammy’s away record – and they have scored just as many goals at home (9) as we have on the road.
As Kendal Town showed, just because they already have an ‘R’ next to their name doesn’t mean they are just going to lay down – this is an Easter home game for them, a larger crowd is hoped for and they have honour and respect to deliver to their supporters.
The manager certainly saw Kendal’s tenacity as we tripped past them 2-0 last weekend so with MDT in the same position, don’t expect any favours. The Rams will need to work hard for their points and secure their first away win since beating Mossley 3-0 on the August Bank Holiday Monday – 229 days ago!
LEAGUE FORM GUIDE (most recent game first):
Ramsbottom United: W D L L L W
Market Drayton Town: L W L L L L
You can read all about the history between the Rams and Market Drayton Town in our comprehensive “Have We Met” article, which is below – written back in August, when we produced a 7-1 victory.
Manager Lee Donafee knows all too well about the potential pitfalls of this fixture.
“We travel to Market Drayton hoping to build from our last away performance against Kidsgrove where I felt we let ourselves down in the final third of the pitch.
“I believe last weeks game against Kendal has give us an insight of what we will be up against, as Drayton are in a similar situation.
“Therefore we know it won’t be easy and we have prepared and worked on our application for the game come Saturday.”
However, he will be forced to travel with a number of players missing with both Billy Hasler-Cregg and Aiden Marshall-King out for the rest of the season.
“I’m gutted for both lads as Billy joined us looking to finish the season on a high which I felt he was doing and soon become a fan favourite very quick with his performances.
“Aiden progressed through development and was in and around squad, we got him out on loan so we could then give him more minutes and develop him at this level in remaining games.
“I wish both players a speedy recovery and a recovery that see them ready for the Rams pre season.”
Another player who will be absent is Godwin Abadaki who suffered an injury in the match against Kidsgrove and was ruled out for four weeks but, “but credit to the lad, he showed Saturday how much he wants to play for the Rams coming on Saturday doing really well. Credit where its due, Godwin has been outstanding since January with his consist performances.”
Jamie Rother is also going to be missing for the Market Drayton game but will be in the squad for Monday’s home game with Trafford.