by | Dec 24, 2023

Manchester Optical

Mince pie in the pocket? Left over turkey sandwich there too? Good, then you are ready to blow off the Christmas cobwebs and make the short trip to Padiham for some Boxing Day fresh air … in the hope that the Rams can put the huge disappointment of Saturday behind them.

Manchester Optical

MATCH: Padiham vs Ramsbottom United
VENUE: Ruby Civil Arena, The Arbories, Well Street, Padiham, BB12 8LE
COMPETITION: North West Counties League Premier Division
DATE: Boxing Day – Tuesday 26th December 2023
KICK-OFF: 3:00pm
ADMISSION: Adults – £6, Concessions – £3, Students – £2, Under 16 – FREE

Happy Boxing Day to one and all. And as is traditional, we get a chance to get out of our turkey and tinsel induced comotose state and get out for a bit of festive football. But there is one thing that you can be certain of, Saturday’s performance has left the Rams feeling a little Grinchly.

Despite the dominiation of the game, the Rams stumbled to a frustrating 2-1 defeat to lowly Squires Gate at the HWRS which would have made the turnkey and stuffing on Monday taste a little less appetising.

So there is a chance to get the show back on the road with a trip to The Arbories, where we haven’t been since February 2014 back when both sides were in the Northern Premier Division 1 North. A 4-1 win with a couple of Jordan Hulme strikes and ones from Lee Gaskell and Phil Dean would see the visitors to the comfortable win – one of the great wins on the way to the play-offs and promotion.

Things are very different this time, both are back in the North West Counties League and sat separated by just two points although the Storks have played three games more.

Saturday’s defeat to Squires gate had seen the Rams slip back to 13th and there has been much soul searching after recording back-to-back league victories and clean sheets only for that to be dismantled by second-bottom Gate.

Padiham have seen three wins for their five games, including a Lancashire FA Trophy win over Radcliffe and a 1-0 success on Saturday over AFC Liverpool so they will be looking forward to their first home game in a month against a stung Rammy side.

It’s the half way mark of the season with the Rams having played 23 of their 46 league contents so there is still plenty of time but with every game, that number gets smaller and the chances of reaching the play-offs still possible but a decent run of results is very much needed.

Will it happen to give Rammy supporters and all a bit of festive cheer? Let’s get behind the lads and make that short trip up to our old friends from Padiham.

For the first time since November 2011, the two sides meet in the North West Counties although we did clash in the NPL 1 North in 2013/14 – losing at the HWRS 1-2 before turning it around with a 4-1 success as part of the surge to the playoffs.

There has been 11 meetings with the Rams winning five and Padiham six although the Rams have a 3-2 advantage at The Arbories. The first game was in the NWCFL League Cup in November 2006 when Padiham won 1-0 but this is the first time that the two sides would have meet as their Boxing Day ‘local derby’.

An intersting stat though is that the Rams have only lost once on Boxing Day since 2007 when we went down 2-1 away at Radcliffe in 2016. Our last Boxing Day game was at home to Trafford last year, winning 3-2 which sent Rammy fans into much excitement for a promise of a positive 2023 …… we didn’t win again until April!!!