by | Apr 17, 2024

Manchester Optical

The penultimate home game of the season and we welcome play-off chasing Padiham to the HWRS, fresh on the back of their superb victory over Bury on Tuesday evening. But it is a chance for the Rams to end their season on less than a whimper and more of a cheer.

Manchester Optical

MATCH: Ramsbottom United vs Padiham
VENUE: Harry Williams Riverside Stadium, Ramsbottom, BL0 0BS
COMPETITION: North West Counties Premier Division
DATE: Thursday 18th April 2024
KICK-OFF: 7:45pm
ADMISSION: Adults – £9, Concessions – £5, U12 – £1 (with paying adult)

Three games left, three more fences to jump. Day 264 of the 2023/24 North West Counties League season. And it is time to welcome Padiham to the HWRS for the final game under the HWRS lights of the campaign.

It has been an impressive season for Michael Morrison’s side – Morrison played 43 times for the Rams from 2010 to 2012, scoring 12 goals and only suffered defeat on one occasion where he scored. He has masterminded the Padiham revival and they are, realistically, just a win away from securing a play-off berth.

Their victory over Bury on Tuesday night has put the kybosh on the Shakers’ automatic promotion hopes and there is a distinct possibility that the two may meet again if Bury finish third and Padiham fourth, as could be quite likely. With just two defeats in their last 11 games, they certainly travel to the HWRS with plenty of encouragement.

The less said about the reverse fixture the better from a Rams point of view as we were sent home with a stinking Boxing Day hangover 5-1 and pile into the fact that United haven’t beaten the Storks at the HWRS in the league since 2009, well, this game would be a firm away banker.

However, the Rams don’t want to end the season on a downer. It has been a desperately long campaign, with more lows than highs, the revolving door of players has seen 54 players wear the blue (or red or white) shirt and they certainly have a point to prove, especially after the disappointing 0-2 reverse to Colne on Tuesday was the first time they had failed to score at home this season, the first time at the HWRS since the uninspiring 0-0 draw with Widnes made it three in a row in March 2023 and the first time this season since September either home or away when we lost 0-3 to Prestwich Heys.

The lack of trying has not been the cause, there has been plenty of endeavour as the Rams won 1-0 at Cheadle and 5-1 at Pilkington and should/could have taken something home from the Bury game, all in the last three games.

With just these three games left, can the Rams close the season in 15th place with three straight, morale boosting, season ending with smiles, victories? Our lowest ever league finish at step 5 …. is 18th!

The Rams first met the Storks in competitive action in 2006 in a league cup game which the visitors won 1-0 at The Riverside. The first league clash came in October 2009 with the Rams winning both games 3-1 at The Arbories and 4-3 as mentioned at The Riverside. In all competitive games, the Storks lead 7-5 in the head-to-head stakes.

For those of a nervous disposition, don’t read the next bit! Here is the match report from Boxing Day – if you really want to be reminded!!!


“We’ve two home games in three days that both have huge consequences at the top of the table. Padiham come knowing a win against us cements their play off spot and Bury still hoping to win the league on Saturday.

“Hopefully these two games see the players perform like they have been doing in recent weeks, which will give both teams a tough game.”