by | Apr 12, 2024

Manchester Optical

The world famous Grand National is taking place on Saturday but just 20 minutes away, two thoroughbreds who have run a long race are destined to be heading to stud in just a couple of weeks time. It’s Pilkington against Ramsbottom United – a match-up between a three-legged filly and a lame gelding!

Manchester Optical

MATCH: Pilkington v Ramsbottom United
VENUE: The Arcoframe Stadium, Ruskin Sports Village, Ruskin Drive, St Helens, WA10 6RP
COMPETITION: North West Counties League Premier Division
DATE: Saturday 13th April 2024
KICK-OFF: 3:00pm

Adults – £6, Concessions – £3, Under 16s – £1, Under 14s – FREE.

So that is how it feels to be the underdogs in a big stadium, in front of one of the home sides’ largest midweek attendances this campaign! And be denied a guilt-edged opportunity to level the scores deep into injury time – my goodness me, not actually sure how that wasn’t seen. But, I guess that is part of the experience we went through on a cabbage patch of a pitch on Thursday night at Gigg Lane.

The wounds will be licked as the Rams fell to a SEVENTH 1-2 defeat … and that is just in this calendar year. But they won’t be able to be licked for too long as just 41 hours after that final whistle blew, Rammy will go again, this time in St Helens where we play our eighth consecutive away game as we visit Pilkington.

Promoted last season from NWCFL Division One North, it was fancied that the Glassmen would be one of the serious title contenders. However, it has been hard graft and they find themselves in 23rd place in the table – with only the already relegated Skelmersdale United beneath them.

Its even more surprising when you figure in that when we met in mid-October, Pilkington were seventh in the table, unbeaten in six and had lost just three games all season. We then pulled a rabbit out of the hat to win 5-1 in the league and then won the FA Vase meeting a week later on penalties in a topsy-turvy game with both sides scoring in second half added time!

Following those games, Pilkington’s next 24 league games has seen them secure just twelve points with three wins and three draws. It will come as no surprise that both the men in green and the Rams are solid lower-end-of-the-form-table buddies!

Of course, both teams have been informed that they are safe from relegation with just one side going down so this is a massive free hit. Unless something incredible happens, you can be sure that this one would be last on Match of the Day (if Match of the Day showed North West Counties!!)

Pilkington have four games left, the Rams have five. The Merseysiders go to Colne, host Prestwich Heys and then play Charnock Richard on a neutral ground. Whereas the Rams welcome Colne and Padiham next week before the sold out Bury game and then go to Barnoldswick to finish off this long, exhausting season.

You can be pretty sure that both sides are longing for the end of April to arrive.

Just the two meetings between the Rams and Pilkington previously and they are both mentioned above – both coming within a week of each other, firstly in the league and then in the FA Vase.

The Vase game finished 2-2 with the Rams winning on penalties but the league game was a resounding 5-1 victory for the home side – with Kudo Chingwaro scoring four – and you can remind yourselves of that game with Tony Cunningham’s report.


“This game at Pilkington is less than 40 hours after finishing at Bury, so we will have to freshen it up as much as we can.

“Even though we lost at Bury there’s a real good feeling in the dressing room at the moment, we know we’ve been playing well recently without the rewards we’ve deserved so hopefully that can change over in St Helens.”