MATCH: Runcorn Linnets v Ramsbottom United
VENUE: Apex Taxis Stadium, Stockham Lane, Murdishaw, Runcorn, WA7 6GJ
COMPETITION: Northern Premier League West Division
DATE: Saturday 16th October 2021
DISTANCE FROM RAMMY: 40 miles, 45 minutes
You can pay on the gate – adults £8, concessions £5 (Overs 65s and ages 19-22), accompanied under 18s FREE.
It is back to league action for the Rams and a trip south-west to face Runcorn Linnets and their plentiful and impassioned support at the Apex Taxis Stadium. The Linnets average 592 spectators at their home games, second in the leagues’ attendance stats behind last seasons’ FA Cup heroes Marine (so might be worth getting there early!).
And the Rams travel on the crest of a slump, without a win in six and fresh from their early exit from the FA Trophy last weekend at Pickering Town. Therefore, a trip to the eighth-placed Linnets, who have games in hand on everyone else having only played nine league games so far, will certainly be a tough examination of Lee Donafee’s side.
However, the manager has been encouraged by performances of late, despite the results and is just looking for a break, a piece of luck and his side to take their chances rather than finding woodwork or narrowly missing the target.
Up against them though are Cheshire’s Green and Yellows, who have an unbeaten record at home this season across five games at the Millbank Stadium, with four wins and a draw while the Rams has lost their last four on the road.
The stats don’t make for great reading, and everyone is aware of them too. But they make absolutely no difference when it comes to stepping on the park and our passionate manager is urging all Rammy fans to make the short trip to Murdishaw to get behind his lads. Stats are all well and good – but anything can happen on the day and runs are there to be broken.
STAT OF THE PREVIEW:
The Rams have not been without a win in seven or more games since the back end of the 2016/17 season when we went nine games without a victory – scoring 7 and conceding 34 under Mark Fell’s management.
LEAGUE FORM GUIDE (most recent game first):
Ramsbottom United: L L D L L W
Runcorn Linnets: W D L W W W
You can read all about the history between the Rams and the Linnets in our comprehensive “Have We Met” article, which is below:
A positive week in training, despite Thursday’s session having to be abandoned following a motorway crash holding up the majority of the squad, has given the manager plenty of encouragement ahead of the trip to Runcorn on Saturday.
“We have got to stay positive,” he admits. “Training was great on Tuesday and I think the lads went away from it with lots to consider.”
Donafee is looking to field pretty much the same squad that went to Pickering last weekend plus the inclusion of Altrincham loanee Will Hall, who has had his spell with the club extended by another month. He wasn’t eligible for the game last weekend in the FA Trophy.
Dharius Waldron is unavailable for personal reasons and has taken a step back from playing for a short while but the manager hopes he will be back soon but will not rush him.
“There are no easy games in this league and this one will be a tough test for us. I thought we played well on Saturday at Pickering but just didn’t get the breaks that we needed.
“We really do need a number nine. Domaine has done a great job for us but we have put seven days in on a couple of strikers which will be great if we can get them as they will really help our cause.
“All we need are a few tweaks here and there. George Wyatt was really good on his debut last week and Luke Merrill has been terrific, considering he is playing somewhere he’s not familiar with at the moment.
“What we do need is for the supporters to get right behind us and make the trip over to Runcorn on Saturday. They have got a good supporter base so it would be good to have a few over from Rammy to make themselves heard too.”