MATCH: Silsden v Ramsbottom United
VENUE: Cobbydale Construction Stadium, Keighley Road, Silsden, BD20 0EH
COMPETITION: Pre-season friendly
DATE: Tuesday 13th July 2021
KICK-OFF: 7.45pm
DISTANCE FROM RAMMY: 32 miles, 48 minutes

Pay on the gate at Silsden AFC. Adults £4, concessions £2, under 5s FREE

How good was it to have football back on Saturday? OK, it saw us go down 4-2 to a competitive Padiham side with goals from two trialists but it was much, much more about getting back on the pitch and it was great to see so many Rammy supporters at the game. But time doesn’t stop, time to move on from the Euro2020 disappointment on Sunday night and back on the touchlines for our second pre-season game of the season as we head across ‘them there hills’ to just north of Keighley and some old friends from our North West Counties League days in Silsden AFC.

Silsden now play their football in the Northern Counties East Premier Division, having moved across from the NWCFL at the end of the 2018/19 having finished in ninth place in the Premier Division. They are yet to complete a season in the NCEL – both the 2019/20 and 2020/21 seasons curtailed due to the pandemic.

The Rams and the Cobbydalers haven’t crossed swords since 20 March 2012 – our 3-0 win at The Riverside with goals from Jon Robinson, Gary Stopforth and Lee Gaskell securing a sixth win in a row, scoring 20 goals in the process and Grant Shenton claimed a fifth clean sheet in a row in the Rammy goal. It ‘avenged’ the 1-2 reverse at Silsden earlier in the season – Phil Dean’s strike being cancelled out by Tim Herd and Andrew Lee in the last 18 minutes.

Overall, the Rams hold a 6-5 head-to-head advantage with three draws in the 14 games played to date, the first of the clashes coming in September 2005 in the NWCFL Division One.

It is great to have the 117-year-old club back on the Rammy fixture list as a trip to the Cobbydale Construction Stadium was always an enjoyable one.

This is still very much the early part of the pre-season programme so ‘A Trialist’ – who scored two goals in the defeat at Padiham – will again be firmly in evidence. But one person that it was great to see back on the park was goalkeeper Ollie Martin back in action for the Rams for the first time since 26 September, when he suffered a broken fibula during the FA Trophy game away at Ossett United. Jamie Rother commenced his seventh season with the Rams and there was a tantalising peek at a handful of former Rammy players back in the shirts… only listed as ‘A Trialist’, of course!!

However, probably one of the most heart-warming sights of the day was seeing Rammy supporter, nay ‘Ultra’, Gareth Bird back supporting us once again – and on his birthday too. Saturday must have been one of the most celebrated birthdays he has ever had following the horrific events of October last year. If there was anything to lift the spirits of everyone, it was seeing Gareth back in his Rammy shirt. Welcome back mate ….

Kick-off at Silsden is 7.45pm on Tuesday evening – Come on you Rams!!!!!