MATCH: Warrington Rylands 1906 v Ramsbottom United
VENUE: Rylands Recreation Club, Gorsey Lane, Warrington, WA2 7RZ
COMPETITION: Northern Premier League West Division
DATE: Saturday 27th November 2021
DISTANCE FROM RAMMY: 28 miles, 38 minutes
You can pay on the gate – adults £8, concessions £5, Under 16s £2. Programme is £2.
After two home games on the bounce, the Rams hit the road once again, making the relatively short M66/M60/M62 trip to another league newcomer in the shape of Warrington Rylands 1906.
The reigning FA Vase champions were promoted last season on the ‘points-per-game’ system from the North West Counties League and have started the season in fine style, currently sitting in fourth place with 31 points from their 16 games.
It will be a tough test for the Rams but we have certainly boosted their confidence levels over the last couple of weeks with two good victories over Widnes and nemesis side Kidsgrove Athletic.
This has moved the Rams back up into the top half of the table in 9th – although a gap has emerged between Trafford in 8th and Rammy in 9th of seven points.
But a win at Rylands will at least slice that gap and move us back into contention in the upper echelons of the league.
Rylands were defeated last time out, last Saturday at Runcorn Linnets 2-0 and have won one of their last four games, with two draws against Glossop North End and Clitheroe preceding a 7-2 walloping of Prescot Cables.
However, they have won six of their nine home games this season – only Runcorn Linnets have secured more home points than the 19 they have this season, so it shows the level of the challenge ahead.
Of course, that means absolutely nothing when it comes to the match itself – we know that all too well – so let’s get behind the lads and tick off another new ground and new team.
STAT OF THE PREVIEW:
Warrington Rylands have scored 22 goals in their nine home games this season – the highest of the division. The Rams have only scored six goals in eight games on the road – only Widnes and Market Drayton Town have scored fewer!
LEAGUE FORM GUIDE (most recent game first):
Ramsbottom United: W W L W L L
Warrington Rylands 1906: L W D D W W
For the second time this month, we welcome a new team onto the Rammy roster. So here is the piece we wrote about our opponents and how they came to be alongside us in the NPL West Division.
Rammy manager Lee Donafee is looking to continue not only the good form that his side have been on but also maintain the same team that has served him well.
With Khalil Osi-Efa and Joel Earps still missing through injury, a good week in training has edged Godwin Abadaki close to a starting place, although Lee – after naming the same XI for two games running for the first time as Rammy manager – is keen to keep that going.
That is likely to see skipper Tom Kennedy continue to play in the middle of the park, a position that he is familiar with and with Owen Collinge continuing to perform well at the back, the captain will remain in midfield.
“When I first arrived at Rammy, Tom was playing centre mid,” said Lee. “Codge did really well at left back when TK was away and I have been telling the lads to go out there and keep the shirt that they are playing for.
“Codge did that and Tom played well against Northwich in midfield so we went with it again. I know what he is capable of – he brings out the best in some of the other players playing where he is.
“I am not scared to try things as a manager and TK is one of our best players on the ball and him playing where he is makes the team function a bit better. TK is happy with it and knows what we are trying to achieve.”
Looking ahead to the game, Lee knows that the next three games – with Rylands, home to Clitheroe and away at Marine – will tell him exactly where the team are as a group.
“We have to go into this game with no fear. Rylands are a new team who have spent a bit of money and brought in some players but we have to go there with the confidence that we have built up.
“This group of players have done great and we know how important these next few games are – but a win for us puts us right back into the mix at the top end.”