PREVIEW – WYTHENSHAWE (GAME OFF)
GAME OFF – the weather has got the better of us for the second time this week! Match expected to be rescheduled for Tuesday 20th February.
It’s mid January, it’s winter, the snow is falling and the ice is forming. It is quite a contrast to when we last played against Wythenshawe – way back at the end of July in short sleeve shirts and sunglasses! The Rams will be hoping that is also the measure of the contrast between the result too!
MATCH: Ramsbottom United vs Wythenshawe
VENUE: Harry Williams Riverside Stadium, Ramsbottom, BL0 0BS
COMPETITION: North West Counties Premier Division
DATE: Saturday 20th January 2024
ADMISSION: Adults – £9, Concessions – £5, U12 – £1 (with paying adult)
A stuttering, stumbling and out of form Rams against the side with lofty ambitions to be heading into the NPL come the end of April. Games don’t come much tougher than this one … or the next one, our away trip one junction down the M66 on Tuesday night.
It is also a rather unsettled Rams as well with the departures of leading goalscorers Matthew Dudley and Kuda Chingwaro along with midfielder George Lewis so there will be some new, fresh faces in the blue shirts, should the game get the go ahead.
Naturally, we will keep you posted about the state of the Harry Williams Riverside Stadium pitch on our socials but there is a real want to get some games playing and the Rams rather owe Wythenshawe one after their humbling on day one of the season in the sunshine.
It finished 4-0 but with three late goals and, well, if you were there, you will know what happened, it rather left a sour taste in the mouth but it was a serious wake up call to the relegated side that life back in the NWCFL would not be any sort of cake walk.
And so it has proven. The Rams find themselves way down in 15th place, a fair distance off the pace but still harbouring hopes of a late charge up the table and giving themselves a chance of a hasty return to the NPL. It won’t be easy but the team need to be pulling together. Sadly, some have decided their football needs to be played elsewhere for that opportunity to arise.
Our visitors from south-east Manchester had been going great guns and were very much in the shake up for the one automatic promotion spot but just three wins from their last eight in all competitions and two in their last five has seen them to slip to third in the table and six points behind their town rivals, although they have four games in hand over them.
What they have achieved this season is a very impressive away record with 10 wins from 14 games whereas the Rams at home have just four wins from their 15 starts – although five have been draws.
All of the statistics point to a firm away win – one point from the last 15 available for the Rams agaisnt a side on a high and heading to the HWRS on the back of a 1-0 away win at Glossop North End last weekend.
But this is a very stung Rams, who have seen some of their regular faces spin through the departure door. Some new faces have arrived, so might this just be the tonic that the Rams need?
If you would like a reminder of what happened back in late July, there is Will Place’s match report from that game.
STEVE WILKES’ THOUGHTS:
“It’s been a very interesting few days for myself and Ramsbottom United.
“The build up to the Wythenshawe game has been a little different as we’ve had departures and arrivals galore. Firstly, I’d like to wish Matt Dudley and Kuda Chingwaro good luck at their new clubs, although gutted they’ve gone, a great manager (Alex Ferguson) once said no player is bigger than the football club.
“I’d also like to thank Leek Town for loaning us George Lewis for the last few months. George has a great future ahead of him in the game.
“On the flip side we’ve welcomed three new lads into the club, Caldon Henson, an experienced centre half, and centre midfielders Aaron Hart from Wisbech and Kayle Power from Prestwich.
“Really looking forward to seeing the new lads in action as we try and get out of a poor run of form starting with the visit of Wythenshawe.”