Red card costly for the Rams as they fell at the hands of Macclesfield in front of 584 at the Harry Williams Riverside Stadium.
Many were surprised to see the Rams change to a four at the back in this game rather than the five they’ve opted for the large majority of the season so far. A game that people may have expected the hosts to sit back and hit on the counter wasn’t quite that way in the first half.
Both sides started well attacking one another in a real end to end contest. Charlie Monks was called into action first when he made a superb save just two minutes in to deny Neil Kengni. However, the home side were quick to respond when James Murphy so nearly put his side ahead with a bullet header from 6 yards out but the Marcelo Pitaluga the loanee from Liverpool but sensationally well to deny him.
Ramsbottom were battling for every first and second ball and a Sam Holt last ditch tackle on 25 minutes to deny Brandon Lee really summarised the desire of all the Rammy players. The Rams were really utilizing the speed and skill of Billy Hasler-Cregg and Ryan Jennings out on the wings as their outlet. The pair did excellently winning free-kicks high up the field and producing crosses with real quality.
In the last 10 minutes of the first half Kengni went close again with a rocket from 25 yards out rattling the crossbar but still there was no way through for Macclesfield.
With just moments left in the first half Leon Creech denied a certain goal when he punched the ball off the line. The referee pointed to the spot without hesitation and added salt to the wounds by sending Creech off. Tom Clare stepped up and he converted calmly to give his side the lead at half time.
The second 45 started in very similar vein with both sides getting at one another with real purpose and energy but, it would only take 13 minutes for Tom Clare to grab his and his team’s second of the evening with a lovely cushioned header from a corner kick.
Rammy kept fighting for every ball but the man less was really beginning to take it’s tole. Gaps were starting to appear in what had been a relatively solid defense so far. On 72 minutes the visitors took full advantage of this when Brandon Lee and James Berry linked up to grab the third goal of the evening.
This goal seemingly knocked the stuffing out of the Rams and it was pretty much all Macclesfield from that point on. The fourth goal stemmed from another free kick when Mark Duffy took a short one into Alex Curran, his effort was a real miscue and it caught the Rams off guard as it trickled through to Harry Bower who slotted home for his first of the campaign.
Then on the very brink of full time Charlie Monks brought down Nicky Maynard for a second penalty of the night. It was Maynard that stepped up and he made no mistake from 12 yards making it five on the night for the Silkmen.
RAMSBOTTOM: Monks, Radcliffe, Barlow (Holt 12′), Hall, Fitzgerald, Hasler-Cregg, Rother (Ajibola 70′), Creech, Donaldson, Jennings (Dean 58).
Unused subs – Coppack & Grimshaw.
Attendance – 584