Losing 4-1 was dispiriting enough in itself. However, it was more the manner in which Rammy’s performance fell away that left supporters with few positives to take from a match that consigned the club to bottom spot in the table.
As so often this season, the game started brightly enough for the Rams. The opening quarter of an hour had been evenly matched before the home team achieved a breakthrough. This came after 17 minutes when Kamoy McNair closed down the Glossop keeper who delayed far too long on the ball, allowing the striker to slot the ball home at his leisure and give the Rams a priceless-looking 1-0 lead.
So far, so good! But as so often this season, the motivation seemed lacking to want to build on early gains. Instead, the away team were allowed to come back into the game with a vengeance. A controversial decision from the referee (one of many throughout the afternoon) granted Glossop a free kick on the edge of the Rams’ penalty area. As expected, a defensive wall was set up. However, instead of it remaining firm, the shot from Glossop’s Nock went straight through it, leaving Turner a helpless observer and making the score 1-1 after 28 minutes.
It wasn’t down to lack of effort that Rammy’s grip on the game fell away. Their competitive spirit was evident from the fact that three players were booked during the first half. However, this also betrayed a lack of discipline.
The main problem was that instead of keeping possession of the ball poor passing skills too often let the home team down putting additional pressure on the defence from opposition breakaways. One decisive counterattack came after 40 minutes which started from within the opposition half after the ball had been needlessly given away. With the minimum of fuss, a pass from a Glossop midfielder was delivered into the path of winger Freedman. This player had already shown himself a handful down the right wing with his pace and close ball control.
Speeding wide of his marker, Freedman rounded off the move with a well-angled shot inside the far post, leaving the score at half-time 2-1 in favour of the visitors.
For ten minutes or so after the break, the Rams looked re-energised enough to take the game back to Glossop. The closest they came to an equaliser during this spell was when Hasler-Cregg, well-positioned six metres out, unfortunately blasted his shot wide of the target.
Again, the Rams took their foot off the accelerator and seemed to run out of attacking ideas. Meanwhile, by doing the simple things and passing accurately to one another, Glossop cruised back into control, extending their lead after 69 minutes when Freedman’s rasping shot was parried by Turner but only into the path of Sanogo, who gratefully tapped the ball into the net to make it 3-1. Three minutes later, the seal was put on matters when the visitors broke down the left with a cross reaching Freedman in front of goal who had no trouble putting the ball into the net to open up an unassailable 4-1 margin.
Nor did the Rams’ three substitutions have any effect on the pattern of play. With the remainder of the game a mere formality, the cruel lesson was once again served out that bright starts to games need to be sustained throughout matches to bring about successful outcomes.
The Rams now have an even greater mountain to climb from this point on to escape relegation. Meanwhile, the next match ahead in the calendar takes the Rams to a challenging-looking away encounter at Workington next Tuesday. Whilst loyal supporters will still hold out hope of some revival in fortunes down the line, it is not so easy to see how this might be achieved on the evidence of today’s match.
RAMSBOTTOM: Turner, Fitzgerald, Collinge (Campbell 74), Lugsden, Barlow, Jennings, Hasler-Cregg (Halfacre 74), Hall ©, McNair, Donaldson, Ogunby (Murphy 55).