It was a tale of missed opportunities for Ramsbottom United as they went down 2-0 at a packed out Home Estates Shawe View Stadium against Trafford, when things could have been so different had they managed to take their chances and hit the net.

Back on the road again, the Rams travelled to Trafford for this festive fixture where a staggering 744 fans were in attendance.

But goals from Matthew Barlow and Jamal Crawford sealed the three points for the home side that kept the Rams 13th in the league whilst Trafford remain 7th.

However, the visitors staff and fans may see this as a missed opportunity with City of Liverpool having their game cancelled and Colne being beaten heavily at Clitheroe, meaning that the Rams could have moved up the table if they got a win.

It wasn’t to be despite the away side starting the match extremely well creating a number of chances in the first five minutes. However, it was the hosts who managed to take an early lead when they hit on the counter attack. The ball was cleared long from a corner and Barlow chased it down and went onto smash the ball home giving Rammy keeper Tom Stewart no chance.

This didn’t really change the complexion of the game with Rammy still creating the better chances. One pass too many inside the 18-yard box allowed the Trafford goalkeeper Matt Cooper to get back across his goal line to make a fine save.

John Murphy and Owen Collinge went close on 30 and 33 minutes respectively but the hosts took their slender lead into half time.

The second half continued in the same fashion with the Rams dominating the chances and possession and Trafford trying to break on the counter.

Ramsbottom were getting good balls into the box with excellent crosses from Collinge, Fleming and Luke Barlow but no matter who the ball fell to, the visitors just couldn’t seem to convert.

Lee Donafee was urging his men forward in an attempt to find the equaliser and in their effort to do so, his team were left exposed defensively allowing Jamal Crawford to put the game to bed when he scored Trafford’s second as injury time beckoned.

Ramsbottom will have to put this behind them and will be hoping to get back to winning ways when they face Mossley at home on New Year’s Day.

Photos by Jake Horrocks and Daniel Wood.