Both teams came into this one raring to go after having their games postponed over the weekend. The Rams were hoping that they could pick up their first three points of 2022, whilst Widnes came into this one after an impressive win at home to Clitheroe on 29th January.
Manager Lee Donafee had made three changes to his side that last played against Newcastle Town with Fitzgerald, Grimshaw and Hartley all dropping out of the starting line-up whilst Cooper, Abadaki and Collinge came in to replace them.
It was a cagey start from both teams with the hosts creating the only chance inside the first 15 minutes, with an effort that went well wide of Stewarts goal. Rammy steadily started to grow into the game, managing to keep the ball high inside the Widnes half trying to force a way through.
The first clear cut chance for either side didn’t arrive until the brink of half time, when Abadaki was slipped through superbly by Rother but he just couldn’t add the finishing touch to slot it past the on-rushing goalkeeper.
Ramsbottom will have gone into the break relatively happy having kept the ball for large parts of the game high in the home sides half.
The Rams came out for the second half in exactly the same vein that they had finished the first 45. Fleming broke down the left-hand side and found John Murphy inside the 18-yard box, he took the ball down on the half turn beautifully narrowly avoiding the far corner.
The visitors continued to create chances with Abadaki going close with his headed effort from 12 yards out whilst Murphy could only find the arms of goalkeeper Owen Wheeler.
Widnes finally gained some respite when they won the ball back inside their own half and hit on the counter attack forcing Tom Stewart into a good save, pushing it around his far post for a corner. The corner was put over the head of everyone and seamlessly went a yard out of play. Despite the protests of the Rams players the referee gave nothing and the hosts took full advantage of this as the ball was played back to edge of the box for Sam Turner to slot home to put them in front on 58 minutes.
By 75 minutes Donafee had made his three substitutions giving debuts to all three in the process; James Ormerod, Billy Hasler-Cregg and Aiden Marshall-King.
However, the subs couldn’t turn the game on its head either despite Rammy creating even more chance in the latter stages of the game. Cooper went close on 83 minutes with his effort being saved and then debutant Marshall-King blasted over on 88 minutes.
Ramsbottom continued to battle to the very end and will feel extremely hard done by in the DCBL stadium; a spectacular stadium that holds 13,000 which was certainly over shadowed by controversy on the pitch as far as the Rams are concerned.
Main photo courtesy of Widnes FC Twitter