TOUGH DAY AS LINNETS HIT FIVE
Two unlucky defeats at the hands of Leek Town and Trafford, had the long-suffering Rammy faithful travelling over to Runcorn hoping to see the disappointing season out with at least a couple of good performances, but any hopes of an enjoyable afternoon in the spring sunshine was put in doubt as early as the second minute when a low drive from Matty Birchall gave the home side the perfect start.
The Rams held out despite showing very little up front, until the 32nd minute when referee Barry Lamb harshly adjudged that Matty France had pushed an opponent in the back, and Ryan Brooke dispatched the resulting spot kick to double the Linnets lead.
Two minutes later it was 3-0 as some more slack defending saw a low cross from the right tucked home at the far post by Lewis Doyle.
Half-time arrived with the result never in doubt, just the score-line, as the Rams had looked very much like a team resigned to ending a miserable campaign in the way that most of the season had transpired.
Chadwick sent on Kobe McWilliams in place of Saac Lee at the start of the second half, and further substitutions of Wealth Dasilva and Tom Hopley in place of Billy Hasler-Cregg and Matty France, did little to improve things.
With barely a challenge to deal with from the visitors, Linnets appeared to have taken the foot off the gas during the second half, as they face a Cup Final and crucial last league game in the next seven days, but still managed to add a couple of extra goals late on.
Doyle added his second and his club’s fourth following more sloppy defensive play on 78 minutes before man-of-the-match Rams keeper Tom Wooster was beaten again four minutes from time by substitute Cameron Rooney.
It’s no exaggeration to say that without Wooster and some magnificent saves, the Rams could have been on the end of a double-digit score-line, so poor was the overall performance.
Manager David Chadwick was understandably angry after the match.
“Runcorn are a good side, but if you let them dictate play like they did today, they punish you. Put that with the schoolboy errors we witnessed then you are in for a hard day.
“That’s the first time since I’ve been here that I’ve questioned the lads work-rate, desire and commitment.
“I’ve learned a lot.”
The Rams eleven-year tenure of the Northern Premier League comes to an end next Saturday as they entertain Newcastle Town, and it to be hoped that the players can redeem themselves with one last victory although the effort and determination will have to be so much improved after this dire performance.
RAMSBOTTOM UNITED: Wooster, Ogunby, Askew, France (Hopley 77mins), Radcliffe, Hall, Hasler-Cregg (Dasilva 63mins), Lee (McWilliams 45mins), Southworth, Scanlon, Jennings Subs not used: Lockett, Connell