WINLESS RUN CONTINUES AT COLNE
Ramsbottom United fell to another disappointing defeat on Friday night as they made their way up the M65 to near neighbours Colne.
Colne had been on as good a run of results as the Rams had been bad, so perhaps no great surprise at the final score, but it could have been so different.
After a right-wing cross from man-of-the-match Lucas Weaver after just three minutes, set up Colne striker Jakob Hebda, the visitors were relieved when the ball flashed wide of the post.
Minutes later, at the other end Luke Sephton was denied by a last ditch tackle before Matty Birchall turned well in the area, only to see his effort sail wide of the goal.
At this point, the Rams were taking the game to the hosts, and could not believe it as Maine Walder danced into the penalty area before being bundled over. Instead of pointing to the penalty spot, the referee inexplicably gave a free-kick on the edge of the box, much to the amazement of the Ramsbottom contingent.
The resultant kick by Kayle Power almost opened the scoring but ex-Rams keeper Charlie Monks brilliantly flicked the ball over the bar.
A great move down the left ended with a low cross into the box, but on-rushing Owen Collinge couldn’t quite connect and the chance went begging.
After half-an-hour, the Rams looked well in control, but against the run of play, a ball out to the Colne right, saw much-coveted Weaver literally weave his way into the area, before sending in a low drive that beat Ryan Hamer to give Colne an un expected lead.
Almost immediately, that lead should have been doubled, as a high cross from the right found another ex-Ram, Billy Hasler-Cregg, in acres of space, but desperate defending saw the ball squirm out for a corner.
On 34 minutes, parity was restored, as Sephton turned on the edge of the box to fire home a low drive giving Monks no chance in the Colne goal.
The visitors kept pushing to take the lead, but once again a breakaway by the home side just moments before the break saw them nudge in front again, with an almost copycat goal again from Weaver.
So a half in which the Rams had enjoyed the upper hand saw them depart a goal down, but, playing down the slope, Colne turned up the pressure in the second half.
Weaver again made a thrusting run into the box only to be denied by Hamer, but his contribution to the game had more to come.
On 63 minutes he played the ball across the edge of the area, and Alex Doyle comfortably netted the home side’s third.
At that stage it looked an impossible task for the Rams to get back into the game, and Weaver had another trick in the book when he added another on 75 minutes.
Moments later he had to leave the field through injury, but his all-round performance had terrorised the Rams defence all evening and they were probably glad to see the back of him.
A number of substitutions failed to make much of an impact, and the Rams fell to a disappointing defeat that looked improbable as the first half drew to a close.
Manager Steve Wilkes cut a disappointing figure himself as he trooped off the pitch.
“Another disappointing result which could have easily gone our way.
“I thought first half we were the much better side, creating the better chances, but we need to score when we are on top and we didn’t.
“Everyone that was there knows we should have had a penalty at 0-0, but only one person in the ground knows why he gave a free-kick outside the box when Maine was fouled at least four yards inside.
“Second half just wasn’t good enough and we’ll aim to improve on that on Tuesday night.
“Once again a massive thanks to the fans who never stopped singing all night”
RAMSBOTTOM UNITED: Hamer. Collinge (McMahon 76mins), Walder (Hayhurst 74mins), Lent, Radcliffe, Black, Power, Whittingham, Sephton, Birchall (Ogunby 84mins), Hart (Fitzgerald 58mins). Sub not used: L Jackson