Ramsbottom United entertained high-flying Hyde United on Tuesday night hoping to carry the form from Saturday’s win against Clitheroe into the game.
RAMSBOTTOM UNITED 1 HYDE UNITED 2
Harry Williams Riverside Stadium
Tuesday 10 April 2018
However, a game can be decided by small margins, and a couple of crazy minutes before the break ultimately proved to be the difference between these two sides.
A couple of enforced changes for the Rams saw Josh McGreavy making his debut in goal in place of the unavailable Sam Ashton, whilst Jon Robinson had to drop out through illness.
The visitors almost took an early lead when a fine cross found Rokka, but his effort was too tame and McGreavy dived on the ball, but moments later Rokka did open the scoring as he again found space and drove a low shot past the keeper into the far corner.
Parity wasn’t far away for on 15 minutes some delightful inter-play between Jerome Wright and Luke Jordan saw the former jink his way into the area before blasting home the equaliser.
Dean Stott tried his luck from 25 yards but the Hyde keeper gathered well as the game became an even end-to-end contest.
Harry Foulds then chased a long ball through only for Crook in the Hyde goal to smother his effort.
Just as the half looked like ending all square, disaster struck for the Rams when Wright received a second yellow card within a matter of minutes followed by the inevitable red, and within seconds the referee further annoyed the home fans when he pointed to the penalty spot, indicating a push on Hyde’s Tyrone Gay in the area, and Leonard stepped up to give the visitors a 2-1 half-time lead.
It was cruel on the hosts who had matched their promotion-chasing opponents throughout the half but the visitors almost increased their lead minutes into the second half when a snapshot from Miller crashed against the Rams bar following a half-cleared corner.
Regan Jarrett saw his deflected shot safely gathered by Crook as the ten men tried to get a foothold in the game.
A free-kick into the box almost found the on-rushing Ryan Ellison but Crook gathered just in time.
At this stage the ten men were giving as good as they got with chances being created at both ends, by Gay was frustrating the Rams attack with a sterling performance at the back of the Hyde defence.
At the other end a desperate clearance from McGreavy was seized upon by Rokka, but his speculative effort from 30 yards sailed wide.
As the minutes ticked down, Luke Jordan floated an effort goalwards, but it sailed wide of the far post as the hosts sought a share of the spoils. In added time a left-wing cross from Phil Dean narrowly missed the target as the Rams piled on the pressure, but to no avail.
Despite very little difference between the two sides, the two minutes of madness just before the break ultimately proved to be the defining moments of the game.
For the Rams it was an inspiring performance against promotion favourites, and the effort and determination should be applauded as it was impossible to tell which side was a man short.
Manager Mark Fell summed up his thoughts after the game:
“I feel a little bit flat after the dust has settled, we deserved something – absolutely no doubt about it, the lads did great and they’ve ran their legs off for the club. We’ve played with 10 men for 50 minutes and you wouldn’t tell if you walked in at half time. At 1-1, 40 minutes played it’s a great game of football – suddenly the sending off changes it, my view is that the official can manage the process better with strong communication, sadly he was throwing cards out from minute one and someone was going to go, but from our most experienced player it’s very silly and its cost us.
“Good news is that we get 4 or 5 players back for the weekend and there’s a quick turnaround, we’ll go to Trafford with the positives from tonight and look to get a positive result.”
RAMSBOTTOM UNITED: McGreavy, Brownhill, Dean, Stott, Thompson, Ellison, Jarrett(Madeley68mins), Foulds(Rushworth 86mins), Jordan, Daniels, Wright. Sub not used: Rother
Saturday 14th April The Evo-Stik North Trafford v RAMS 3.00pm
Tuesday 17th April “ RAMS v Kendal Town 7.45pm
FRANK CROOK’s PICTURES FROM THE GAME
CLICK HERE FOR FRANK’S PICTURES