Ramsbottom United defeated bottom of the table Goole on a snowy Saturday afternoon at The Riverside to record their first home league victory on a Saturday afternoon since the 23rd September.

Harry Williams Riverside Stadium
Saturday 17 March 2018
Evo-Stik North
Attendance: 141

The contest began with the visitors starting the brighter side against a Rams team showing three alterations from their last outing against Ossett Town 3 weeks ago.

Indeed it was Goole that had the first shot on goal on 12 minutes when Sam Ashton was called on to palm away a stinging effort from the edge of the penalty area before pulling off an even better save 5 minutes later to keep the game goalless.

The Rams the opened the scoring just short of the 20 minute mark somewhat against the run of play when a long throw from Jerome Wright found Greg Daniels in the penalty box before the forward with his back to goal was adjudged to have been fouled by Walton and referee Wainwright pointed to the penalty spot.

It was Daniels that took the responsibility and confidently converted the spot kick sending Saynor the wrong way for the forward to register his 7th goal of the season.

As the half progressed it was Goole that threatened to restore parity with Luke Thompson making a well-timed block before some good play from the away side gave Schofield a headed chance at the far post which was scrambled off the line as the hosts looked to preserve their slender advantage.

With around ten minutes of the half remaining the Rams almost doubled their lead when a Daniels corner found the head of the unmarked Ryan Ellison but the defender’s header failed to trouble the Goole shot stopper and sailed wide of the target.

As the interval approached Ramsbottom United doubled their advantage after good hold up play from Daniels who then laid off the ball to Jamie Rother who played a sublime pass with the outside of his foot down the touchline straight into the path of Phil Dean who scampered towards the edge of the penalty area before sending a low drive past Saynor and into the far corner of the net.

A minute before half time things got worse from the visitors when a bizarre incident occurred as Goole substitute Sam Leigh was given a red card without entering the field of play after an altercation in the technical area.

The second period began with the Rams looking to take control of the contest with the added confidence that their two goal advantage had afforded them and almost added to their tally when Dean took a shot which was well saved by the Goole goalkeeper.

With an hour of the match played the visitors made a couple of substitutions in an attempt to change the flow of the game in their favour but the home sides midfield containing the returning Tom Brooks began to dictate the play with Dean Stott and Rother becoming an influence as the game progressed.

Goole were finding if difficult to master the conditions as a bitterly cold wind blew around the ground and it was the hosts that threatened again when a superb run and cross from Mohammed was scrambled to safety with numerous home players poised to pounce and put the result beyond doubt.

With three quarters of the encounter played the away side were given a lifeline when the referee awarded Goole a penalty when a run into the box was halted with what the man in the middle decided was a foul.

Much to the relief of the Ramsbottom supporters Sam Ashton guessed correctly and made an excellent double save to deny Schofield and the hosts two goal lead remained intact.

As the match entered the last quarter the game began to open up as Goole pushed more players forward looking for a way back into the contest, the Rams looked to take advantage of this when good link up play between Daniels and the influential Wright  gave Brooks a chance to mark his return with a goal but his effort was well blocked by the Goole defence.

As the clock approached 80 minutes Ramsbottom United made two substitutions with Luke Thompson and Brooks being replaced by Jack Burgess and Chris Rushworth respectively.

With the weather conditions worsening by the minute the strong winds and heavy snow fall resulted in the game having to be stopped for a few minutes to allow the lines on the pitch to be cleared. It should be noted that the contest was played in awful conditions at times and both sets of players deserve credit for producing an entertaining contest given the inclement weather.

As the match resumed the referee indicated that there would be 6 minutes of additional time to play and in the second of those the Rams added some gloss to the scoreline when a Dean corner found Zehn Mohammed whose well placed header gave the Accrington loanee his first goal in a Rams shirt and some tangible reward for his efforts since joining the club.

As the referee blew the final whistle Ramsbottom United gained three well-earned and very welcomed points as the home fans in attendance witnessed their sides first home league victory since defeating Brighouse in early October.

The Rams have a congested end to the league campaign with 13 league games still to be played in the remaining 6 weeks of the season so hopefully this win will be the springboard to produce similar results for the upcoming matches.

Ramsbottom United: Ashton, Mohammed, Brownhill, Stott, Thompson (Burgess 78 mins), Ellison, Dean, Rother, Brooks (Rushworth 82 mins) Daniels, Wright  Subs not used Moran.

Tuesday 20th March   The Evo-Stik North   RAMS v Atherton Collieries  7.45pm
Saturday 24th March                                     South Shields v RAMS  3.00pm


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