As the final week of a traumatic season approaches, everyone at Ramsbottom United is looking to the supporters to give the team a boost as they seek the vital points to ensure safety.
Having enjoyed unparalleled success over the last five years, the shock decision of the management team to leave in early January when the club still had a chance of the play-offs, caused immense problems, especially after most of the players decided to join them one division below, in the hope of gaining promotion back to the level they were leaving.
To put together a new-look squad in the middle of the season was the task handed to long-serving player Jon Robinson, and having recruited former Ram Phil Edghill as his assistant, many new players were brought in.
However, the enforced changes, not surprisingly, had a disruptive influence on the pitch, with results understandably falling off.
So from a position of possible further promotion, the club now finds itself embroiled in a relegation battle.
Having defied the odds to reach the third level of non-league football, to lose it after a solitary season would be nothing short of disaster.
With the teams final two away games being played this week, next week (the last of the season) could well prove to be Ramsbottom United’s most defining seven days in the club’s 49 year history.
Three home games against one side already relegated and two others also fighting off the spectre of relegation, these matches will define the whole of what has been a season to forget.
Fans are asked to get behind the team for all three games at the Harry Williams Riverside Stadium. On Tuesday (21st) fellow-strugglers Frickley Athletic make their first ever visit to Ramsbottom. Already relegated Trafford arrive on Thursday 23rd, whilst the final game of the season sees another new arrival in the shape of Matlock Town on Saturday 25th.
The evening games kick-off at 7.45pm, whilst the final game is a 3pm start, by which time, all at the club hope that sufficient points have been gleaned to make the game a celebration of the fact that after all the traumas of the last few months, Ramsbottom United can look forward to a summer of re-evaluation, allowing everyone to regroup and prepare for another campaign in Evo-Stik Premier.
The support of the fans over the next week is crucial, and everyone connected with the club – players, management and officials – are asking supporters to turn up and cheer the team on to success.
It could be the most important few days in the history of the club.