Whatever its outcome, an abiding image of the 2016/2017 Rams season will be young Josh Askew arms outstretched in front of the travelling and adoring fans having just scored the winner with his last touch in his last match in the last moments of a topsy-turvy game.  The young full back, his loan spell now completed will be sorely missed.

Llanelian Road, Old Colwyn
Saturday 21 January 2017
Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Division One South
Attendance: 224

It was a bitter sweet moment which delivered all three points when seconds earlier the Rams were clinging onto a point and desperate for the final whistle in the face of sweeping home attacks.  Despite having taken the lead and holding it until the 82nd minute in truth they has been pummelled for most of the second half and owed everything to a superb performance by Martin Fearon for still being in the game.

It is difficult to assess whether the Rams are under or over performing at present – there is a suspicion that they are getting the better part of the rub of the green and that results are better than performances – but playing less than well and still getting wins is a good place to be.

The return of Gareth Seddon and Ryan Salmon certainly added to the attacking threat but both seemed leggy after missing games and for long periods of the game struggled to get sufficiently close to each other to make a connection.  When they are able to connect it is usually to devastating effect as it was on Saturday when they combined with 20 minutes left to put the Rams in front much against the run of play. Seddon receiving the ball with his back to goal showed an instinctive awareness of Ryan Salmons run towards the box. On the half turn he sent the burly striker free on goal. The finish was emphatic – the ball lashed past the keeper into the roof of the net.

Colwyn Bay were aghast.

One of the Rams problems is that they struggle to exert control and tend to be active. After a drab first half in which neither keeper was troubled they had come out strongly from the restart.  The Rams were pushed deeper and deeper unable to get any sustained possession. The back four found themselves defending on the 6 yard line and Martin Fearon was under constant pressure. Within a couple of minutes he was forced to tip over a firm header, had to  dive bravely at the foot of the far post, parry away a shot with goal written all over it and then swoop to push away a header bound for the bottom corner. Ryan Salmon’s goal to put the Rams in front provided only temporary respite.

The equaliser when it came was no surprise. Tom Schofield was upended in the D and Louis Corrigan curled the free kick up and round the wall  into to the top corner. Colwyn Bay scented all three points. The Rams cleared off the line and then Fearon on his backside somehow managed to push another shot on to the inside of the post with the home forwards turning away thinking they had scored.

Four minutes of added time was a torture until the ball found its way to Damian Green out wide . His diagonal ball was headed on by Salmon into the path of Askew who controlled neatly, settled himself before drilling home from eight yards – cue delirium amongst the travellers and despair among the home contingent (WATCH THE WINNING GOAL HERE)

Colwyn Bay: Karl Wills, Luke Denson, Louis Corrigan, Mike Roddy (capt), Matt Regan, Gareth Grant, Julian Williams, Will Booth, Chris Gaghan, Will Jones, Danny Andrews.  Subs: Kieron Wolland, Kyle Armstrong (for Roddy 79mins), Liam Turner, Tom Schofield (for Gaghan 68mins), Dan Collins.

Ramsbottom United: Martin Fearon, Bradley Roscoe, Josh Askew, Dean Stott, Luke Thompson, Paul Linwood, Adam Kay, Grant Spencer, Ryan Salmon, Gareth Seddon (capt), Sam Freakes.  Subs: Matthew Atherton (for Kay 28mins), Andrew Bell (for Seddon 88mins), Oliver Crankshaw, Joe Rathbone, Damien Green (for Freakes 72mins).

Referee: Daniel Bruce.

PICTURES FROM THE GAME (courtesy of Frank Crook):



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