Ramsbottom United bowed out of the Lancashire F.A. Trophy at the mockingly-named Victory Park, home of Premier Division Chorley.

The high-flying Magpies secured their place in the semi-final courtesy of a goal in each half.

The visitors had started brightly, taking the game to their hosts, who are favourites to make the move up to the Skrill League, having suffered just two league defeats all season.

Billy Priestley failed to connect properly to an early cross from Phil Dean, whilst Jordan Hulme saw his header from a Grant Spencer free-kick saved by home keeper, and former Bury man, Aaron Grundy.

An audacious effort from Spencer, by the left-hand touchline had Grundy back-pedalling to flick the ball over the bar, before the home side, having soaked up the early pressure began to claw their way into the game.

A last-ditch tackle by Tommy Toth prevented home striker Brandon Zibaka from opening the score, before Grant Shenton, in the Rams goal, needed to dive low down to cut out a dangerous cross into the box.

On 37 minutes, the hosts took the lead. Shenton did well to keep out a fierce drive from Alex Meany, but with the Rams’ defence struggling to clear their lines, the ball eventually made it’s way back into the box from the right wing where Dale Whitham pounced to hammer home from ten yards.

Gary Stopforth went close, moments later, to restoring parity, but his fine effort from 25 yards just flew the wrong side of the post.

Simon Wiles and Zibaka both had chances to extend the lead before the break, but the signs were ominous for the visitors.

The second half continued with the home side well on top.

Within a minute of the re-start, Shenton was called upon to turn round a close range header from Zibaka.

At the other end, a couple of half-chances fell to Tom Brooks, but most of the play took part in the Rams half.

Meaney foraged forward before firing straight at Shenton, who then had to be at his best to dive at the feet of Darren Stephenson as he raced in on goal.

Fellow substitute Paul Jarvis created space down the left but placed his shot wide, before Meaney finally put the game beyond the Rams.

On 76 minutes, a ball pumped into the area had the visiting defenders appealing for offside as Meaney raced through, and he calmly slotted the ball past Shenton to double the lead.

There was no way back for the visitors, and Chorley deservedly moved into the semi-final.

So the Rams played their last knock-out game of the season, and can now concentrate on the league, as they seek one of those coveted play-off places, and hopefully an eventual move up to the level their opponents are currently plying their trade.

Ramsbottom United: Shenton, Toth, Roberts, Stopforth, Edghill(Warburton 62mins), Priestley, Smalley, Spencer, Brooks(Gaskell 58mins), Hulme(Smith 67mins), Dean. Subs not used: Bradbury, Chadwick

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