Sometimes football has a habit of throwing up a result that fails to reflect the activities on the pitch, and this one came fairly close to that.
RAMSBOTTOM UNITED 0 COLNE 4
Harry Williams Riverside Stadium
Saturday 21 October 2017
A 4-0 home defeat looks like a mauling, but in reality the game swung on the inability of the Rams usually effective attack to punish the visitors from numerous chances, whilst the team’s Achilles heel – defensive frailties – were again evident in presenting the east Lancashire neighbours with four goals that were all preventable.
It was credit to both sides for the effort put in throughout 90 minutes of horrible conditions with the wind and driving rain persisting throughout. No player chose to hide, and the crowd of almost 300 who turned up despite the conditions, were treated to a full-bloodied and entertaining game.
The Rams began in fine fashion, and were unlucky on three occasions not to take an early lead. Eddie Moran was denied by visiting keeper Hakan Burton before the same player kept out a close range effort from Jamie Rother.
Shiraz Khan produced a fine run for the visitors but home keeper Danny Taberner smothered the ball on the line to keep the game goalless.
Former Colne player, Phil Dean, then sent a sizzling shot inches wide from 30 yards, as the indications were that the home side looked very much on target for another home victory.
However, the first defensive lapse on 18 minutes gave Colne the upper hand, against the run of play. A sloppy pass in midfield saw former Ram Lee Pugh pick up the loose ball before sending through another former Ram Danny Wilkins who strode into the area before firing confidently past home keeper Taberner.
Rother and Greg Daniels both teed up chances to equalise before the break but failed to find the net.
The second half began with Wilkins rattling the Rams post following a corner, but the game then swung back in the hosts favour with chances being created but spurned.
Half-time substitute Sam Heathcote was inches away from converting a cross, before Daniels brought out a fine save from Burton.
Jerome Wright then went on a typical mazy run only to see his final effort drift wide of the post, and he then put in a fine cross which just evaded the un-rushing Rother.
As if to punish the home side for failing to take their chances, the under-worked home defence fell foul of failing to deal with a left-wing attack by the visitors, and from the tightest of angles, yet another former Ram, Olly Crankshaw drove home a second goal for the delighted Reds on 70 minutes.
That seemed to indicate that it was not going to be the Rams day, and Colne gleefully took the rest of the game to the home side.
On 79 minutes Wilkins drive was excellent saved by Taberner, but with the home defence flat-footed, Crankshaw followed up to stroke the loose ball home to make it 3-0 and there was still time for Colne to rub more salt into the wounds.
However, they added another whilst down to ten men. Wilkins was adjudged by the referee to have used an elbow and his afternoon finished with an early bath.
A fourth goal arrived on 83 minutes and this time a further ex-Ram did the damage, and how he enjoyed what has to go down as the most unusual goal of the season.
Lee Gaskell received the ball on the left wing, some 40 yards out, and spotting Taberner off his line, attempted a ludicrous lob that caught the wind and swirled into the net with the home custodian desperately scrambling back but unable to tip the ball over.
That just about summed up the afternoon for the Rams.
A game that provided many chances for a home win was turned on it’s head by a collection of former Ramsbottom players whose delight at putting one over their old employers was evident by their celebrations.
As for the Rams, it was a disastrous afternoon at both ends of the park, as a 4-0 score-line barely reflected the game, yet proved the point that football is all about putting the ball into the back of the net.
Rams manager Mark fell was naturally disappointed.
“It’s a disappointing result for us, we didn’t take our chances early in each half and it cost us. Credit to Colne they were dangerous on the counter and made us pay. We’ll lick our wounds temporarily and come back stronger for the experience I’m sure.
“Football is a funny old game and we’ve gone from dominating a team from the league above on Tuesday to capitulating on Saturday, it’s a lesson for us, we’ll learn and move on.”
Saturday 28th October – FA TROPHY – Shaw Lane v RAMSBOTTOM UNITED (3pm)
Saturday 4th November – Evo-Stik North – Scarborough v RAMSBOTTOM UNITED (3pm)
Tuesday 7th November – Integro Cup – RAMSBOTTOM UNITED v Stalybridge Celtic (7.45pm)
FRANK CROOK’s PICTURES FROM THE GAME