In the end this was a tale of two penalties – one coolly put away by Adam Kay to claw the Rams level on the hour, the second a superb save from Martin Fearon with just five minutes left to keep the Rams level.  In truth if that had gone in the Rams, devoid of a cutting edge, would have returned empty handed which would have been a harsh judgment on a courageous defensive effort which on balance merited a point.

Saturday 7 January 2017
Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Division One North
Attendance: 181

In fact if the match officials, who were not good enough to be ineffectual and whose decisions ranged between illogical and scatological to the frustrations of both teams, had not missed an obvious hand ball when Andy Hawksworth, under pressure from a bustling Aaron Hollindrake, helped the ball away with his right hand with minutes remaining the Rams might have come away with all the points but that would have been an injustice.

Those moments were the highlights in an otherwise poor game in which moments of quality were as hard to find as parking spaces around the ground. Ossett were well organised, quick to close down and strong on the ball. Those attributes aside it was difficult to see, on the day, the virtues expected of a team sitting in second place and while this was by no means a fluent performance from an understrength Rams team there was no massive gap in capability. If the Rams can find a little more composure in possession in their own half and throw away the penchant for self inflicted wounds, progress will be steady and upwards.

After 30 minutes of tedium from both teams Ossett took the lead by virtue of one such moment of self flagellation. The otherwise excellent Luke Thompson, with time and space to clear his lines, instead in a moment of indescribable confusion of mind, decided to pass the ball back across his six yard line straight on to the foot of Alex Peterson who must have thought there were 15 days of Christmas. 1-0 then almost became 2-0 other than for the intervention of the post and if the Rams had gone in two in arrears it would have been a struggle.

As it was they restarted strongly without posing too much of a a threat until Matty Atherton nicked the ball away in the centre circle and sent Max Hazeldine running clear down the edge of the box. The shoulder charge seems to have become a thing of the past but is still legitimate. Ashley Jackson could with some justification have seen his means of easing Hazeldine off the ball as legitimate but the referee saw it otherwise and gave a penalty which Adam Kay never looked like missing.

Ossett’s attacks then ramped up from frantic to frenetic. Dean Stott cleared one off the line, throwing his body in front of another goal bound effort and another shot bounced off the top of the bar with Martin Fearon helpless to intervene.

The second penalty when it came, this time to Ossett, lacked any uncertainty. Peterson was bowled over with the help of two hands in the back in the act of shooting only yards out. The penalty was firmly struck and well directed but with just enough height to allow Martin Fearon, the Rams keeper, to get a firm hand to it at full extension – quite brilliant.

Ossett Town: Leigh Overton, Darol Lucas, Ashley Jackson, Sam Wright, Tyrone Gay, Andy Hawksworth, Jason Yates, Steven Ridley, Alex Peterson (capt), Martin Pembleton, Bradley Riley.  Subs: Leon Henry, Reece Farnhill, Jake Ellam (for Yates 82mins), Charlie Freeman, Anthony Mackie (for Riley 77mins).

Ramsbottom United: Martin Fearon, Bradley Roscoe, Josh Askew, Dean Stott (capt), Luke Thompson, Paul Linwood, Darren Green, Adam Kay, Max Hazeldine, Grant Spencer, Matthew Atherton.  Subs: Regan Jarrett, Sam Freakes (for Stott 70mins), Oliver Crankshaw (for Askew 75mins), Nathanial Taylor, Aaron Hollindrake (for Hazledine 63mins).

Referee: Daniel Jarvis.

PICTURES from the GAME (courtesy and copyright of Frank Crook)

RAMMYCAM – HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE MATCH (thanks to Ste Heard and RammyCam)




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