A second consecutive 5 nil drubbing in a game to which the Rams contributed absolutely nothing brought mutterings from the fans about the future of the management team.
RAMSBOTTOM UNITED 0 OSSETT TOWN 5
Harry Williams Riverside Stadium
Saturday 8 April 2017
Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Division 1 North
In a season in which over 50 players have been deployed and in circumstances in which the manager is unable to elicit anything close to an acceptable performance from the group of players currently available to him questions about the future are inevitable. While a change might be the unavoidable, what is more unavoidable is the reality that Ramsbottom United is a club in a terminal decline which can only be arrested by reconstructive surgery from its very foundations upwards.
There was an element of misfortune to both of the first two goals conceded by the Rams against a useful but far from inspiring Ossett team. After just eight minutes Dean Stott headed the ball into his own net and there was something more than a nudge on Paul Linwood as he tried to clear the deep cross which led to the second. The ball fell to Nathan Curtis who returned it across the face of the goal into the path of Danny Frost who scored with an emphatic header.
But that is as far as any claim to bad luck can be stretched. In truth the Rams were clueless in attack, chronic in midfield and creaking at the back. In the two minutes of added on time Ossett could have scored another three except from two fine saves by young keeper Dean Hardy, a good stop stopper but too easily challenged by crosses, and a goal line clearance.
The Ossett keeper went into the interval without having dirtied his knees let alone be called on to save a shot.
In fact the Rams did not have a credible attempt on goal all day. On the restart Hardy was again called on to make plunging saves but two goals in three minutes from Ossett killed off what passed as a contest. Andy Hawksworth drilled home from the edge of the area after the Rams failed to clear a corner and then Curtis drifted through three powderpuff challenges and curled a ball inside the post with a swipe of the outside of his boot. In between the two goals there were plaintive on field exhortations for a reaction. Such exactions as there was saw Rams players dispossessed and left standing with hands on hips resembling Subbuteo footballers and just about a mobile.
The final goal in the last minute summed up the Rams ineptitude. Ossett moved the ball forward without serious challenge and Tom Murphy left with three men to mark could do nothing to prevent the cross which found Jason Yates unmarked in front of goal.
Game over, season over, hope for the future……..who knows.
Ramsbottom United: Dean Hardy, Bradley Roscoe, Tom Murphy, Dean Stott, Luke Thompson, Paul Linwood, Grant Spencer, Damien Green, Ryan Salmon, Gareth Seddon (capt), Lee Gaskell. Subs: Jack Corcoran (for Salmon 86mins), Regan Jarrett (for Gaskell 57mins), Jamie Rother (for Spencer 78mins), Matthew Atherton.
Ossett Town: Leigh Overton, Andy Hawksworth, Ashley Jackson, Jason Yates, Tyrone Gay, Isaac Assenso, Martin Pembleton, Steven Ridley, Alex Peterson (capt). Danny Frost, Nathan Curtis. Subs: Leon Henry, Bradley Riley (for Frost 69mins), Anthony Mackie, Rikki Paylor (for Ridley 28mins), Darol Lucas (for Pembleton 78mins).
Referee: Wade Smith (Liverpool)