If pure undiluted effort was the sole determinant of a game of football – and the exhaustion on the faces of their players was evidence enough that it had been given – then the Rams would have come away from Glossop with a well earned point. GLOSSOP NORTH END 2 RAMSBOTTOM UNITED 1
Surry Street, Glossop
Saturday 1 October 2016
Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Division One North
Attendance: 339

At present though every lapse of concentration, collective or individual, is coming at the cost of goals conceded so a team which is low in confidence is finding itself constantly facing an uphill struggle.

For very well argued reasons the management team is wedded to 4-3-3 and casting minds back to the tribulations of the last couple of seasons in which a central midfield duo found themselves consistently over run, there is clear sense in that. But the flip side is that it is going to take a lot more games, no little heartache and serious adjustment to how individual players play in and contribute to the system before there is movement in the right direction. A bit like Captain James T. Kirk and the crew of the Starship Enterprise, the Rams are finding space the final frontier.

On Saturday they set off very much on the front foot. New signing George Mannion combined effectively with Matty Atherton down the left and together they fashioned a number of openings and half decent crosses but there was no-one on the end of them. Glossop were offering little threat until a simple long ball from the centre circle sent Jamie Rainford clear. He neatly put Ashley Shenton on his backside and calmly shot home from just inside the box.

The Rams continued to do well down the left but with no similar width available down the right their attacks were one dimensional. The nearest they came to scoring before half time was when Paul Linwood, at full stretch, could not get quite enough control to a half volley which went over.

Five minutes into the second half the Rams found themselves sucked into the ball to give the Glossop left back all the time and space he needed to overlap and send in a low cross which Max Leonard slotted in to double the lead.

For a few moments there was a threat of a disintegration in performance that would have led to a crushing defeat but the Rams battled back and from the point 10 minutes later when an Alex Meaney shot from wide was deflected in to halve the arrears, a comeback and point was always on the cards.

As time went on the Rams attacks became narrower and more frenetic by the minute and finding space and a clear opening as elusive as finding the lady in a three card trick. The road down the side of the ground received more ball than a player in a red or blue shirt and the game descended into trench warfare, both teams contesting a patch of ground not much bigger than or distant from the centre circle and launching speculative long high bombs in the hope that hard working but dispairing forwards would somehow produce a piece of magic.

Nothing came of it.

Matt Cooper in the Glossop goal was solid in gathering a couple of testing crosses but was otherwise untested in the closing minutes but Glossop were still relieved to hear the full time whistle.

Teams:
Glossop North End: Matthew Cooper, Iwan Heeley, Mo Ali, Martin Parker, Sam Barnes (capt), Anthony Griffith, Ben Richardson, Jamie Rainford, Mike Norton, Max Leonard, Eddie Moran.  Subs: Karl Jones (for Norton 65mins), Astley Mulholland (for Leonard 56mins), Sam Ilesanmi, Nathan Woodward (for Moran 79mins), Mark Reed.

Ramsbottom United: Ashley Shenton, Bradley Roscoe, Matthew Atherton, Alex Meaney, Luke Thompson, Paul Linwood, Nathaniel Taylor, Sam Freakes, Ryan Salmon, Gareth Seddon (capt), George Mannion.  Subs: Lee Botham, Darren Green (for Taylor 52mins), Oliver Crankshaw, Jake Cliffe (for Freakes 74mins), Louis Myers (for Mannion 74mins).

Referee: J Price.
 

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