Harry Williams Riverside Stadium
Tuesday 27 September 2016
Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Division One North
Off the boil and off the pace from the start, lacking on field communication and organisation that all too easily fell prey to a Colwyn Bay team who had both of those attributes but little else except for an exceptional player in Chris Gahgan who despite being small in stature was head and shoulders above anyone else on the field.
Notionally playing wide – first on the left and then later on the right – he demonstrated an ability to get on the ball in a range of positions and look dangerous every time in possession to the extent that it cried out for a man marking exercise that was beyond the wit of the Rams to react to.
By the time Colwyn Bay took the lead just after the half hour they had spurned at least two good chances of scoring with Will Jones unable to direct open headers on goal and on other occasions the ball flashing invitingly across the face of the Rams goal.
When the opening goal eventually came it was the unlikely source of their right back Luke Denson who took advantage of a quick free kick from a barely questionable challenge to steal into the box and toe poke past Jack Cookson with the Rams midfield and defence in a state of slumber.
With 15 minutes left Jones elicited a powerful run through the middle which saw him upended on the edge of the box. From there there was a chiiling inevitably to Denson’s precise free kick round the wall and into the bottom corner that left Cookson flapping.
From then nothing much happened until with the clock ticking down it was the turn of the Rams full back Brad Roscoe to get on the score sheet turning in Salmon’s downward header.
There was the brief prospect of a forward charge to grab an unlikely equaliser but so ill disciplined was it that Colwyn Bay simply broke attacks at will and launched counter-attacks that should have given more goals until in the last minute Danny Andrews seized on a weak header to run clear and round Cookson to put a gloss on the score which reflected the visitors’ overall superiority.
There may be some excuses to be had – injuries and suspensions have prevented a consistent line-up but it should be apparent by now that the current mix and set-up of players is simply not working. It is not so much a question of back to basics but demonstrating an understanding of what the basics are – balance, shape and leadership.
Ramsbottom United: Jack Cookson, Bradley Roscoe, Matthew Atherton, Dean Stott (capt), Luke Thompson, Paul Linwood, Nat Taylor, Sam Freakes, Ryan Salmon, Darren Green, Louis Myers. Subs: Lee Botham (for Thompson 77mins), Oliver Crankshaw (for Myers 68mins), Alex Meaney (for Taylor 58mins), Josh Dunroe, Jake Cliffe.
Colwyn Bay: Shaun Pearson, Luke Denson, Louis Corrigan, Gareth Grant, Tom Hardwick (capt), Tom Schofield, Chris Gahgan, Will Booth, Will Jones, Scott Bakkor, Danny Andrews. Subs: Michael Pino, Kyle Armstrong (for Schofield 80mins), Danny Byrnes, Gary Burnett (for Bakkor 74mins), Liam Turner.
Referee: Nik Storey (Worsley).