Ramsbottom United contrived to throw away two valuable points as they conceded a late goal at Victoria Park.

With 90 minutes up, and holding a slender one goal lead, an unsuccessful appeal for offside allowed Burscough to grab a point in a poor game.

On a difficult pitch which did neither side any favours, clear-cut chances were hard to come by as both sides appeared to cancel each other out.

It took 20 minutes before the first strike on goal arrived, and then the Rams’ Gary Stopforth side-footed his effort wide.

At the other end, minutes later, Danny Smith was equally off target from 20 yards, whilst the closest either side came to a goal in the opening half-hour was from a cross from Danny Warrender that veered goalwards, but thankfully for Tim Horn in the home goal, it sailed inches over the bar.

Two late efforts from the visitors could have opened the scoring.

A free-kick from Grant Spencer found Steve Howson at the back post, but he looked on in despair as his attempt crashed back into play off the foot of the post.

Stopforth then sent in a pile-driver with the last action of a poor first half, but Horn was the equal of it.

The second half wasn’t much better as neither side appeared capable of hitting any sort of form.

Jordan Williams was denied for the home side as a late challenge resulted in him putting a good chance over the bar, before the visitors finally broke the deadlock on 63 minutes.

The ball was played around the penalty area by a number of Ramsbottom players before Phil Dean picked his moment to swivel and fire home just inside the far post to give the visitors the lead.

A minute later the Linnets were reduced to ten men when the referee felt Joe Comozzi’s fall on the ball, with the resultant handling was harshly deemed a red card offence.

Spencer sent the resultant free-kick over the wall but also over the bar, whilst at the other end wild shots from Mike Brown and James Short sailed well wide of the target.

Burscough substitute Jack Laird would have been disappointed to see his 82nd minute close range drive parried round for a corner by Martin Fearon, but Laird had the last laugh.

With the 90 minutes showing on the clock, he chased a through ball down the right wing.  With the Rams defenders hopefully appealing for offside, the linesman kept his flag down, and as Fearon came out to narrow the gap, Laird clipped the ball over the top of him and into the unguarded net to earn his side a share of the spoils.

It was probably no more than they deserved, but this was a game quickly forgotten as the highlights were few and far between.

Another point in their quest to remain in the top five for the Rams, but the two points thrown away could prove vital come the end of April.

RAMSBOTTOM UNITED: Fearon, Pilkington, Roberts, Stopforth, Warrender, Priestley, Spencer(Hulme 71mins), Burton, Gaskell(Green 78mins), Howson, Dean. Subs not used: Toth, Krou

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