It would take a level of optimism last exhibited by King Canute when trying to turn back the waves to detect any sign of an upturn in fortunes for the Rams after another dispiriting defeat.
SKELMERSDALE UNITED 3 RAMSBOTTOM UNITED 0
The West Lancashire College Stadium
Saturday 7 March 2015
At least, though, there are indications that the need to find changes of approach is understood with the Rams adopting a 3-5-2- line-up with Osebi Abadaki pushed into the middle in support of Lee Gaskell, who for the last several matches as been floating around up front as lonely as a Wordsworthian cloud. And, for 45 minutes, it looked as if it might just work, at least to the extent of perhaps grabbing a point.
The Rams were driven on by an energetic Phil Edghill and Chris Baguley, who rushed and chased around the field all afternoon but, frankly, in possession they were devoid of composure and precision in use of the ball. However, apart from a moment of slackness when Grant Shenton had to save smartly at close range after Kyle Harrop had all too easily been brushed off the ball, the Rams kept Skelmersdale to a succession of long range speculative shots and did not seem to be too discomforted when Abadaki was sent off after 40 minutes, apparently for a retaliation that escaped the eyes of all but the officials. Indeed, they could easily have gone into the break ahead if Jamie Rother had been able to muster a bit more direction and force on his shot after cleverly breaking into the box.
That, though, was pretty much the high water mark for the Rams. Five minutes into the second half, if Danny Mitchley looked susceptible to a charge of offside receiving the ball in the area, his partner was absolutely bang to rights when pouncing on his deflected shot with nobody between him and the goal. From that point, hope and expectation evaporated like early morning dew in the Sahara.
Barely two minutes later, the Rams defence parted as if the Red Sea before Moses and this time it was Mitchley turn to score with a firm shot past Shenton. And it was the centre forward again who made it 3-0 on the hour with a firm header unimpeded by any sense of being marked.
After that, Tom Brooks carved out a couple of chances by dint of playing more on the shoulder of the last defender but without really testing the Skem goalkeeper and the game petered out to aimless attacks by the home team and futile resistance by the Rams.
So now it is on to mid-table Stourbridge on Tuesday with the Rams desperately seeking that slice of luck that might kick start a revival but also more passion, belief and togetherness.