Report by Will Place

Both teams rue missed chances as the spoils are split at the VanEupen Arena

With a lot of changes around the club since crowds were last allowed in to watch League football, the Rammy fans were very optimistic before the kick-off of the new season. With Lee Donafee coming in to replace Chris Willcock, who departed for Workington and despite a lot of similar faces on the pitch a few new ones have appeared to bolster the already strong squad. 

Throughout the game, neither goalkeeper was troubled by the opposition and subsequently equally merited the share of the spoils overall.

Both sets of fans certainly made themselves heard during their long-anticipated return to watching live games and had the VanEupen Arena absolutely rocking throughout the 90 minutes. 

The game got off to a positive start with both teams eager to attack and each with close efforts rising just over the bar of the opposition’s nets. As the first half progressed each team continued to create chances and saw efforts go narrowly wide of the posts. The Rams came the closest in the first half-hour with a wonderful cross from Eddie Cooper which found the head of Domaine Rouse, but Rouse could only guide his header onto the crossbar.

Only 4 minutes later Rammy’s number 1 found himself picking the ball out of the back of the net after an excellently worked corner from the hosts. However, the celebrations were cut short after the linesman raised his flag extremely late and the goal was ruled out for offside.

The game was level at nil-nil at half-time despite protests from the home side, with many of the fans believing that Rammy had really been let off the hook.

The second half started a bit slower than the first had begun with each team beginning to look as if they didn’t want to throw the game away early in the half.

After the two sides had made a couple of substitutions, it was the visitors who really started to get a foothold in the game and they soon began to look like the more likely to pinch a winner.

Ramsbottom kept the pressure on and dominated the City of Liverpool half not letting the hosts have a minute on the ball. The Rams did not let up and kept creating chances but rarely tested the host’s keeper and when they did manage shots on target it was just catching practice for Theo Roberts.

Second-half substitute Joel Earps had the best chance of the game for Ramsbottom in the final few minutes finding himself 12 yards from goal but somehow managed to blaze the ball over the bar leaving the Rammy staff and fans with their heads in their hands.

In the end, both teams took a point-a-piece away from the match; a result that I’m sure many would agree was a fair outcome for both teams and Rammy look in good shape to take on visitors Marine on Tuesday night at The Harry Williams Riverside Stadium.

RAMSBOTTOM UNITED: Martin, Collinge, Kennedy (c), Waldron, Hall, Cooper, Rouse, Rother (Earps 85′), Rainford (O’Brien 77′), Baker, Abadaki (Murphy 60′)

Unused subs: Glover & Jarrett.

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