Report by Will Place

Donafee’s dominant boys capture their first 3 points of the new campaign.

A well-worked goal, finished brilliantly by Jake Thompson and a screamer from James Murphy ensured that The Rams were firmly in the driving seat in the second half, following a relatively dominant first 45 minutes.

The Mintcakes’ Chris Wraighte halved the deficit on 85 minutes but Rammy did a superb job of seeing the rest of the game through without any hiccups.

The result gave Lee Donafee his first competitive win and first 3 points as Ramsbottom manager, something that he’ll be extremely happy and relieved with.

The Rammy boss opted to shake things up a little bit by giving Steve Hoy his debut at centre back who has joined the club from Bootle, dropping Danny O’Brien into right back, starting Jacob Phillips and pushing the powerful Dahrius Waldron into holding midfield to replace the departed Richie Baker.

The changes did the job for Rammy making them much more defensively sound than their game at the weekend and seemingly giving them more energy across the pitch.

Rammy were the more dominant of the two sides in the first half having early efforts through Domaine Rouse and the lively Jake Thompson. However, it was Kendal who had the best effort of the half within the first 10 minutes. Eric Yahaya found himself one on one against Tom Stewart but somehow managed to put the ball wide of the post.

The game then became very scrappy at times with neither side being able to retain possession for significant periods in the match.

The away side came flying out of the blocks in the second half looking determined to go and get a goal. They only had to wait 4 minutes into the second half when Darius Waldron found Jake Thompson with a crafted through ball that Jake slotted home to the keeper’s left-hand side.

Rammy kept up the tempo and continued to create chances when Jake Thompson once again found himself through on goal. The Rams number 7 rounded the keeper but managed to put the effort just wide of the post.

The chances were coming thick and fast for Rammy and they doubled their lead on 65 minutes with a spectacular finish from James Murphy. He curled one in from the right edge of the 18-yard box and he caught the keeper out at his near post.

Kendal were pushing players high up the pitch in search of a way back into the game and right-back Danny O’Brien spotted this as the visitors broke on the counter, O’Brien tried an audacious effort from near 60 yards out which marginally floated just over the bar.

Kendal managed to half the deficit on 85 minutes as Chris Wraighte bundled one over the line from a corner kick. The home side continued to keep the pressure on looking for an equaliser but Ramsbottom did a professional job of seeing the game through as deserved 2-1 winners. The result sees Ramsbottom surge up the table to 9th place, however, a couple of the teams around Donafee’s men possess a game in hand.

A delighted Lee Donafee spoke to following the game, he said: I think first and foremost it was a good performance from my side.

We had a plan and all the players stuck to the plan and showed great determination from start to finish. I’m bursting with pride.

Collectively as a team, we were great and competed all over the pitch. I’m happy for the lads and happy for the club especially the fans who made the trip, myself, staff and players are grateful for the support as always.”

RAMSBOTTOM UNITED: Stewart, O’Brien, Kennedy, Hoy, Hall, Cooper, Thompson, Phillips (Rainford 60′), Rouse, Waldron, Murphy (Beckford 75′).

Unused subs: Glover, Collinge & Earps.

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