On a cold and windy afternoon at the rain-lashed Harry Williams Riverside Stadium, Ramsbottom United made heavy weather of seeing off their struggling Yorkshire opponents.

In a game ruined by the conditions, the Rams had to wait until the 90th minute before ensuring that their points tally from the last twelve unbeaten league games topped the 30 mark.

The visitors offered very little, yet somehow the home side rarely moved out of second gear.

They should have opened the scoring after just seven minutes when Dominic Smalley’s pin-point cross saw the unmarked Lee Gaskell slide in at the far post, but somehow he failed to find the touch needed to convert with no Wakefield defender in sight.

Kelvin Lomax saw a close range header from a corner fumbled by make-shift Wakefield keeper Adam Hayton, and the custodian did well to deny Phil Dean, as he raced goalwards in acres of space only to find his effort blocked.

The home side did nudge in front, and it was new-comer Darren Green who found himself in the right spot. With the visitors appealing for a foul on full-back Jamie Allsop as Smalley pushed past him, the winger then delivered what appeared to be a disappointing cross into the area. However, the defenders somehow missed the ball and it reached Green at the far post for him to hammer home his first goal for the club just 22 minutes into his debut.

Ferdinand Annor tried his luck from 20 yards as the visitors looked to overcome the deficit, whilst a good run forwards by their captain Ryan Donoghue set up Harrison Blakey, but his shot was off-target.

Gaskell had another chance to score when he weaved his way past the offside trap, but as he took the ball wide in the area, he couldn’t find the angle to beat the keeper.

Against the run of play, Wakefield managed an equaliser just before the break. Slack marking allowed Annor all the time and space he needed to nod home from a right-wing corner.

The visitors almost grabbed a shock lead eight minutes into the second half, when Grant Shenton in the home goal had to change direction to keep out a free-kick that took a wicked deflection.

On the hour mark, the hosts re-took the lead, thanks to a Grant Spencer penalty. Gary Stopforth raced into the area from the left, and was adjudged to have been brought down by Jason Mycoe. Spencer confidently stroked home the spot-kick to give the Rams the advantage.

With little goalmouth action to keep the crowd warm on a miserable day, Lomax came to the rescue as Wakefield came close to an equaliser with minutes to go. Tom Marsden found himself in space in the box, and as he struck the ball, Lomax did enough to block it and send it out for a corner, from which Ryan Grant side-footed the ball the wrong side of the post.

Anthony Johnson came on as a substitute and should have sealed the points on 87 minutes. A low ball in from Dean found the player-manager, but as he slid in, he only succeeded in sliding the ball wide from six yards out.

Any fears that such a miss could prove costly were soon forgotten as the ninety minute mark arrived.

Keeper Hayton failed to collect an innocent looking back-pass, and the predatory Tom Brooks was on hand to place the loose ball into the empty net from the edge of the box.

Moments later the referee called a halt to proceedings, leaving everyone to dash off for the shelter of the changing rooms.

Another three points but a game that will not last long in the memory.

RAMSBOTTOM UNITED: Shenton, Lomax, Pilkington, Stopforth, Toth, Priestley, Smalley, Spencer (Edghill 72mins), Gaskel (Brooks 69mins), Green (Johnson 76mins), Dean. Subs not used: Warrender, Chadwick

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