Like Longfellow’s little girl when the Rams are good they are very very good but when they are bad they are horrid.  What was most disappointing was not that this was a pretty bleak and disjointed showing but that at even that level and with the share of possession they had the Rams should have got something from the game against a Mossley team who were not match better.  So this was a poor game spoiled and made worse by arefereeing performance that was consistent only in its mediocrity.

Seel Park, Mossley
Saturday 3 December 2016
Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Division One North
Attendance: 146

There were some extenuating circumstances.  For all the hard work put in by Alex Meaney – the standout performer for the Rams – Grant Spencer’s running and passing was sorely missed and Ryan Salmon looked not to have fully recovered from the knock that saw him substituted early in Tuesday’s match at Workington. This led toflacid attacking efforts that depended too much at getting the ball to the feet of Gareth Seddon and whose ineffectiveness were compounded by the decision to put Damian Green on the bench.  That decision was understandable in terms of squad morale but if there were doubts about Ryan Salmon questionable in terms of winning football games.  The harsh truth, as hinted previously, is that there is some scopefor improvementin the quality and depth of the squad if a realistic challenge on play-off places is to be mounted.

Behind after nine minutes to a Mike Fish goal curled in low from the edge which Charlie Albinson at first seems to have covered, the Rams went on to dominate most of the possession but were unable to put together sustained pressure or find the telling pass.  The nearest they came to scoring was from a series of corners one after the other which led to some panicky Mossley defending and a Ryan Salmon cut back having neatly sprung an offside trap which found a despairing defending foot rather than an onrushing GarethSeddon.  Otherthan a towering Ryan Salmon header at the far post that went a foot the wrong side of the post that was it in terms of compelling assaults and as the first half ended with increasing levels of rancourfrom both sides at the officiating, Mark Fel,l the Rams joint manager, vocally kicked the water bottle and was instructed to go and sit next to Mr Mourinho in the stands.  Seeing the error of his ways he removed hissomewhat eclectic trade mark bobby hat in contrition and sloped off.

Mossley gave every impression of beingsurprised at being in front and staying in front and relied on long balls into the corner and keeping the Rams full backs under pressure as a means of maintaining their advantage.

The Rams for all their possession could not find a quality ball into the box and eventually Ryan Salmon had to be replaced.  Gareth Seddon receiving the ball wide out left and with his back to goal did well to force his way past two defenders to get into the box but skewed his shot high and wide.  Paul Linwood went up for corners and free kicks and stayed up leaving Luke Thompson one on one against Dave Short who beat him to the ball on a long through pass.  His looping shot hit on the rise flew over Charlie Albinson into the roof of the net with eight minutes left.

To their credit the Rams refused to take this as a final sentence on their aspirations to earn at least a point.  Almostimmediately Gareth Seddon sent a shot against the post which rebounded to Paul Linwood in front of an empty net but the Rams were then unable to muster another dangerous effort in the normal time that remained and what was close to double figures of added on time to the consternation but eventual relief of the home supporters.

And to add to the disappointment the famed home made steak and kidney pie was not available for purchase.

Mossley: Niki-Lee Bulmer, James Blair, Callum Scullion, Logan Jeffs, Tom Dean, Matthew Burke, Jason Hill, Sam Robinson, Andy Keogh (capt), Mike Fish, Tom Pratt.  Subs: Danny McDonnell (for Robinson 86mins), John Bennett, Kyle McGonigle (for Burke 90mins), Dougie Carroll, Dave Short (for Fish 66mins).

Ramsbottom United: Charlie Albinson, Dean Stott, Josh Askew, Alex Meaney, Luke Thompson, Paul Linwood, Oliver Crankshaw, Sam Freakes, Ryan Salmon, Gareth Seddon (capt), Matthew Atherton.  Subs: Lee Botham, Damian Green (for Crankshaw 57mins), Nathanial Taylor, Regan Jarrett (for Salmon 66mins), Bradley Roscoe (for Atherton 57mins).

Referee: L Sinclair

PICTURES (by Frank Crook)

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