The curse of New Mills struck again! In ten attempts, Ramsbottom United have still to notch a single victory against the Millers, and despite looking likely to break that duck, failure to convert a number of chances, and a late equaliser maintained the unwanted record.

The Rams came into this game on the back of an eight match winning sequence, but past history dictated that were that run to be ended, then the Rams jinx side, New Mills, would most likely do so.

And so they did. Yet for much of the game, the home side was in charge.

On a foul day which saw many other local games postponed, the regular downpours made for a heavy pitch, so it was to the credit of both sides that such a surface did not prevent a whole-hearted game with plenty of effort and willingness to play the game in the right way.

Both sides kept the ball on the ground, and the work-rate of both teams was commendable. Grant Spencer had the first chance after just two minutes, but he was inches over from the edge of the area.

New Mills showed that they were there to make a game of it, with both Dan Grimshaw and Rico Colulo firing in efforts at the home goal. Spencer sent in a free-kick that was headed over by Lee Gaskell, whilst at the other end a tempting cross from Dan Hewitt missed a couple of his on-rushing team-mates by inches.

Spencer fired another free-kick just wide of the target before Danny Warrender and Dominic Smalley combined down the right, with the latter sending over a great cross that was snatched off the head of Gaskell.

Jordan Hulme came close to opening the scoring when his cross floated towards the goal, needing keeper Peter Collinge to flick the ball over for a corner, from which the unmarked Warrender saw his header safely nestle in the arms of a relieved Collinge.

At the other end, Shenton had to be alert to make a fingertip save from Michael Fish, as both sides continued to show great desire despite the elements.

On 38 minutes, the deadlock was broken when man-of-the-match Warrender finally claimed his reward for an industrious afternoon. He was on the end of a Spencer corner, and confidently nodded the ball past a couple of defenders on the line.

Spencer fired in yet another free-kick, this time straight at Collinge, before Kelvin Lomax reacted quickest to block a shot from former Rams player Steve Maden, as the Millers looked to go in at the break on level terms.

As it was, they should have gone in two behind.

In the last minute Gaskell found space down the right, but instead of opting for goal he squared it to Tom Brooks, who hit the bar from ten yards out. Brooks might well have added to the score five minutes after the restart, but following great work from Phil Dean, his effort was diverted for a corner. From the kick, Brooks was once again denied, this time by the custodian.

The Rams could claim to have been denied what looked like a perfectly good goal. A surging run down the right by Jordan Hulme, saw him play the ball forward. Brooks, standing in an offside position, let the ball roll forward, and Hulme raced on to fire home, but the linesman, incorrectly raised his flag against Brooks, and the goal was disallowed.

Millers hard-working skipper, Daniel Douglas-Pringle was inches away with a pile-driver, whilst at the other end, Gaskell had three opportunities to add a second, but on each occasion he was unable to find the net.

The failure to convert came back to haunt the home side.

With 15 minutes to go, a high free-kick was mis-handled by Shenton, and in the ensuing melee, Daryl Weston scooped the ball home from close range to level the score.

Both sides upped the pressure in the final minutes in search of a winner, but it was not to be, as the Rams superb run came to an end, but a point apiece was probably just reward for two sides who put on a fine show despite the appalling conditions.

RAMSBOTTOM UNITED: Shenton, Lomax, Hulme, Stopforth, Warrender, Priestley, Smalley, Spencer(Pilkington 70mins), Brooks(Robinson 65mins), Gaskell, Dean(Roberts 90mins0. Subs not used: Toth, Chadwick

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