Ramsbottom United progressed to the next round of the Integro League Cup in a hard-fought contest with Hyde United on a bitterly cold night at the HWRS on Tuesday.

RAMSBOTTOM UNITED 0 HYDE UNITED 0 (Ramsbottom won 4-3 on penalties)
Harry Williams Riverside Stadium
Tuesday 28th November 2017
Integro League Cup Round 2
Attendance: 156

It was a much changed line up for the Rams which included Liam Brownhill and Adam Kay making their return to the starting line up after injury lay offs.

The match started evenly with both sides exchanging possession without creating any clear cut chances until the quarter hour mark when a Grant Spencer free kick was headed over the Hyde bar by Luke Thompson.The visitors responded with a set piece of their own which gave towering defender Tyrone Gay an opportunity which he fired high above the target.

Hyde looked to gain the upper hand as the half hour mark approached and created a couple of goal scoring chances with Beadle and Pratt testing home keeper Danny Taberner who dealt well with the both efforts.

The Rams fashioned their best chances of the contest as half time approached when firstly a well worked move found Spencer whose scuffed effort fell to Ben Richardson who brought a good save from Hodges in the Hyde goal before the ball was scrambled clear, moments later Jamie Rother headed wide from a right wing cross as the referee brought an end to a goalless first period.

The second half began with Hyde having the first shot on target when a Pratt effort from the edge of the box forced Taberner into action before the Rams had to make their first substitution of the game with the hobbling Rother making way for Sam Heathcote.

On a predictably heavy surface the game was a scrappy affair with Ramsbottom appearing to gain the upper hand as the match progressed whilst the impressive Jaques Kpohomouh, Thompson and the Brownhill duo at full backs kept the lively Hyde attack under control.

With around 20 minutes remaining the Rams had the chance to take the lead when a scuffed goal kick from Hodges fell to Heathcote who strode purposefully to the edge of the penalty area before a weak shot failed to trouble the relieved Hyde stopper.

Mark Fell introduced Jerome Wright and Eddie Moran for Spencer and Alex Meaney respectively as the home side created another presentable chance for Ben Richardson whose left footed strike missed the target as the game seemed destined to remain scoreless.

Ramsbottom had to play the last ten minutes or so with ten men when Adam Kay left the field through injury but much as both sides searched for a winning goal the contest ended all square at 90 minutes and with the absence of extra time in this cup competition the tie would be decided by penalties.

It was the visitors that began the drama of the shoot out with both Boyle and Brown scoring for Hyde whilst Daniels scored the hosts first attempt before Wright had his kick saved by Hodges. Next up was Jones for Hyde and Taberner saved well before Liam Brownhill celebrated his birthday by levelling up the score at 2-2.

The Rams keeper Taberner then gave his side the edge saving expertly from Coates leaving Heathcote to confidently convert to give Ramsbottom United a slender advantage with 4 penalties taken each.

With the shivering crowd being well entertained with the penalty competition Hyde converted their fifth attempt through Churchman leaving Richardson with the chance to win the tie for the Rams which the midfielder duly delivered confidently beating Hodges as the home side progressed 4-3.

The victory albeit on penalties reaffirms the belief that the Rams can compete with the better teams in their league and this will undoubtedly be tested on Saturday as league leaders South Shields are scheduled to visit The Riverside.

Ramsbottom United: Taberner, L Brownhill, K. Brownhill, Meaney (Moran 74 mins), Thompson, Kpohomouh, Spencer (Wright 71 mins, Kay, Rother (Heathcote 53 mins) Daniels, Richardson.  Sub not used: Stott, Roscoe




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