Rammy find the net but not the win.
The final result may appear to suggest a hammering, but in reality, for over an hour there was little to choose between these two teams still searching for their first wins of the season. Indeed, the visitors had endured a miserable last couple of seasons dropping down two divisions as a result of a record of just three wins in two years. Their last away victory came 19 months ago at Welling, but two goals in two minutes half-way through the second half finally ended that horrendous run, much to the pleasure of their noisy followers.
Those two goals effectively ended the game as a contest, which was a shame, as at that point the Rams were more than holding their own. After the bad publicity generated from the previous game, this contest proved to be a straight-forward affair, with the referee and his assessor praising both sides for the gamesmanship and fair play.
The game started brightly with a number of chances at bot ends, but it was the visitors who took the lead after 22 minutes, when Reece Gray found space in the box to poke the ball home from ten yards.
The home side came close to an equaliser minutes later, when a half-cleared corner found Prince Haywood 30yards out and his terrific first time drive cannoned off the crossbar with visiting keeper Josh Ollerenshaw grasping at thin air. With both sides looking to exploit spaces, the game flowed from end to end, but the Rams handed the visitors a second goal five minutes before the break. A harmless looking cross had Andy Dawson and keeper Grant Shenton both going for the ball, and as communications broke down, Ayrton Bevins was on hand to walk the loose ball into the empty net.
So the home side had every reason to feel a 0-2 half-time deficit was undeserved, as they had probably edged an entertaining first 45 minutes. Within four minutes of the re-start, the Rams regained a foothold in the game. David Kubs-Kuba had been sent on to replace the lethargic Dominic McHale, and the diminutive youngster’s first touch of the ball saw him nod home a left-wing corner to half the deficit.
Kuba-Kuba went close to equalising just moments later when his determined run took him to the edge of the box, but his shot just cleared the bar. Debutant Max Harrop, signed from Ashton United, had a fine game as an attacking midfield player, and he also went close to levelling the scores when his effort from the left took a wicked deflection and rattled into the side netting.
But despite the pressure, the next goal was always going to prove decisive, and so it was, on 63 minutes, as the visitors strengthened their grip on the game. Shenton made a superb close range save to scoop the ball over the bar, but from the resultant corner, Bevins was on hand to knock the ball home from close range after Shane Killock’s header had bounced down off the bar.
Before the Rams had chance to curse their luck, Bevins notched his hat-trick. This time a hopeful punt into the box from the right saw Shenton misjudge the ball, and Bevins was on hand to slide home his third and Hyde’s fourth to ensure the points returned to Tameside.
Not surprisingly one or two Ramsbottom heads went down, and from then on the Tigers never looked like giving up the lead, although Ben Woods was unlucky not to have been awarded a penalty when he was up-ended in the box. The result though proves that at this level, possession wins nothing, and it’s all about taking chances. Hyde did it, Ramsbottom didn’t, and this is still very much a work in progress.
RAMSBOTTOM UNITED: Shenton, Beadle, Woods, Meaney, Jones, dawson(Nolan 45mins), McHale(Kuba-Kuba 48mins), Haywood, Gaskell, Harrop(Heron 73mins), Spencer. Subs not used: Cliffe, Hartley
COMING UP Wed. 26th August Evo-Stik NPL Premier Division Whitby Town v RAMS 7.45pm
Sat. 29th August Evo-Stik NPL Premier Division RAMS V Frickley Athletic 3.00pm