Ramsbottom United ventured over to Barnsley more in hope than expectation as they came up against the nomadic Shaw Lane club that has risen through the pyramid at a sharp rate of knots on the back of a supposedly wealthy backer who has filled his team with experienced non-league players.

Sheerien Park, Barnsley
Saturday 28 October 2017
BuildBase FA Trophy Qualifying Round 1
Attendance: 183

Promotion to Evo-Stik Premier last season meant that the Rams were facing a side near the top of a league above, and met them on the back of a dreadful away record and a humiliating 4-0 home defeat in their last match.

Hardly a background to fill the Rams faithful with too much to look forward to, and an early goal for the hosts seemed to confirm such an outlook.

However, the much-changed Ramsbottom line-up did more than correct their recent deficiencies, and had it not been for another controversial refereeing performance, may well have returned home with their first away victory of the season.

The game was played in difficult conditions with a swirling wind racing across the pitch. Virtually every high ball finished up some way from it’s intended destination, usually out of play and over the fences.

The first contentious decision made by the man in black arrived after just 15 minutes.  Jerome Wright was adjudged to have fouled when he protested that the award should have gone the other way. The referee, as was to be the case throughout the afternoon, became the centre of attraction, and the subsequent free-kick taken by Orlando-Young, just outside the box, caught the wind and sailed inside Danny Taberner’s left hand post.

Whilst the hosts pushed up regularly with the wind slightly in their favour, the visitors refused to lie down, and after 37 minutes Tom Brooks was unlucky to see his low drive clawed away at the last minute by Stewart in the home goal.  However, the frustration only lasted for a few seconds, for, from the resultant corner, debutant Josh Heaton rose highest to firmly nod home the equaliser.

Indeed, the Rams could have taken the lead as the half-time whistle was about to sound, but Jamie Rother’s drive was just too high.

The visitors did not have to wait long to push their noses in front.

Barely a minute after the break, Greg Daniels fired home from an acute angle, and suddenly the hope was turning to expectation.

The home side should have equalised minutes later when former Altrincham goal machine Damien Reeves inexplicably side-footed wide from six yards out when a goal looked certain, but back came the Rams, with Daniels agonisingly inches wide at the other end.

As the game wore on, the home side pushed forward, but the resolute Rams defence worked hard to repel any danger, with Tom Brooks and Brad Roscoe both clearing off the line to preserve the lead.

A third goal would have seen the game safe, and Brooks tried his luck from distance only to see Stewart smother his effort.

With the clock ticking down, three minutes into time added on saw another example of poor refereeing, as Mr Jones decided that a scramble in the box had seen a visiting player deliberately handle a ball that was blasted at him, and to the dismay of all in red, pointed to the spot.

Up strode Harris to blast home an equaliser that was much contested by an angry and frustrated Ramsbottom team.

There was still time for the referee to annoy the home side when he decided that Gordon, who had already been booked, had deliberately handled as he fell unintentionally on the ball. Instead of just awarding a free-kick, he reached for another needless yellow card followed by the inevitable red.

Before kick-off, the Rams would have been delighted with a draw, but for all their effort to have been so cruelly thwarted late on by the incompetence of the match official, saw them troop off the field in a disappointed and disconsolate mood.

RAMSBOTTOM UNITED: Taberner, Stead, Roscoe, Stott, Heaton, Brooks (Moran 85mins), Dean (Spencer 90mins), Rother, Wright, Daniels, K Brownhill.  Subs not used: Thompson, Meaney, Williams.

Tuesday 31st October – FA Trophy 1st Round Replay – RAMS v Shaw Lane (7.45pm)
Saturday 4th November – Evo-Stik North – Scarborough v RAMS (3pm)
Tuesday 7th November – Integro Cup – RAMS v Stalybridge Celtic (7.45pm)
*** Please note as this is a rearranged game following the first match having to be called off due to floodlight failure, there will be FREE ADMISSION for all ***


Whoever wins the FA Trophy 1st Qualifying Round replay tomorrow night at the Harry Williams Riverside Stadium between Ramsbottom United and Shaw Lane, will be rewarded with a 2Q round tie away to Evo-Stik Premier high-flyers, Altrincham.

This game will take place on Saturday 11th November with a 3pm kick-offane


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