This local derby served up a feast for the rain-sodden spectators on an otherwise miserable afternoon in east Lancashire.

High-riding visitors Droylsden arrived hoping to consolidate their place near the top of the league, but after a shaky start, the hosts deservedly claimed all three points, although the Bloods ran them close.

It was the Manchester side who took an early lead after just 13 minutes, when Liam Caddick found room on the right-hand side before squaring an inch-perfect low pass to the on-running Steve Lewis, who buried it into the bottom corner of the net.

Indeed, the visitors could so easily have doubled their lead when a goalmouth scramble finally saw the ball hacked off the home goal-line.

But gradually finding their feet, the home side began to assert themselves, and after 34 minutes drew level thanks to some excellent solo work by debutant loanee Louis Myers.  The ball was sprayed out to him on the right, and he cut into the box before lashing home an acute angled drive.

Gareth Seddon was then inches wide from the edge of the box before Jay Hart wasted a golden opportunity having been put through by Meaney, with only the keeper to beat.  He hesitated too long, and took the ball wide before the danger was cleared by some desperate defending.

The home side kept up the pressure in the second half with Myers and Hart both going close, but Droylsden were not prepared to lie down.  Man-of-the-match Lewis recovered from his shot being blocked to send in a superb volley which flew inches over the bar, and the same players, who on another day could have claimed a hat-trick, was denied at close range by the feet of returning home keeper Ashley Shenton.

The Rams finally grabbed the lead on 72 minutes when a long cross from the left from Hart found Myers at the far post and he played it back into the path of Seddon who fired home from ten yards.

At the other end, Shenton produced a fine diving save to prevent Eddie Toner from grabbing an equaliser, before Hart nearly increased the lead when his cross-cum-shot grazed the top of the bar.

However, just moments later, on 86 minutes, Alex Meaney was on hand to grab what turned out to be the winner.  Collecting the ball 25 yards out, he moved slightly to the left before unleashing a fierce drive that flew past James Coates in the Droylsden goal, much to the delight of his team-mates and the vociferous home supporters.

Still Droylsden would not give in, and after the Rams attempted to waste time in the corner, the visitors cleared the ball upfield where Lewis cut inside and fired hime his and Droylsden’s second of the afternoon.

The Rams held out, and indeed were unlucky not to snatch a fourth in injury time through the impressive Myers, but the whistle blew to end a fine entertaining match with the three points safely in the pocket of the home side.

RAMSBOTTOM UNITED team: Shenton, Roscoe (Dunroe 90mins), Atherton, Stott, Bayunu, Linwood, Taylor, Meaney (Cliffe 88mins), Hart, Seddon (Green 84mins), Myers.  Subs not used: Botham, Crankshaw.

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