The Rams made the trip to the Sir Tom Finney Stadium on Saturday to take on league leaders Bamber Bridge looking for their first away win of the season with new additions Jacques Kpohomouh and Yves Zama making their debuts after arriving from Southport in the last few days.

Sir Tom Finney Stadium, Bamber Bridge
Saturday 18 November 2017
Evo-Stik North
Attendance: 306

It was the hosts that had the first effort on goal on 8 minutes when Carsley forced a save from Danny Taberner but Ramsbottom had started the game confidently and forced a couple of early corners as they sought to improve their fortunes on the road.

Sadly Zama’s promising first start for the visitors was curtailed through injury on the quarter hour mark and with Greg Daniels suspended it was Sam Heathcote who replaced the stricken forward.

After an even 20 minutes it was the Rams that took the lead when Eddie Moran won the ball in his own half before a surging run took him to the edge of the box before drilling a well-placed shot past Rigby to register his 2nd goal in 3 games.

Ramsbottom had performed well in the opening half hour restricting Bamber Bridge to a single strike at goal whilst looking a threat themselves on the break.

As the half wore on the hosts began to create more problems for the visitors with a Vasey header drifting wide of the target before Richardson replied for the Rams with a well struck effort which Rigby saved comfortably.

As the half concluded Ramsbottom merited their lead with the excellent Dean Stott protecting the defence in his usual combative and effective style, debutant Kpohomouh slotted into the backline seamlessly with the ever reliable trio of Brad Roscoe, Luke Thompson and Kyle Brownhill impressing at the half way point.

The second period began with hope amongst the visiting supporters that the first away win of the campaign was possible but understanding that table toppers Bamber Bridge would likely improve after the break.

The home side made two early substitutions as they looked to change the pattern of the match but it was the Rams who doubled their lead as the hour mark approached when Roscoe sent Phil Dean scampering down the right touchline before cutting inside and curling a delightful effort which hit the inside on the post before falling to Jerome Wright who rifled past Rigby to give the away side a merited two goal advantage.

Ramsbottom were playing with a confidence that belied their recent away results and were looking a huge threat on the counter attack as Bamber Bridge threw more bodies forward looking for a way back into the contest. Home keeper Rigby had to be at his best to deny Wright again before both sides made changes with Jamie Rother replacing the impressive Ben Richardson.

The contest looked all over with 15 minutes remaining when more wing wizardry from Dean gave an unmarked Heathcote a simple tap in from 2 yards out to give the auxiliary striker his 8th goal of the campaign and a seemingly unassailable lead for the Rams.

The first 70 minutes from Ramsbottom was a joy to witness as each member of the side contributed to a very strong performance which must have pleased the Management team.

Phil Dean then left the field to be replaced by another debutant Callum Spooner, indeed Dean had without doubt his best game since returning to the Rams recently as his two assists highlights.

Bamber Bridge gave themselves a lifeline on 84 minutes when a right wing cross found Boyd whose header beat Taberner to reduce the arrears. The goal gave the hosts some hope and a superb block from Thompson denied Dudley before the referee turned down two penalty appeals as the pressure built on the Rams.

With 5 minutes injury time signalled the home side laid siege to the visitors goal with Carsley firing over the bar before a second Bamber Bridge goal arrived with 2 minutes remaining as Waddecar slammed a loose ball past Taberner at the near post.

Nerves were jangling amongst the Rams fans in attendance but despite their best efforts Bamber Bridge surrendered their unbeaten home league record as Ramsbottom United celebrated their first away victory of the season in what was a superb advert for non league football.

An understandably thrilled Mark Fell had the following to say after the match:-

“I’m delighted for the lads, away from home we’ve not got what we deserved but today we dominated large spells and took our chances. We made it tough in the closing stages and fair play to Brig they are very resilient. It was torture for me in the stand but Lanky and Scott did a great job in the dugout, I thought Phil Dean and Jerome Wright tortured them at times and Jacques at centre half had a great debut.

“The key for us was to get the away win monkey off our back and push on now, we’re 4 points off the playoffs and we need a bit of a run to put us back in the mix but I feel this group of players are capable of that.”

Ramsbottom United: Taberner, Roscoe, K.Brownhill, Stott, Thompson, Kpohomouh, Dean (Spooner 76 mins), Moran, Zama (Heathcote 15mins), Wright, Richardson (Rother 71 mins).  Subs not used: Meaney, Brooks                                                                                

Saturday 25th November   The Evo-Stik North    Goole v RAMS    3.00pm
Tuesday 28th November   Integro League Cup Round 2   RAMS v Hyde United   7.45pm

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