Ramsbottom United gained victory in their opening game under new manager Lee Donafee.

Donafee was appointed on Friday following the departure of Chris Willcock to Workington.

It was the first game at the Riverside since October 2020, welcoming a Bury AFC side whose North West Counties League campaign is just around the corner.

Both teams started well, Bury tested Rammy’s defence early on by Abs Obasoto who couldn’t get on the end of an Aidan Chippendale cross.

Jake Thompson had the opening chance for the home side with five minutes on the clock he beat Jake Kenny on the right but his cross was blocked well by Ayo Ibrahim.

Another chance fell shortly after, Jamie Rainford tried his luck from distance by young keeper Jack Atkinson stopped well.

Thompson was in amongst the action again for Donafee’s side as he put a good low cross into the box for Rainford to open the scoring.

The visitors managed by the former Sunderland winger, Andy Welsh were straight back at the Rams. Adam McWilliam was clean through on goal and shot towards Ollie Martin who pulled off a great save.

Martin did well again shortly after, this time Chippendale hit a free-kick low into the wall, it cannoned off Ibrahim for the Rams keeper to save.

It was a very busy period for Martin as Chippendale was close to an equaliser but he pulled off another amazing save to keep the visitors at bay.

Bury looked for one final chance before the break, McWilliam was fouled by Cam Collins on the edge of the area. Harry Brazel stepped up to take the free-kick, and it fell just wide of the post

HALF TIME: Ramsbottom United 1-0 Bury AFC

Both sides made a change at the break, Martin was replaced by a trialist for the Rams while Bury replaced Chippendale with Lewis Gilboy.

The visitors started the second as they ended the first, central midfielder Kris Holt had a chance that went just wide.

Rammy also caused danger in the opening period of the second half as trialist 11 attempted to chip Bury keeper Atkinson.

As the hour mark passed changes were afoot for both sides, Donafee bringing on Morgan Moreland, Regan Jarrett, Tom Glover & Trialist in place of goalscorer Rainford, Thompson, Trialist & Danny O’Brien.

The visitors brought on their top goalscorer from last season Tom Greaves, who had to be substituted shortly after due to injury. Jordan Downing, Liam MacDevitt, Tommy Lent and a number of trialists were also introduced from the bench.

Both sides had chances going into the final period of the game. Trialist 11 was involved once again as his shot was just over for Rammy and just a minute later, former Bury FC player Richie Baker had his free-kick saved well by Atkinson.

McWilliam hit a free kick over the bar with just under eight minutes to go for the visitors.

The Rams added a second with only minutes remaining, substitute Moreland rounded Atkinson to slot home for his first goal since returning to the club.

A third nearly came for Rammy in added time but Atkinson did well to deny the substitute trialist.

FULL TIME: Ramsbottom United 2-0 Bury AFC

Following the match, new boss Lee Donafee spoke to the media. Click below to watch his interview.

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