Ramsbottom United took on Kendal Town in their penultimate home fixture of the season on Tuesday night showing three alterations to the side which took on Trafford at the weekend.

Harry Williams Riverside Stadium
Tuesday 17 April 2018
Evo-Stik North
Attendance: 86

The team sheet showed the welcome return of Accrington Stanley loanee Zehn Mohammed to the home defence with Jon Robinson and Chris Rushworth also gaining starting berths in place of the suspended Jerome Wright ,Liam Brownhill and Sam Madeley respectively.

The contest began in lively fashion when on just 5 minutes a long goal kick from Sam Ashton found its way through to Robinson and with the striker running through on goal he was brought down on the edge of the Kendal penalty area by a visiting defender who must have been fearing a red card but referee Bennett decided that a yellow was sufficient punishment, the subsequent free kick was blocked as the home side started the match on the front foot.

With twelve minutes on the clock the home side broke the deadlock with a well-constructed goal when a positive run and incisive pass from skipper Dean Stott found Tom Brooks inside the area and the combative midfielder registered his first goal of the season when his angled low shot found the bottom corner of Johnsons net to give the hosts the ideal start to the contest.

It was the home side that looked to build on their positive start as they almost doubled their advantage minutes later when a well struck free kick from Phil Dean brought a good save low down from Johnson in the Kendal goal.

Sadly the Rams lead would be wiped out midway through the first period when good link up play between Arnison and Basterfield resulted in the latter finding himself one on one with home keeper Ashton and the wide mans accomplished finish squared the contest at one goal each with what was the visitors first worthwhile attempt at goal.

The remainder of the half was a fairly even contest with neither side being able to create any real goalscoring chances of note although perhaps Kendal had the better of the possession after the equaliser but neither goalkeeper was called upon to make any saves worthy of mention as the half ended all square.

With both sides unchanged at the restart it was Ramsbottom United who started much the brighter with Greg Daniels heavily involved, firstly shooting over the bar when well placed before setting up an opportunity for Rushworth whose effort sailed wide of the target as the hosts looked to retake the lead.

As the hour mark approached and the game level Brooks supplied an excellent pass to the influential Daniels whose low shot brought Johnson into action as the home side were becoming more dominant as Kendal were finding it difficult to create any attacking momentum with the hosts defence looking solid with Mohammed and Ellison in fine form.

It was the hosts that continued to pose the greater attacking threat and a couple of incidents in quick succession gave the home side further confidence that the 3 points could be staying at the HWRS, firstly the referee refused loud claims for handball from a visiting defender before an in-swinging corner from Dean was flicked towards goal by Daniels but bounced off the crossbar and away to safety.

With the Rams on top and Dean becoming ever more prominent in a more attacking role the home side regained the advantage with just over 20 minutes to play when Lee Gaskell’s astute pass connected with Robinson’s well timed run and with the latter through on goal the experienced forward made no mistake confidently slotting the ball past Johnson to register his first goal since the goalscoring legend returned to the Riverside in late March.

The contest appeared to be heading towards a home victory when on 74 minutes Kendal’s midfielder Sam Staunton-Turner was sent off for a crunching tackle on Rams captain Dean Stott which appeared to ignite the encounter as the away side clearly disagreed with the officials decision.

Unfortunately the home sides man advantage would only last a matter of three minutes as Robinson’s goalscoring exploits were somewhat soured by a tackle that referee Bennett deemed as unacceptable and issued the Rams striker a straight red card to even up the numbers for the rest of an increasingly competitive encounter.

Rams manager Mark Fell withdrew Gaskell and introduced the speedy Regan Jarrett with just over 10 minutes remaining as the home side reorganised following Robinson’s dismissal. An interesting point of note was that both goalkeepers had represented the opposition during this season with Sam Ashton playing a couple of games for Kendal before joining the Rams while Matthew Johnson played his sole game for the hosts in a last minute loss at Droylsden in early December.

The fourth and final goal of an eventful evening arrived with 7 minutes remaining on the clock when a free kick was awarded to the Rams just outside the Kendal penalty area and from around 20 yards the impressive Dean sent a superbly executed left footed shot around the defensive wall and into the bottom corner of the net to give the hosts some breathing space and a two goal advantage.

The Rams made their final two substitutions with Harry Foulds and Sam Madeley replacing the impressive duo of Jami Rother and Dean, as the minutes ticked away the Rams were looking likely to see out the rest of the contest without any serious concerns that could threaten their advantage.

In what was a breathless second half the entertainment wasn’t quite finished as in injury time Rushworth’s outstretched leg tripped a Kendal attacker in the penalty box but from the resultant penalty kick Richard Seear sent Ashton the wrong way only for the effort to miss the target and the score remained 3-1 to Ramsbottom United.

To make matters worse for the visitors they had a goal disallowed in the final minute of added time when the aforementioned Seear flicked the ball into the net with his hand rather than his head and was cautioned for his troubles to complete a miserable few minutes for the Kendal midfielder.

The final whistle blew on an entertaining evening at the Riverside as a dominant second half display from the Rams ensured the home side leapfrogged their visitors and moved up a place in the league table whilst recording their tenth home league victory of the campaign ahead of the visit of Droylsden on Saturday afternoon.

Ramsbottom United:-  Ashton, Stott, Dean (Madeley 88 mins), Rother (Foulds 86 mins), Mohammed, Ellison, Daniels, Brooks, Robinson, Gaskell (Jarrett 77 mins), Rushworth.  Subs not used – Stinca, Brownhill

Saturday 21st April   The Evo-Stik North    RAMS  v  Droylsden  3.00
Monday 23rd April                                       Brighouse Town  v  RAMS   7.45
Thursday 26th April                                     Atherton Collieries  v  RAMS  7.45
Saturday 28th April                                      Glossop North End  v  RAMS  3.00



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