Ramsbottom United made the trip to North Yorkshire for their first match in 18 days in the reverse of the opening day fixtures with three changes to the starting line up.

i2i Stadium, Tadcaster
Saturday 23 December 2017
Evo-Stik North
Attendance: 234

After a number of departures and injuries in recent weeks the Rams began with Charlie Albinson in goal after a loan move from Blackburn Rovers along with 19 year old Accrington Stanley central defender Zehn Mohammed and leading the line was Rams favourite Lee Gaskell who returned to the Riverside after a brief stint at Colne.

The visitors began the contest positively and with barely 5 minutes on the clock Greg Daniels had the first effort on goal which was comfortably gathered by Ingram in the home goal. Tadcaster responded with an attempt of their own which sailed wide of the target in a lively opening before Sellars struck the crossbar with a well taken free kick as the home side looked for the opening goal of the contest.

Ramsbottom’s front four attackers were involved in some good approach play without reward but with 25 minutes played Liam Brownhill tripped the tricky Greening in the box and the referee pointed to the spot, the penalty was confidently despatched by Sellars as the visitors unfortunately fell behind.

The goal appeared to give the home side a confidence boost as Tom Corner flashed a shot wide but as the half wore on the Rams looked to restore parity with Gaskell testing Ingram from a free kick. The away team almost got their reward with 5 minutes of the half remaining when a free kick found Sam Heathcote whose well-directed header look destined for the net before hitting the inside of the post before being scrambled off the line by a home defender, amazingly the clearance was prodded back towards goal before a defender cleared off the line for a second time in a matter of seconds.

Just before the half time whistle sounded both teams traded attempts on goal with Heathcote testing Ingram before Corner flashed a shot wide of the target but it was the home side that enjoyed a slender advantage but Ramsbottom could feel unfortunate to be behind in a very watchable encounter.

The second period began with no changes to either side but Tadcaster almost doubled their lead when Greening flashed an effort over the bar when well placed.

The Rams were gaining a foothold in the match and looking more of a goal threat as Phil Dean brought a good save low down from Ingram.

With just over an hour played the visitors scored a deserved equaliser when good play between Gaskell and Dean lead to Jerome Wright receiving the ball on the edge of the penalty area before finding some room and fizzing a well-placed shot past Ingram and into the corner of the net.

Shortly after the equaliser Alex Meaney replaced the hard working Eddie Moran in the Rams midfield but the home side almost retook the lead when a Greening shot brought a superb save from Albinson to keep the contest level.

Both sides were looking dangerous as the match began to get stretched with raiding full back  Heathcote firing in a low shot which the home keeper did well to keep out before Jerome Wright nearly notched his second goal with a shot that Ingram tipped onto the post before grabbing at the second attempt.

Tadcaster were pushing forward as the minutes ticked by but the Rams defence responded well with Mohammed having a very accomplished debut alongside the ever dependable Luke Thompson with full backs Brownhill and Heathcote repelling the home side when needed.

Lee Gaskell made way for Yves Zama with 5 minutes remaining and the substitute almost won the game for the Rams when his well struck drive just missed the far post but ultimately the game ended all square in what was a very enjoyable contest to witness.

As the Ramsbottom United supporters applauded their teams efforts the players and staff made their way over to shake hands and offer their best wishes to the fans that had made their way over the Pennines. A classy gesture from all involved!

Ramsbottom United manager Mark Fell summed up the afternoons proceedings with the following statement

“2nd half we were excellent, we looked like we’d not played in 3 weeks early on but again it looks like we’ve been let down by the officials on a certain goal that’s crossed the line to send us into half time level. We pinned them in after the break and once the equaliser went in I thought we were the only team who looked likely.

“Zehn Mohammed and Charlie Albinson were superb on their debuts – both will have a major part to play over Christmas. We move onto Boxing Day which will be a tough test against Atherton Colls”.

Ramsbottom United: Albinson, Heathcote, L.Brownhill, Stott, Thompson, Mohammed, Dean, Moran (Meaney 63 mins), Gaskell (Zama 85 mins), Daniels , Wright.   Subs not used: Rother, M. Williams, T.Williams

TUESDAY 26TH DECEMBER    Evo-Stik North    RAMS v Atherton Collieries   3.00pm
SATURDAY 30th DECEMBER                              RAMS v Hyde United  3.00pm
MONDAY 1st JANUARY                                       Radcliffe Borough v RAMS  3.00pm


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