Ramsbottom United played host to Ossett Albion on Thursday night in a rearranged fixture after the original was postponed in early March and showed three changes from the Mossley defeat with Liam Brownhill, Tom Brooks and Jerome Wright starting in place of Chris Rushworth, Jamie Rother and Lee Gaskell, a point worthy of mention was the welcome inclusion of goalkeeper  Danny Taberner on the substitutes bench for the Rams after a 4 month injury lay off.

Harry Williams Riverside Stadium
Thursday 5 April 2018
Evo-Stik North
Attendance: 130

Ossett Albion who had won their previous five consecutive matches arrived in Lancashire in confident mood and were almost gifted the lead when a short back pass from Phil Dean gave Chippendale a chance to open the scoring but Sam Ashton saved well at the feet of the striker.

The early exchanges of the contest were competitive but lacked any real fluency as the play was punctured with numerous free kicks as referee Roberts quickly stamped his authority on proceedings by issuing each team a yellow card in quick succession, amazingly a dreadful two footed lunge on Ryan Ellison escaped without any punishment.

With the game just over twenty minutes old the Rams registered their first attempt on goal when a sublime piece of control and smart turn by Jon Robinson gave the veteran frontman the opportunity to shoot but the strikers shot lacked enough pace to trouble visiting keeper Coates.

The remainder of the first period was played out without either team seriously testing the opponent’s goalkeeper as defences were definitely on top in a tussle that whilst being well contested never quite sparked into life from an attacking perspective and the contest reached the half way point goalless.

As the second forty five minutes began it was Ossett Albion that had the chance to break the deadlock when a corner was played into the hosts box where Priestley and Ubam both had close range attempts blocked by some resolute defending from the Rams rear-guard.

With both teams having little to play for other than improving their respective league positions in the bottom half of the league table the game began to open up as firstly Sam Madeley tested Coates in the Ossett goal with a well struck 30 yard free kick before the lively Chippendale latched onto a pass and his blistering effort was tipped over the crossbar by Ashton as the hour mark approached.

Ramsbottom United then produced perhaps their best attacking move of the contest when an astute pass from the excellent Luke Jordan sent Brooks surging towards the Ossett Albion goal before the midfielders well struck shot  looked destined for the bottom corner until Coates’ outstretched hand denied the hosts the lead.

With three quarters of the game played it was the home side that made their first change with Regan Jarrett replacing Madeley which resulted in Jordan being utilised in a striking role alongside Robinson. The alteration almost bore fruit within minutes when the two frontmen combined after a Robinson flick on sent Jordan through on goal but whilst the youngsters low shot beat Coates the ball trickled agonisingly the wrong side of the post as far as the home fans were concerned.

As the minutes ticked by it appeared as the encounter would most likely be decided by a single goal but the initiative appeared to have tipped towards the visitors on 72 minutes when a flashpoint occurred between Rams’ Luke Thompson and Albions Priestley which resulted in the influential home defender retaliating in a manner that the referee took exception to and a subsequent red card was issued to Thompson.

With the home side reduced to ten men Harry Foulds replaced Robinson as the ever adaptable Dean Stott filled in at centre half alongside the excellent Ellison, indeed youngster Foulds’ first touch was to send a well-controlled shot from distance towards goal but Coates held well.

Only four minutes later the numbers were evened up when an excellent through ball from Jarrett sent Wright running through on goal only for Ossett defender Knowles to bring down the Rams wide man near the edge of the penalty and the referee issued the second red card of the match. The resultant free kick from the fouled Wright fractionally missed the target as the hosts looked to finish the game positively.

The final ten minutes became an end to end affair as Dean and Wright linked up twice in quick succession for the hosts, the first instance resulted in Wright firing a shot which narrowly missed the target before the same player crossed from a promising position but the ball evaded the onrushing Jordan at the far post.

Ossett Albion in what could well be their final visit to the HWRS in their current guise due to the impending merger with Ossett town this summer, finished the game with some attacking momentum when Priestley twice shot fractionally off target from the edge of the penalty area without troubling Ashton in the Rams goal.

As the final whistle sounded both teams could arguably claim that they deserved to take more than the one point they ultimately did in an entertaining yet goalless match, incidentally this was the Rams first nil nil draw in the league this season although there were plenty of positives from the performance against in form opponents.

Ramsbottom United:-  Ashton, Brownhill, Dean, Stott, Thompson, Ellison, Jordan, Brooks ,Robinson (Foulds 74 mins), Madeley (Jarrett  66 mins), Wright.  Subs not used – Rushworth, Rother, Taberner

Saturday 7th April     The Evo-Stik North   RAMS  v Clitheroe   3.00pm
Tuesday 10th April                                        RAMS  v  Hyde United  7.45pm
Saturday 14th April                     ”                Trafford v RAMS 3.00pm

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