Tuesday Night Fever descended again at the HWRS.  If the Rams do not have a phobia about home midweek matches in the dark against teams that can play football they should have.

Harry Williams Riverside Stadium
Tuesday 14 March 2017
Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Division One North
Attendance: 212

More to the point they should now have a phobia about playing any team which has the ability to hold shape, move quickly, pass the ball in a timely fashion and tackle cleanly Rams players who linger on the ball and turn into rather than away from the challenge.

To be fair the Rams performed better than they had in the previous three games but unless the ball was at the feet of either Grant Spencer, looking more comfortable than he has recently or the ever willing but increasingly frustrated Darrhyl Mason they tended to lack any real sustainable threat.

Hyde presented a young side full of self belief in which Big Khamsuk was not so much a leading light as a beacon showing how the game can be played.  While notionally playing in a central position just after the quarter hour he found himself wide on the right before rocketing past a static defense exchanging an unlikely one-two in the box and firing in between a more than startled Martin Fearon and his near post.  It took the Rams some time to respond but they might have drawn level on the half hour.  Given the choice of stooping to head or leaping to volley a superb Spencer cross Lee Gaskell chose the latter and could not control sufficiently his air-bound volley which flashed over the bar.

While Hyde had the better of the game in the first period the Rams were by no means out of it and when they equalized right on the restart an open game was in prospect.  Darrhyll Mason collected the ball wide narrowed into the box, resisted the chance to fall under a challenge from behind and squared the ball back to Gaskell who made no mistake from 10 yards out.

However the home fans had barely had time to exhale the final notes of their feather-brained ditty about seagulls and pasties before Hyde went ahead for the second and determinative time.  Again it was that lad Khamsuk who took advantage of self inflicted mayhem in the Rams defence to fire a second shot low into the corner.

The Rams threw caution to the wind bringing on Gareth Seddon, Damian Green, esoterically being asked to play at left back, nominally, and Ollie Crankshaw for what is increasingly seeming like a mandatory appearance.  Apart from a downward header from Luke Thompson desperately clawed away and a repeat run from Mason which this time was snuffed out at the near post the Rams struggled to threaten the Hyde goal.

It is a mystery worthy of serious examination in the technical area as to why the means cannot be found to bring the winger more into the game.

As the Rams threw men forward in a fashion which lacked as much in order and cohesion as it had to commend it in honest endeavour Hyde looked increasingly composed and incisive on the break.  One response from a cleared corner was a salutary lesson to the Rams in how to move the ball quickly and cleanly three passes taking the visitors from one end of the pitch to the other before spurning a good chance at the far post.

Moments later Jamal Branker cut in from the left and Martin Fearon was again beaten at his near post to give Hyde a well deserved win.

Ramsbottom United: Martin Fearon, Bradley Roscoe, Sam Gibson, Dean Stott (capt), Luke Thompson, David Young, Grant Spencer, Kevin Monteiro, Lee Gaskell, Max Hazeldine, Darrhyl Mason.  Subs: Mark McKay, Oliver Crankshaw (for Hazeldine 70mins), Damian Green (for Monteiro 54mins), Gareth Seddon (for Gibson 64mins), Jesse Arizie.

Hyde United: Russ Saunders, Ryan Ellison, Lawrence Hunter, Sam Fitton, Harry Coates, Kyle Harrison (capt), Chris Sutherland, Big Khamsuk, Leon Osborne, Peter Boyle, Jamal Branker.  Subs: Ayrton Bevins, Lewis Haydock (for Boyle 90mins), Louis Holt, Oliver Ford (for Branker 84mins), Joe Hardcastle.

Referee: Chris Porter (Leyland)

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