Ramsbottom United were back at the HWRS after a couple of away reverses looking to extend their 100% home league record against a high flying Prescot that had won 6 of their last 7 outings.
With the home side missing manager Mark Fell and striker Greg Daniels who had both been dismissed at Mossley 7 days earlier, this gave Tolani Omotola his first league start for the Rams up front whilst Sam Heathcote also came into the starting eleven for Marcus Poscha.
The opening stages began evenly with both sides attempting to gain the upper hand without either calling the opposing keeper into action until just after the quarter hour mark when Ben Richardson’s free kick was tipped over the bar by Cables stopper Burgess.
Visiting striker Owolabi was looking lively as he teased Brad Roscoe into a mistimed tackle resulting in a yellow card for the ever present defender. The match struggled to raise the pulse of a crowd of 260 as both sides found it difficult to keep possession for long enough to create much attacking threat.
Perhaps the best goal scoring chance arrived when good play from the home side saw Jamie Rother tee up Tom Brooks for a shot from the edge of the penalty area which flew wide of the visitors’ goal just after the half an hour mark.
The Rams took the lead on 36 minutes when a long ball from the defence split the Prescot defence and was seized upon by Omotola whose strength and pace got him free of the visitors’ rearguard before confidently shooting past Burgess for his second goal of the campaign.
Prescot responded with a couple of long range efforts which didn’t seriously test Martin Fearon in the home goal although with half time approaching neat play around the Rams penalty area from the visitors resulted in a shot which fizzed wide of the target much to the relief of the home crowd.
The half ended with the Rams holding a narrow lead and it was hoped that the late goal would be the catalyst for a more entertaining contest.
Jerome Wright was again looking a threat for the home side as a well struck free kick 5 minutes into the second half brought a fine save from the diving Cables custodian Burgess. The match was delicately poised as both sides found it difficult to create many clear goal scoring opportunities as the respective midfield players battled it out for supremacy.
Ramsbottom nearly scored a second goal on 69 minutes when a Wright corner found the head of Roscoe but his header bounced wide of the target .Prescot made the first change of the game midway through the second half with the Rams responding with Max Hazeldine replacing goal scorer Omotola as both benches sought to influence proceedings using their substitutes.
The remaining 15 minutes of the contest followed a similar pattern with what had gone before with numerous stoppages making good football problematic. A flurry of yellow cards punctuated the final stages of the match as Prescot battled in vain to test Fearon as the match meandered to a conclusion.
The final whistle blew without the home goal being put under too much pressure and the Rams had their fifth win in 5 home league matches and kept their second clean sheet of the season to register a very important victory and rise to 6th in the league table after the weekends fixtures.
It may be argued that this wasn’t perhaps the most entertaining of matches but the win is after all the most important thing and any team will need these types of results if they are to be successful. The Rams fought and scrapped for this positive result and again showed their team spirit and willingness to fight for each other as they claimed a valuable 3 points.
Ramsbottom United: Fearon, Heathcote, Brownhill, Stott, Thompson, Roscoe, Brooks, Rother, Richardson, Omotola (Hazeldine 68mins), Wright. Subs not used: Meaney, Moran, Poscha, Williams
COMING UP ……
Tuesday 26th September – Clitheroe v RAMSBOTTOM UNITED (7.45pm)
Saturday 30th September – RAMSBOTTOM UNITED v Bamber Bridge (3pm)