Ramsbottom United took on Mossley on Saturday afternoon looking to turn around their fortunes after three defeats in a week which had tested the depth and strength of Mark Fell’s squad.
RAMSBOTTOM UNITED 2 MOSSLEY AFC 4
Harry Williams Riverside Stadium
Saturday 31 March 2018
The home side showed three changes to the League Cup quarter final loss at Atherton less than 48 hours earlier with Lee Gaskell, Chris Rushworth and Sam Madeley starting in place of Greg Daniels, Tom Brooks and Liam Brownhill.
The contest started fairly evenly and with the away side having recently had a change of management the Mossley players were looking to impress their new managers and began confidently being the first team to register a shot on goal but home stopper Sam Ashton was equal to the effort.
Ramsbottom United who had Lee Gaskell and Jon Robinson reunited in the forward line for the first time since they played in a league game at Matlock at the end of the 2014/15 season, but were finding it difficult to break down a well organised Mossley defence meaning the Rams goal scoring legends were forced to feed off scraps as they looked for the breakthrough.
It would be the away side that would take control of the contest with two goals in a four minute spell just after the thirty minute mark which would stun the Rams.
The opening goal was the result of a long pass which caught out the home defence and saw Mossley striker Mike Fish latch onto the ball before striding towards the edge of the penalty area and sending a confident low strike past the despairing dive of Ashton to give the away side the lead.
Less than five minutes later the away side doubled their advantage when Mossley kept possession around the penalty box before an incisive pass found Keogh who rounded Ashton and slotted into an unguarded net to give the away side a two goal advantage they would take into the break.
Minutes before the half time whistle the Rams created perhaps their best attacking moment of a disappointing first period when Jordan turned his marker only for his shot to clear the crossbar without troubling visiting stopper Spencer.
As the teams returned unchanged for the second 45 minutes the Rams needed a quick start as they looked to reduce the deficit and almost got some reward just 30 seconds into the half when a left wing cross found Robinsons head but the knockdown was blasted over the bar by Rushworth.
Both teams traded chances in the early exchanges of the second period and indeed Mossley almost wrapped up the game when Latham found his way into the Rams box before his wayward shot failed to trouble Ashton.
As the hour mark approached the hosts would halve the lead when the ball was worked from the left hand side of the pitch to Stott on the edge of the area and his well struck shot beat Spencer to give and the home sides captain his first goal of the season and the Rams appeared to have a way back into the match.
Unfortunately the lead would last just two minutes as a cross to the far post was cleverly headed down by Fish and the onrushing Tuohy finished from close range to extend the lead back to a two goal advantage for the away side.
The Rams made their first substitution of the match almost immediately as Regan Jarrett replaced Madeley and to the home sides credit they kept pushing forward looking for a way back into the contest with Phil Dean becoming more of a threat from his full back position.
Indeed Dean produced a flash of brilliance to light up the encounter when his superb weaving run took him past three Mossley players before the wide-man unleashed a left footed shot that beat Spencer but hit the post before being scrambled to safety.
An entertaining contest for the neutral sparkled into life again on 70 minutes Luke Jordan received an incisive pass from Robinson which took the youngster into the penalty area before sending a powerful shot inside the post which flashed past Spencer to register the Morecambe loanee’s first goal in a Rams shirt and the lead was reduced to a single goal.
The Ramsbottom United supporters would have the ultimate feeling of deja vu when less than five minutes after reducing the arrears Mossley would score the sixth and final goal of an action packed afternoon when a right wing cross was flicked on to visiting skipper Dean who planted his header into the net to settle the argument once and for all.
As the match drifted towards a conclusion Harry Foulds replaced the hard working Jamie Rother who deserved the round of applause he received after again showing his commitment to the cause with another spirited and tireless display.
In truth all the Rams players that have played all four games in seven days deserve recognition for the efforts in what is proving to be a tough period for all concerned.
The home side had a chance to have the final say of an action packed afternoon when a poor goal kick from Spencer fell at the feet of Robinson but the striker’s effort sailed wide of the target.
As the final whistle blew Mossley could celebrate only their second league victory away from home this season and in turn leapfrog their opponents in the league table whilst inflicting a fourth consecutive defeat on Ramsbottom United ahead of some difficult fixtures in the weeks that follow.
Ramsbottom United:- Ashton, Stott, Dean, Rother (Foulds 84 mins), Thompson, Ellison, Jordan, Rushworth ,Robinson, Gaskell, Madeley (Jarrett 65 mins) Subs not used – Wright, Brownhill, Stinca
Monday 2nd April The Evo-Stik North Atherton Colls v RAMS 3.00
Thursday 5th April “ RAMS v Ossett Albion 7.45
Saturday 7th April “ RAMS v Clitheroe 3.00
FRANK CROOK’S PICTURES FROM THE GAME