Ramsbottom United slipped to defeat at the hands of play off chasing Colwyn Bay on Tuesday evening at the HWRS.

Harry Williams Riverside Stadium
Tuesday 27 March 2018
Evo-Stik North
Attendance: 127

With eleven matches to play before the final day of the campaign on the 28th April the team sheet showed three alterations from the weekend defeat at South Shields with Luke Jordan making his home debut, Chris Rushworth taking up a wide midfield berth and also the return of Rams goal scoring legend Jon Robinson in place of Zehn Mohammed, Sam Madeley and leading scorer Jerome Wight respectively.

The contest almost began perfectly for Robinson when a superb piece of tight control and pass out to the right wing found Jordan whose excellent cross found the onrushing Robinson but the striker’s close range effort was well saved by Cooper in the Colwyn Bay goal to deny the veteran forward a fairytale return to the Riverside.

It was the Rams who broke the deadlock on just 4 minutes when a speculative Jamie Rother shot from over 25 yards flew over Cooper and sailed into the top right hand corner to give the home side the ideal start to the match.

Hopes were high that the hosts could build on the early strike as they looked to claim their third consecutive home win but the visitors began to settle into the contest with the lively Mulholland and Bartle looking an attacking threat for the away side.

With almost 30 minutes played the encounter would be turned completely on its head in a frustrating three minute spell in which Colwyn Bay firstly equalised when a strong run and pass from Hindle gave Bartle the chance to shoot and his low shot deflected past Ashton to level the contest at one goal each.

Parity would only last for a matter of minutes as a free kick was launched into the Rams box before Bartle was again involved playing a pass to central defender Grant whose outstretched foot sent the ball goalwards before hitting the inside of the far post and  dropping into the back of the net to give Colwyn Bay the lead.

The two quick-fire goals gave the away side the confidence to dominate the remainder of the first half of the match with some neat and assured passing whilst not allowing the Rams to create any clear goalscoring chances of their own as the first half drew to a conclusion with the visitors holding a 2-1 advantage.

Both sides remained unchanged as the second period began and it was the home side who created the first notable attacking moment with Robinson finding Greg Daniels but the shot from the edge of the penalty box bobbled wide of the target.

Ramsbottom United almost drew the scores level when an excellent surging run from the hard working Tom Brooks gave the midfielder a sight of goal but his stinging effort was matched by a terrific save from Cooper who tipped the ball over his crossbar.

It was the Rams that perhaps had their best period of the game as the hour mark was reached and again brought the visiting goalkeeper into action when an incisive pass sent Rushworth away towards goal but his goalbound shot was blocked as the home team threatened to level up the contest.

Robinson’s return to the Rams line up came to a conclusion on 73 minutes as Regan Jarrett replaced the striker and ten minutes later Harry Foulds was introduced in place of the hobbling Rushworth meaning the home side had two of their development squad representing the first team.

The game was beginning to open up as the clock ticked towards the final fifteen minutes and with the Rams quest for an equaliser becoming ever more desperate the away side looked to exploit the space the home side were inevitably going to leave.

The home sides attacking impetus led to a number of set pieces which regrettably the Rams couldn’t take advantage of whilst the Colwyn Bay defence stood firm against the hosts pursuit of a match levelling goal.

With time running out and as hard as both sides would try the respective goalkeepers would remain relatively untroubled for the remainder of the contest until Colwyn Bay substitute Rainford brought a smart save from Sam Ashton in the home goal with the visitors first shot on target in the second half on 93 minutes.

Sadly the final whistle brought a sixth home league defeat of the season for the Rams as the visitors rose three places to sit just one place outside the play offs whilst the home side remained in 16th position ahead of a hectic end to the campaign.

Rams Manager Mark Fell have the following to say after the final whistle.

“We had 20 bad minutes that have let us down. It was always going to be tough with injuries for 4 lads that played Saturday, plus Ryan Salmon was a late withdrawal, Phil Dean still out and Sam Madeley was ill.

We’ve been undone by two deflected goals, it’s sickening, it would be nice to win one that we don’t deserve! I can’t fault the lads effort – 5 games in 9 days is a massive ask and some are already being forced to play through the pain barrier but they’re not moaning, just getting on with it and hopefully will get the rub of the green Thursday night.”

Ramsbottom United:-  Ashton, Stott, Brownhill, Rother, Thompson, Ellison, Jordan, Brooks ,Robinson (Jarrett 73 mins), Daniels, Rushworth (Foulds 83 mins)   Subs not used – Wright, McGreavy

Thursday 29th March   Integro Cup Quarter Final        Atherton Collieries v RAMS        7.45
Saturday 31st March    The Evo-Stik North                    RAMS v Mossley                            3.00
Monday 2nd April                                                             Atherton Collieries v RAMS         3.00
Thursday 5th April                                                            RAMS v Ossett Albion                   7.45         




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