It was 6th against 4th as Ramsbottom United entertained Bamber Bridge at The Riverside with the home side making 4 changes from the midweek loss to Clitheroe, the most notable being Danny Taberner replacing Martin Fearon in the home sides goal and Max Hazeldine coming into the starting line up for the unavailable Tom Greaves.
The early stages were evenly matched with both sides looking to gain the upper hand and it was the visitors who had the best chance of the contest on 7 minutes when the lively Linney tested Taberner with a shot which the Rams keeper palmed to safety. Bamber Bridge tested the home stopper again ten minutes later when a header from Forbes again brought a decent save from Taberner as the visitors looked to improve on their excellent recent run of 4 wins in their last 5 league games.
Unfortunately on 25 minutes the Rams suffered an injury when forward Hazedine left the field on a stretcher with a suspected hamstring injury after going to ground deep in the Bamber Bridge half. Grant Spencer replaced the stricken forward for his first action of the season following an injury sustained in preseason.
Indeed Spencer was involved in the home sides best moment of the match just after the half hour when he sent over a free kick to the far post which skipper Thompson headed back across goal but no Rams player was able to get a decisive touch in front of a gaping goal.
The away side responded with a couple of efforts of their own as Linney’s strong run and shot again called Taberner into action to keep the scoreline blank. As half time approached the Rams put together a flowing move involving Spencer and Daniels before Ben Richardson’s shot from the edge of the box was comfortably saved by Rigby.
The first half ended goalless as the visitors perhaps created the better goal scoring chances although both sides could justifiably argue they could have been in the lead on 45 minutes.
With the second period about to begin Brad Roscoe replaced Marcus Poscha at full back as the Rams searched for their sixth consecutive home league victory this season.
Both sides were attempting to gain a foothold in the game without either team seriously testing the opposition goalkeeper as the defences appeared to be top in their respective battles against their opposing attacking players. As the match approached the hour mark in looked increasingly likely that one goal may claim the 3 points on offer.
The Rams came close to gaining the lead on 61 minutes when a Jerome Wright free kick clipped the top of the Bamber Bridge crossbar with Rigby beaten. Indeed the home side thought they had broken the deadlock midway through the second half when a superb through ball from Spencer found Jerome Wright who ran towards the penalty box before crossing to Richardson who finished with aplomb before the celebrations were cut short by a contentious offside flag.
With Ramsbottom looking to have the attacking momentum Eddie Moran and Greg Daniels fired in shots towards goal without success as they were perhaps having their best period of a hard fought contest. Carsley responded with a strong run which took the visiting forward past two home defenders before a ball across the six yard line was cleared to safety to the relief of the home crowd.
With ten minutes of the match remaining a goal did come but sadly it was for the high flying visitors when a penetrating run down the left hand side into the penalty area from Waddecar before pulling the back to the onrushing substitute Boyd whose low drive beat Taberner to give Bamber Bridge a lead they would ultimately not surrender.
The home side created a couple more chances with Moran shooting wide from the edge of the area whilst a late Spencer free kick from a similar position sailed inches wide with Rigby stranded as the Rams unluckily slipped to their 4th loss in 5 games and for the first time this season failed to find the back of the opponents net at home whilst surrendering their 100% home league record.
Manager Mark Fell summarised the match as below.
“I thought a draw would probably have been fair, they shaded the 1st half, we shaded the 2nd. But if you don’t take your chances when on top you are susceptible to the sucker punch. Again we’ve hit the post, had a perfectly good goal disallowed and had for me a penalty turned down. Fact is we can’t keep saying we’re ‘unlucky’ , we can’t sulk and feel sorry for ourselves, we go again on Tuesday night”
Ramsbottom United: Taberner, Poscha (Roscoe 45mins), Brownhill, Moran, Thompson, Heathcote, Richardson (Webb 86mins), Brooks,Hazeldine (Spencer 26mins), Daniels,Wright. Subs not used: Meaney,Rother
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