AFC Fylde versus Ramsbottom United
FA Trophy 3rd round replay
Tuesday 12th February 2019
Attendance 913 (234 Ramsbottom United fans)
Report by Damien Barlow
When a football manager doesn’t know where his teams next goal is coming from, it is usually down to a loss of form and a time of scant reward in front of goal. The same can definitely not be said for the current management team, with the playing staff netting 16 times in their last 3 outings with a healthy spread accross the team in finding the back of the opposition net, most recently the 5 in last weeks epic against tonights opponents, and while Fylde will fancy their own chances on home turf and free from the equilibrium of a claggy pitch, the Rams will back themselves to make this more than a 1 sided contest.
It was the Rams who got this replay underway, but the hosts wasted no time in trying to assert their authority on proceedings, working the ball well down the left, with Hardy and Crawford combining well with the latter getting to the by-line and sending in the games first cross, Ellison was on hand to deal with this and sent the ball away down Ramsbottoms right for Iyrwah Gooden to pounce on and somewhat catch Tunnicliffe by surprise, who unceremoniously clattered the hopeful attacker to the ground. With only minutes on the clock, that challenge brought the first booking.
The Ramsbottom number 7 was certainly keeping the home defence on their toes, and in quick succession won his side 2 more free kicks, both of which failed to cause any real issues for the home side. The game started to settle down a little more as the clock progressed over the quarter hour mark, with both teams becomming more comfortable on the ball, and taking their time in finding a pass. A couple of hesitant moments in the Fylde back line had the potential to let the visitors in on goal but were eventually dealt with, and with a break away of their own down the right, should have made more of the opportunity but an over hit cross again let the recovering defenders off easier than it should.
As the game developed, it was becomming evident the away side were not going to be fazed or intimidated by their unfamiliar surroundings, and were forcing Fylde into several rushed mis-placed passes, much to the dis-pleasure of the home faithful, and as the ball broke to Gooden in the box, he teased the ball back to Moran who in-turn sent the back out wide for the no7 to continue to ask questions of his markers who could on answer by illegally stopping him. A dangerous game some might say with the trusted left foot of Tom Kennedy only happy to oblige in delivering the set-piece re-starts into the Fylde box. A rather wild attempt on goal from Eddie Moran which was greeted with Oohs from the away fans gathered behind the goal and ironic cheers from the home ones, just showed again the growing confidence that was starting to put the away side on top, and looking the more dangerous and more likely to force any kind of attacking threat.
Iyrwah Gooden was certainly the games main threat and again he wriggled free from 2 Fylde defenders and headed towards the home sides area, calmly played the ball in field for Rother to run on to and strike the ball which looked goal bound but unfortunatley took a deflection off a relieved Byrne and Ramsbottom had to settle for a corner, which the unusually quiet Evangelinos was designated to take, he swung the ball towards the 6 yard line and the un-marked Kieran Lugsden sent the 234 away following into raptures and dreams that this could be another famous night in the clubs history.
27 minutes AFC Fylde 0 Ramsbottom United 1
The goal and lead confounded the visitors belief that they could cause another upset, and as another mis-placed pass was gifted to the impressive Gooden he was caught in more than 2 minds as he ran towards goal with Jerome up in support, a moment too many of indecision allowed Byrne to save his team from furthur blushes and quell the visitors hopes of an unassailable lead. One person inparticular who would be grateful for the half time whistle is Fylde full back Zaine Francis-Angol who Gooden has given the run-around throughout the first half, and a cheeky little back-heeled nut-meg was just too much, and with no attempt to hide his frustration dragged his tormentor to the ground, and received a yellow card for his troubles.
On 35 minutes Fylde were on level terms, as a cleverly worked move down the right freed Danny Rowe, and with the offside trap sprung simple lift of the ball over a stranded Sam Ashton and the Fylde number 9 wheeled away in thankfull mood.
35 minutes AFC Fylde 1 Ramsbottom United 1
With little more than 90 seconds left on the first half clock, the turnaround was complete, as Azerbaijan U19 Tasdemir weaved his magic down the left, his cross towards the back post was met by Jordan Tunniclifffe, who seemed to ghost in un seen by the static Kennedy, and a simple finish would see the Rams in deficit for the start of the second half.
44 minutes AFC Fylde 2 Ramsbottom United 1
As the second half started, Fylde seemed in determined mood not to let a lead slip again, and no doubt were reminded of last weeks capers during the half time chat, so when Tom Crawford released Tasdemir in the box on 50 minutes and his left footed effort curled away beyond the outstretched right glove of Ashton and gave the home side a 2 goal cushion, the next goal would be vital.
50 minutes AFC Fylde 3 Ramsbottom United 1
The third goal for Fylde seem to knock the Rams out of their stride for the first time in the contest, and now only half chances and sniffs around the final 3rd were as good as it got for the visitors, and with Fyldes game management seemingly better than last week, it was them who were now finding the pass easier to come by and space to work in. Ramsbottom made their first change with Jason Carey replacing Ruben Jerome on the hour mark.
As Fylde began to turn the screw and offer little if no incentive to their opponents for a way back in, Crawford showed lovely skill to wrong foot Rother and release Tasdemir in the box with only Ashton to beat but the keeper stood firm and parried his effort away for a corner.
A mazy run from Evangelinos gave the away following an excuse to excercise their vocal chords as he moved away from 2 close observors and although outnumbered managed to get his shot away, but only called Lynch into making a straight forward stop. A frustrated booking for Gooden seemed to sum up the second half, as he over zealously tried to dispossess Byrne who did seem to want an eternity on the ball, however, the referee deemed to enough to caution the Rammy man.
On 67 minutes the goalscoring was completed, as a searching ball forward found Rowe and Tasdemir clear of the Ramsbottom back line, and as Rowe took charge of the sitution he made no mistake in crashing in a 4th goal for his team and putting the game beyond doubt. Only a 3 goal recovery from the Rams now, would over shadow last weeks heroics.
67 minutes AFC Fylde 4 Ramsbottom United 1
A double substitution on 75 minutes saw Donaldson and Osi-Efa enter the fray at the expense of goal scorer Lugsden and the impressive Gooden.
As the final 10 minutes wore on, Fylde controlled possession and the tempo, and with their own introduction of Nick Haughton and youth product Sheldon Green, they insured Ramsbottom would have to work until the final whistle, and as the curtain did finally come down on a monumental FA Trophy adventure for the Rams, which has taken in 12 games and close to 1000 miles, everyone associated with the club can be proud of what has gone and excited with what is to come. As the players and management showed their appreciation to the travelling hoards at the end, its sure to be the Yaxley 9 and Weymouth 17 who will steal the bragging rights for years to come, as tales of this seasons cup run will be shared round many a pub table well into the future.
Final score AFC Fylde 4 Ramsbottom United 1
Team Ashton, Kennedy (c) Jacobs, Moran, Thompson, Ellison, Gooden (Osi-Efa), Rother, Jerome (Carey), Lugsden (Donaldson), Evangelinos.
Unused subs Parker, Hart.