Barnoldswick Town 4-5 Ramsbottom United
Tuesday 11th August 2020
Kick-off 7.30 pm
Report by Adam Clark
It’s been 150 days since the Rams last stepped on a football pitch and they opened their pre-season campaign against North West Counties side Barnoldswick Town.
Unfortunately due to the COVID-19 restrictions, the game was played behind closed doors without fans.
As with this time of the season, players come and go. Chris Willcock had a squad of around 20 players available to him for the game, including Tom Kennedy, Ben Hampson, Richie Baker & Mason Fawns.
Rammy had the first chance of the game on 8 minutes when one of the trialists had a free kick on the edge of the box, his effort was held well by the Barnoldswick goalkeeper.
Four minutes later the Rams were on the attack again, this time another trialists cross landed to Mason Fawns who shot went just wide of the post.
The attacks kept coming, on 22 minutes a shot from one of the trialists was deflected wide for a corner. The resulting corner came to nothing.
Two minutes later, the Rams were ahead as a trialist opened the scoring, his shot from inside the box, ended up to the keepers left, a well-deserved goal for the Rams.
Shortly after, the impressive trialist on the right-wing crossed for the scorer of the first goal but he was caught just offside.
With 9 minutes to go to half time, Barnoldswick were level. A corner from the right landed on the edge of the box and No 7 smartly volleyed into the bottom left corner of the Rams net.
Just before half-time, Mason Fawns took a shot from the edge of the box that flewwide of the right-hand post.
The second half, with players swapped on a regular basis by both sides, produced a veritable goalfest.
Within 2 minutes of the restart, the Rams were back ahead, one of the Rams Trialists was the scorer from just inside the area and just seven minutes the latter the Rams added a third.
Barnoldswick’s Number 7 was certainly on form as he pulled a goal back for the home side just after the hour mark.
The second half keeper for the Rams was called into action twice in three minutes as first on 74 minutes, he tipped a shot wide for a corner and second a long-range shot was palmed wide for a corner that was defended well.
The Rams scored again with 11 minutes to go, as another trialist shot went in off the left-hand post.
The hosts then got themselves on a late surge scoring two goals in two minutes to bring the game level to 4-4.
But just before added time, the Rams No 14 scored the winner via a deflection from a Town defender and the inside of the post to gain the Rams their first pre-season victory.
Next up for Rammy is a trip to neighbours Radcliffe FC on Saturday, again under FA rules, this game will be played behind closed doors, as will the home fixture on Tuesday against Hyde United.
The league season is scheduled to begin on September 19th, but the Northern Premier League has stated that if there is still in place the regulation from the Government and the FA that paying supporters are not allowed inside grounds, then the start will be delayed.