Bet Victor Northern Premier League North West Division

Saturday 11th January 2020

City of Liverpool 2 Ramsbottom United 5

Attendance: 382

Report by Aaron Benson

Iywrah Gooden scored a hat trick as Ramsbottom United continued their unbeaten run in fine style with a 5-2 win at the City of Liverpool. Goals from Gooden along with a Josh Hmami brace was enough to seal all three points for Chris Willcock’s side. Liam Hynes and Elliot Nevitt were on target for the City of Liverpool.

Four changes were made in the starting eleven that beat Bamber Bridge in the previous game. Tom Kennedy, Luke Thompson, Josh Hmami and Nic Evangelinos came into the side replacing Will Alberto, Ben Stanton, Greg Daniels and Daniel Naidole.

Ramsbottom flew straight out of the traps and could easily have led within the first minute. A Jamie Rother pass split the home defence playing a ball out wide to Gooden where the right-wingers cross found Nic Evangelinos. Despite making a dangerous run over to the back post, the number 11 was unable to convert firing an effort over the bar.

Despite the early blemish, the visitors didn’t let it affect them and were soon ahead in the 7th minute. A dangerous ball from Kennedy was flicked on towards Evangelinos who smuggled a pass for Gooden to score at the back post.

As the half continued the home side slowly grew into the game and equalised in the 24th minute as Rammy failed to deal with a dangerous free-kick from Kevin McEllin. The crossfield delivery was headed back across goal and converted by Liam Hynes. However, only six minutes later the Rams were ahead once again. An Evangelinos cutback was miskicked by Eddie Moran yet fortunately for the central midfielder Gooden picked up the loose ball and scored his second of the game.

The Purps continued to look dangerous from set-pieces and perhaps should have levelled a second time when Nevitt headed wide as Bradley Wade failed to claim the ball from a tricky cross. Reuben Jerome was denied a third goal following a terrific save from Wheeler at the other end, yet the keeper was to be beaten moments later when Josh Hmami scored from another Evangelinos cross. Hmami’s goal meant Rammy went into half time with a commanding lead.

The second half began with a possession exercise which featured a near miss from Gooden. Rother delivered another magnificent ball out onto the right where the number seven was unlucky not to score with an effort that flew over the bar.

In the 67th minute, it was the Rams turn to score from a corner where a Kennedy ball from the left was touched home by Hmami, who added his second of the afternoon to the scoreboard and sent his side on the way to another thumping victory.

To give the home side credit, Craig Robinson’s side never gave up and continued to create chances, no matter what the scoreline was. Following Hmami’s goal, substitute Jamie McDonald forced Wade into a save palming the ball out for a corner. From the resulting delivery, McDonald saw a further chance flash wide.

Gooden confirmed his hat-trick in the 85th minute with a smart finish past Wheeler, yet he had Moran to thank for a wonderful piece of midfield work in the buildup. Winning the ball off McEllin catching his opposite number off guard on the half-turn, Moran supplied a superb ball out to Gooden who finished the work off with ease ensuring the Rams would take all three points back down the East Lancashire Road.

There was a final goal in the game, however. The Purps gave some respectability to the scoreline in the dying moments. On the half-turn, Nevitt took advantage of a rare lapse in the Rams backline sliding the ball into an empty net.

The win kept up Rammy’s 100% record in 2020 and also extended their unbeaten run to 12 games in all competitions. Another away game brought another healthy number of travelling fans to Merseyside as Willcock’s side continued their promotion push. At the moment, they are an unstoppable force.

Ramsbottom United – Wade, Fishwick, Kennedy (capt), Moran, Thompson, Lugsden, Gooden, Rother, Hmani (Naidole 73’) , Evangelinos (Fawns 78’), Jerome (Jones 65’). Unused Subs: Baker, Hampson

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