Evo Stik Premier West Division
Tuesday 21st August 2018
COLNE FC 1 RAMSBOTTOM UNITED 0
Report by Jon Haslam
Ramsbottom United made the trip up the M65 on Tuesday night to take on local rivals Colne with both teams looking to build on their opening day victories,the visitors starting line up showed two changes from the victory against Market Drayton with Thompson and Marie replacing Henry and Higgs
The contest started in disastrous fashion for the Rams as they fell behind with barely two minutes on the watch when a poor clearance was seized upon by the home attack and Curran got in behind the visitors defence before squaring the ball for Webb- Foster to tap the ball into an empty net to give Colne a lead they ultimately wouldn’t surrender.
The hosts encouraged by the early strike continued to have the upper hand in the opening stages as the away side struggled to get a foothold in the encounter against a youthful Colne outfit.
With almost 20 minutes played the Rams fashioned their first sight at goal when Deegan laid the ball off to Rother but the shot from just outside the area sailed over Burton in the Colne goal, Shortly afterwards a positive run and cross from the lively Brown found Deegan at the far post but the strikers tame header was easily dealt with by the home stopper as the visitors looked to restore parity.
As the first period wore on the Rams began to get more into the match whilst being aware that the home side looked a threat on the break with Curran and Lynch looking a particularly threat for the hosts.
Colne almost doubled their advantage just after the half an hour mark when a well directed set piece found the head of ex Ram Marcus Poscha but his unmarked header narrowly missed the target to the relief of the away side, moments later Ashton in the visitors goal was called on to pull off an excellent save at his near post from Curran to keep the home sides lead at one goal as Colne applied pressure to the visitors goal.
The remainder of the opening period was punctuated with a number of free kicks for both sides as Colnes relentless pressing didn’t give the Rams attacking players much time on the ball, with that said the visitors finished the half on the front foot with noteworthy attempts from Brown and Marie fractionally missing the target. With the last kick of the half an audacious free kick from Brown from fully 35 yards had Burton scrambling across his goal but as the whistle blew for half time Colne held the advantage.
Both teams appeared for the second half of this local derby unchanged and whilst the opening exchanges failed to provide any notable goal scoring attempts for either side Ramsbottom United managed to pick up five bookings within a 15 minute spell from the 51st minute as a competitive contest threatened to boil over with the official seemingly brandishing yellow cards for any slightly mistimed tackles.
With the hour mark reached the Rams began to get their wide players Jordan and Brown more involved as they looked for an equaliser but the Colne defence was holding firm, at the other end the home side almost doubled their lead when Ashton was forced into a fine save as the visitors struggled to clear a free kick .
As the contest entered the last quarter both sides created presentable chances, firstly the home side made progress down the left wing before a an inviting cross was headed over before a corner at then other end of the field caused alarm in the home defence and with the onrushing Rams players looking for a decisive touch the home defence managed to scramble the ball off the line and the chance had gone.
Manager Mark Fell made a substitution on 71 minutes with Gaskell replacing Marie and in truth the Rams continued to have the better of the possession and continued to push for an equaliser with Deegan flicking a header wide before skipper Stott fizzed a shot from the edge of the penalty area which narrowly missed the target with Burton looking beaten.
Colne continued to repel most of what the Rams attack would throw at them whilst looking to break on the counter attack as they preserved their single goal lead and despite the away sides desperate but ultimately fruitless pursuit of an equaliser the home side survived the remaining ten minutes or so without any major scares and took the 3 points in a hard fought tussle as the Rams slipped to a single goal loss.
As the final whistle blew a depleted Ramsbottom United side had paid the price for conceding an early goal as they fell to a defeat in their first away fixture of the campaign but will be hoping to respond on Saturday as they prepare for their FA Cup tie away at Kidsgrove Athletic.
Ramsbottom United:- Ashton, Ellison, Dean, Stott, Thompson, Downes, Jordan, Rother, Deegan, Marie (Gaskell 71 mins) Brown.
Subs not used- Robertson (GK), Henry, Foulds, Daniels