BetVictor Northern Premier League North West Division
Saturday 14th September 2019
Ossett United 1 Ramsbottom United 1
Report by Jon Haslam
Ingfield was the destination on Saturday afternoon as Ramsbottom United made the foray into Yorkshire for the third consecutive away league match this term looking to continue their encouraging start to the campaign as the Rams took on Ossett United for the first time since the newly formed club was created in 2018.
The visitors showed one alteration from the midweek victory over Clitheroe with Khalil Osi-Efa replacing Eddie Moran in the Rams engine room and began the match positively winning a couple of early corner kicks, the second of which was poked wide by Chukwu.
Ossett then responded and proceeded to put the visiting defence under some pressure with the lively Andrew Ijiwole looking as if he could pose a threat to the Rams. The first effort on goal came the way of Ossett on seven minutes when Gregory found some room on the edge of the penalty area but the shot was easily gathered by Tom Stewart in the visitors goal.
With the quarter hour point almost reached it would be the hosts that opened the scoring when a well worked move found the tricky on loan Huddersfield youngster Ijiwole who skipped past full Sam Adetiloye before getting to the byline and delivering an inviting cross perfectly onto the head of the onrushing Nick Guest whose unmarked header from close range found the back of the net much to the delight of the home supporters in a healthy attendance of 419.
The goal appeared to give the hosts an injection of confidence and Ossett were about to enjoy a period of superiority in which the Rams defence was being tested both from a number of dangerous set pieces but also when Rams stopper Stewart was called on twice in quick succession to deny Harrison and Greaves with well struck efforts which were blocked at the near post.
With the sun beating down the mood of the Ramsbottom United supporters would be lifted just short of the half hour mark when a Tom Kennedy corner wasn’t dealt with by Souter in the home goal and the ball found its way to Teddy Perkins and the Burnley loanees well struck effort from an acute angle flew Souter and into the far corner to give the young defender his first goal for the club and a well deserved reward for his excellent performances since joining the Rams.
With parity restored the visitors then enjoyed their best period of the match with home stopper Souter called into action twice in quick succession as the keeper was forced to fling himself acrobatically to deny long range efforts from both Iyrwah Gooden and Mason Fawns respectively.
With a very watchable contest edging towards the break the Rams continued their positive end to the half when a cross come shot from Gooden glanced off the crossbar before shortly afterwards Nic Evangelinos broke down the left wing before beating his marker prior to sending a low shot which again the Ossett number one plunged down low to save.
As the half time whistle sounded with the scores level the opening period could be summed up as a half of two halves with Ossett having the better of things in the opening twenty five minutes but Ramsbottom finished the half the stronger and an even contest had a fair looking scoreline at the break.
The sides emerged unchanged and it would be the away side that began the second period where they had left off the first when the visitors won a free kick on the edge of the Ossett penalty box it what could be best described as Tom Kennedy territory, sadly the left backs free kick hit the defensive wall and failed to trouble the Ossett custodian.
With the contest having an open feel about it both sides would fashion efforts at goal in rapid succession as firstly a low effort from Gregory brought a fine low save by Stewart before a Kennedy cross found the head of Mason Fawns but the downward attempt was repelled at the near post by Souter in the home goal.
As the hour point was reached both managers decided on a double substitution apiece with Fawns and Gooden replaced by Josh Hmami and Kamar Moncrieffe for the visitors as they looked to continue their praiseworthy second half performances of late which has seen the side collect all their points to date without being in a winning position at the interval.
With the match fascinatingly poised the hosts began to exert some strain on the Rams defence as they looked to continue the goal scoring after a comprehensive FA Cup win in midweek when Ossett won by six goals to nil against Thornaby.
It would be the home team that threatened the next goal of the contest with goal scorer Guest firing an effort just wide and as the corner count again began to mount the Rams rearguard would be examined but the exemplary handling of Tom Stewart especially from set pieces took the pressure of the defence on numerous occasions.
As the encounter edged towards the final fifteen minutes Ossett were denying the Rams any attacking encouragement as the away side toiled to create any noteworthy efforts on goal with Chukwu looking increasingly isolated up front. Former Ramsbottom United loanee (albeit for just one game) Tom Greaves who had bagged himself four goals in midweek had been well shackled to this point by the Rams defence but the prolific forward tested Stewart from distance but the visiting custodian parried the shot to safety.
The remaining minutes were safely negotiated by the away side despite a late flurry of corners but resolute defending and some wayward finishing from Ossett kept the scores level and both sides had to settle for a point apiece which on the balance of the ninety minutes seemed to be a fair result.
Ramsbottom United closed the gap on leaders Workington by a point and thoughts now turn to the FA Cup tie away to National League North side Gateshead next Saturday with the Rams going into the eye-catching contest in good spirits.
Ramsbottom United- Stewart, Adetiloye, Kennedy (Capt), Osi-Efa, Perkins, Lugsden, Gooden (Moncrieffe 60 mins),Rother (Naidole 90 mins), Chukwu, Fawns (Hmami 60 mins), Evangelinos
Subs not used- Ozono, Bleau