Evo-Stik West Division
Tuesday 6th November 2018
PRESCOT CABLES 0 RAMSBOTTOM UNITED 4
Report by Jon Haslam
Ramsbottom United made their second visit to Merseyside in four days as they took on high flying Prescot Cables on Tuesday night.
After a comfortable looking 3-0 win against Skelmersdale at the weekend the Rams arrived at Volair Park with just one change to their starting line as Jamie Rother replaced Anthony Donaldson as Chris Willcocks’ charges went in search of their fifth consecutive victory against a Prescot outfit that had won all five of their home league games to date this season.
On a blustery evening the game began at a frantic pace with the hosts almost taking the lead in the opening minute when a strong run down the Rams right hand side gave leading scorer Almond a shot at goal but the effort narrowly crept wide of the far post to serve notice that the home side would provide a stern test to the visitors recent good run of form.
The opening exchanges of the contest suggested there may be goals and on nine minutes Ramsbottom United opened the goal scoring when a good passage of play through midfield lead to the ball being fed out to Nialle Rodney on the right edge of the Prescot penalty area, the tricky wide man cut inside full back Edgar before unleashing an explosive left footed effort that fizzed past Barnes in the home goal to register his fourth goal in five appearances and the Rams had taken the lead.
Moments later the lead was almost doubled when Nic Evangelinos cut inside and curled a superb effort towards the top corner before home keeper Barnes pulled off an excellent one handed flying save to keep the home side just one goal adrift.
With confidence coursing through the Rams team the home side were struggling to create any clear cut opportunities after their initial bright start, on twenty minutes the away side again almost added to their advantage when a Tom Kennedy corner perfectly found the head of Ryan Ellison but the ball ended up in Barnes midriff rather than the back of the net.
Ramsbottom United pushed forward confidently hoping to force home their superiority with the forward line causing Prescot numerous problems and with just over five minutes of the first half remaining the visitors doubled their lead when the tireless Ruben Jerome flicked the ball into the path of Evangelinos who outpaced his marker before sending a low shot underneath Barnes to give the recent arrival his second goal in two games.
As the referee blew his whistle the visitors were deservedly in front but had to be wary of a response from Prescot who wouldn’t want to surrender their 100% home record without a battle.
Perhaps predictably the hosts began the second period with renewed vigour and won a number of corner kicks which the Rams defence repelled superbly protecting Sam Ashton in determined fashion. much to the frustration of the home faithful.
Then on 56 minutes, a moment that those present will remember for a long time. The Rams won a free kick midway in their own half which goal keeper Sam Ashton struck with the sole intention of shooting towards goal and with the wind behind him the ball flew over his opposite number Barnes who was on the boundary of his own penalty area and amazingly the ball bounced over his Prescot counterpart and into the net to give the Rams a sensational three goal lead. With the goal keeper being mobbed by his team mates and Volair Park is a state of shock the Ramsbottom United management team suggested that the attempt at goal was something that had been discussed at the interval, without doubt a sensational moment to witness.
Before the crowd had time to catch their breath the visitors amazingly scored a fourth goal when good play down the Rams right hand channel found the impressive Jamie Rother free on the corner of the penalty area and the midfielders low drive found the back of the Cables net to give the away side an unassailable lead.
Chris Willock then made all three changes with Rodney, Evangelinos and Jerome being replaced by Donaldson, Rainford and Rowe respectively as the Rams took the opportunity to rest some players ahead of a busy schedule.
The remaining twenty minutes of the encounter were played with a back drop of disbelief about what the crowd of 253 had witnessed but the home side continued to push forward and gave the Rams rear guard a testing period of time with goal scoring hero Sam Ashton called upon to make a couple of fine saves, one in particular stands out when a wide free kick looked destined for the top corner but the Rams custodian acrobatically tipped the effort over the bar.
Incredibly the Rams almost grabbed a fifth goal when good link up play between the substitutes Rowe and Rainford gave the latter a great chance to open his account for his new club but his effort struck the post. This wouldn’t be the last of the chances as the hosts pushed forward hoping for a consolation goal but determined defending and a couple more routine saves from Ashton preserved the away sides clean sheet and in turn gave Ramsbottom their first league victory away from home on a Tuesday night since winning at Colne in October 2016.
As the final whistle brought an end to a outstanding team performance from the Rams in which it would be difficult and unfair to single out any particular individual for specific praise as all departments of the team performed superbly as the visitors ended Prescots impeccable home record and deservedly took the 3 points back to the Riverside Stadium with their fifth win on the trot, fourth consecutive clean sheet and a tally of fourteen goals scored in an unbeaten run now stretching to seven matches under Chris Willcock.
It is worth noting that the Rams have now not conceded a goal for 447 minutes whilst compiling a quite outstanding sequence of results and performances which has seen this hugely entertaining and very watchable team rise to fourth place in the league table.
Ramsbottom United:- Ashton, Kennedy, Jacobs, Rother ,Thompson, Ellison, Rodney (Rainford 68 mins), Bembo-Leto, Jerome (Rowe 59mins), Moran, Evangelinos (Donaldson 68 mins).
Unused Subs- Osi Efa