Ramsbottom United V Blackburn U23s

Saturday 21st July 2018

Pre-Season Friendly

Report by Damien Barlow

Plans and preperations continue for the Ramsbottom heirachy ahead of the new season as Blackburn U23s visit the Riverside as latest opponents in the pre season programme. The rams faithfull will be hoping for a strong performance from the home side, and to take some optimism and positives into the remainder of the warm up games.

The weather at kick off was overcast, with the tempreture a comfortable 19 degrees, which hopefuly lends itself to an energetic performance from both sides.

The line-ups show 3 trialists starting for Ramsbottom, with 3 making up more than half the 5 man bench. The most notable name in Blackburns team is right back Paul Caddis, who has over 280 league appearences to his name.

Line ups in full are as follows:-

Ramsbottom United Ashton, Henry, Dean, Brooks, Thompson, Trialist, Jordan, Trialist, Marie, Trialist, Wright. Subs Trialist, Trialist, Ellison, Trialist, Foulds.

Blackburn U23s Fisher, Caddis, Thompson, Tomlinson, Carter, Platt, Mols, Hardcastle, Mansell, Buckley, Paton. Subs Maglore, Albinson, Doyle, Evans, Simmonds, Butterworth, Grayson.

It is the home side that got the game started, with both teams keen to press and not allow time on the ball. The first corner of the game was awarded to Blackburn, which was dealt with from the defence and lines were cleared and the game settled down with Blackburn finding possession more easy to come accross, however a long clearence from the Rammy back line fell kindly to Luke Jordan out on the right touchline who advanced up the pitch threatening the final 3rd but was unlucky not to escape his man who had made up his ground and dispossessed the wide man, and had to settle for a throw in.

As the game approached the 20 minute mark, Blackburn were now dominating the ball, and territory, although this was all being done infront of the back 4 of Ramsbottom, with Sam Ashton only being called in action for menial tasks.

A free kick for the away side just before the half hour presented an opportunity to get the ball into the danger area. The Blackburn taker was faced with a 1 man wall of Jerome Wright. A good delivery was whipped in towards the 6 yard box and a free header for Lewis Mansell lacked power and direction to trouble the Rammy stopper and bounced clear of the back post. As the away side continued to turn the screw, a good interchange of passes down their left side resulted in a cross being delivered from the touchline, once again Ramsbottom held firm and cleared for a throw in. From the resulting throw, LB Lewis Thompson tried an ambitous effort from 20yards looking for the top corner, but only succeeeded in findng the stand behind the goal.

Just after the half hour, the breakthrough finally came for Blackburn. An initial chance had been wasted and turned away for a corner, which was taken quickly and as Ramsbottom were still organising themselves, the ball was worked away from Ashton who had tried to foil the quick thinking from Rovers and was left to Willem Tomlinson to calmy roll the ball into the back of the Ramsbottom goal. Ramsbottom 0 Rovers 1

The Blackburn goal seem to work in the home sides favour, as they started to enjoy their best period of possession, and created a couple of half chances on the final 3rd, the best one after some good play down the left, with a deep cross swung in asking the Rovers defence questions, was met firmly by the days number 10, unfortunatey as earlier in the game for Blackburn, the end product was headed wide of the back post. Just before the break Blackburn almost had a fortunate 2nd, as Sam Ashton’s attempted clearence clattered off the on-rushing striker but bounced clear of the goal. A 2 goal deficit at the half way point would have been very harsh on the home side, who had battled well and looked compact and disciplined. Blackburn just about deserve to be ahead at the whistle, but plenty of positives for Mark and Graham.

HT Rammy 0 Rovers 1

The second half started with a change in goal for Ramsbottom. Sam Ashton now taking up his place in the dug out and a trialist keeper taking the gloves. Things started in the same veign after the break as the first 45 had began, with Blackburn enjoying the lions share of the ball and forcing 2 or 3 corners, again taken short, but this time dealt with better, and all came to nothing for the visitors. On 50 minutes a cheap free kick was awarded to Rovers, as the referees assistant seemed to be swayed by the pantomime yelp from Stefan Mols, and more than 1 on the Rammy payroll let their feelings known. The resulting kick was dealt with without any drama and eased any further feelings of injustice.

A sub for the home team, saw a straight swap of trilaists and a change in partner for Dom Marie. As the hour mark came and went, Blackburn continued to search in veign for their 2nd goal, which would put clear daylight between the two sides, were guilty of squandering another good chance, after good approach play an eratic effort from Mansell sent the ball clearing the stand. A good interception from Ramsbottom number 6 for the day, freed up space infront of him to run into, and didnt need asking twice and progressed over half way and released a ball down the left for Wright to latch onto who sent the ball towards the penalty spot but was cleared by the Rovers defence.

The Rammy bench now indicated to Dom Marie that his shift was over, and the third trialist who started on the bench for the home side, was now gracing the playing surface.

Midway through the 2nd half and Rovers had their lead doubled, as Lewis Hardcastle found a yard of space just outside the area, took 1 touch to get the ball out of his feet and unleashed a low shot into the corner of the goal leaving the keeper with little or no chance of keeping his clean sheet in tact. Ramsbottom 0 Rovers 2

The home side wont get a better chance to score in the game without doing so. The ever industrious Tom Brooks hurried the centre back into relinquishing possession who picked out one of the days trialists who seemed to want too much time to pick his spot, giving the keeper time to regain his positional stance allowing him to parry the oncoming shot which fell firstly back to Brooks and then Wright. The latter rolling the ball just wide.

2 subs in quick succession from Mark Fell with Ryan Ellison now taking his place on the pitch replacing Luke Thompson, and Jerome Wright being replaced with Harry Foulds.

As the game entered the final stages, it was looking like Blackburn were more likely to score the next goal, and had great chance to do just that as Ben Paton wriggled free in the box and got his shot away, only to be foiled by the Rammy keeper. He didnt have to wait long though, as within a minute another chance was presented to him, with another cross from the left searching out anyone who wanted to get their name on the scoresheet, Paton, this time, was not to be denied, and his glancing header flashed passed the stand in keeper. Ramsbottom 0 Rovers 3.

No other points of interest followed the 3rd goal, and as the referee brought proceedings to a close, anyone connected with Ramsbottom can surely take plenty of positves from the game despite the scoreline. The shape was good, the effort and commitment was there to see. The trialists who took part all looked comfortable, and certainly looked like they could all offer something.

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