Ramsbottom United 2-2 Ashton United
Tuesday 6th August 2019
Report by Aaron Benson
Ramsbottom came from two nil down to draw 2-2 with fellow Non-League side Ashton in their final home pre-season game before the new season begins. Trailing by two goals at half time through a trialist and a Josh Wilson penalty, forwards Nic Evangelinos and Karl Jones earned the Rams a well-earned draw.
Summer signing Jones joined the returning Ruben Jerome, Jamie Rother, Eddie Moran, Tom Kennedy and Nic Evangelinos in the starting eleven. The remainder of the team were trialists.
Ashton made the brighter start and took the lead after just four minutes. From the midfield, a trialist took a shot from the edge of the area only for it to be turned over by the Rammy keeper, he again was an unnamed starter. From the resulting corner, Ashton’s number nine bundled the ball home from close range.
The Rams responded well and looked a real threat going forward. An Evangelinos effort was well saved by Jon Worsnop in the visiting goal, while fellow attacker Jerome and new signing Jones caused havoc for the Robins defence whenever they got hold of the ball.
The closest Rammy came to an equaliser came when a misdirected clearance by an opposition defender hit his own crossbar. Worsnop was certainly worried, backpedaling nervously towards his own goal.
Yet all of the home sides good work was wasted as the visitors doubled their lead in the 29th minute. Liam Tomsett was brought down in the penalty area and from the resulting spot-kick, striker Wilson converted, smashing his shot into the roof of the net.
The Robins did score again just before the break through Connor Hughes, although he was caught offside by the referee and linesman as he slid the ball home. Still, the visitors held a comfortable lead as the half time whistle blew.
Chris Willcock’s side, wearing their new Rosebridge home kit for the season, came out with a new lease of life after the break and halved the deficit in the 52nd minute. Jones was fouled as he made his way into the box, then from the same penalty spot as the first half, Rams number 11 Evangelinos sent Worsnop the wrong way.
Jones continued to cause all kinds of problems in the second half down the right had side, earning his just rewards with a goal of his own after 68 minutes. A deep cross from the left was spilled by the Ashton keeper, falling to the number 10 who cut inside before launching a missile like shot into the bottom left corner, bringing the men in blue level.
Both sides threatened to add a respective third to their tallies for the evening, yet they had to settle for a draw with Rammy restoring their pride after a battling second half comeback.
Manager Willcock saw the friendly as a game of two halves, sighting the second period of the match as a real positive, unlike the first which wanted improvement.
‘We were off the pace first half, with how we set up and the way we went about our business. The goals are disappointing, we made silly schoolboy errors. Our ball retention lacked quality but once we addressed it I thought we were very good, much more like usual selves.
Willcock also voiced his compliments towards goalscorer Jones. ‘He had his best game tonight, he will have so much more confidence out of this performance , especially in front of goal. First half he was a good outlet, the second a constant thorn in their side’.
The management staff begin their first full season in charge this coming year and are more than ready for the season ahead.
‘We’ll get through our last pre-season games and then prepare for Widnes next week. The excitement will build no doubt as the game approaches. The butterflies will be turning and the adrenaline will be pumping’.