Evo-Stik West Division

Saturday 20th October 2018


Attendance: 210

Report by Jon Haslam

Ramsbottom United hosted a struggling Glossop North End on a sunny Saturday afternoon at the Riverside looking to build on last weekends superb FA Trophy win at Trafford, the hosts showed two changes in the starting line up from a week ago with Joel Bembo-Leta and Jerome Wright replacing Luke Thompson and Khalil Osi-Efa respectively.

The visitors arrived with a newly installed management team making their debut in the dugout alongside the perhaps inevitable change of personnel with the Glossop line up showing four new recruits in their starting eleven.

The contest started at a frenetic pace with the away side fully playing their part but it would be the hosts that would make the breakthrough on just 7 minutes when Ruben Jerome outpaced the visitors defence down the right hand channel before sending a pinpoint cross from the byline onto the head of the unmarked Nialle Rodney who made no mistake from 6 yards to give the home debutant his second goal in two matches for the Rams and the hosts had the early lead they craved.

With the confidence of taking the lead so early in the contest the home side almost doubled their advantage when a deep cross found the head of Jerome Wright before the ball fell kindly to Ruben Jerome but the strikers effort hit the upright as the pressure began to mount on the Glossop rearguard. Minutes later recent recruit Rodney showed his skills when a spectacular overhead kick narrowly missed the target as the home side started the match very much in the ascendancy.

Glossop were forced into an early substitution midway through the first half when Boyle was replaced by former Ram Darryl Mason, as the half continued the visitors began to get more of a foothold in the contest as they looked to impress their new joint managers but it took till just after the half an hour mark for Sam Ashton to be tested when a well struck free kick from Thornton was comfortably held by the Rams stopper.

The home outfit responded with a swift counter attack but with Jack Higgs in a promising position to strike at goal the Rams midfielder fell to the ground injured, sadly the Rams midfielder was unable to continue and had to be replaced with Jamie Rother taking to the field, hopefully the injury isn’t a serious one for the talented midfielder.

The remainder of the half would be a fairly even, yet watchable contest with neither team seriously testing the oppositions goal keeper and as the first forty five minutes ended it was the Rams that held a single goal lead.

With no changes made at the break the home side began the second period with some attacking intent and created a flurry of chances in the early minutes of the half, firstly a superb cross from Kyle Jacobs found the head of the well placed Jerome but the header sailed wide of the target before efforts from distance from Ellison and Wright failed to test Saunders in the Glossop goal.

With the hour mark reached and the lead a slender one there was still a feeling that the Rams would need another goal to ensure the three points stayed in Lancashire as Glossop pushed forward looking for an equaliser, it is worth noting that before today Ramsbottom had only kept one clean sheet in the league this campaign so the lead was far from secure.

With the match finely poised it was the home side that almost increased their advantage when an inswinging free kick from the lively Evangelinos hit the crossbar before Kennedys fine cross found the head of Bembo-Leta whose header looked destined for the net before a superb flying save Saunders denied the Rams a second goal.

Midway through the second period Chris Willcock made his second change with Louis Rowe replacing the hardworking Ruben Jerome, minutes later the Rams grabbed a decisive second goal when the combination of Kennedy and Bembo-Leto worked perfectly when after a free kick was cleared Kennedys inviting left footed cross matched the run of the towering defenders run into the box and the debutants well placed header beat the diving Saunders to give Ramsbottom United a two goal lead much to the delight of the majority of the crowd of 210 who were treated to a spectacular somersault celebration from the former Glossop player.

The remainder of the match seemed to be played mainly in the Glossop half and despite obvious effort from the visitors they found it difficult to fashion any clear cut chances in no small part down to the excellent work done by the Rams industrious midfield and well marshalled defence protecting Sam Ashton superbly.

Indeed the Rams forward players created a number of goalscoring opportunities in the final 15 minutes with Evangelinos and Rother both denied in quick succession by some superb saves from Saunders before Glossops day got worse when central defender Thornley was perhaps harshly adjudged to have fouled Louis Rowe and the young defender received his second yellow card leading to the inevitable red card and the visitors had to play the final ten minutes with ten men.

As regular observers of Ramsbottom United this season would know, the side has lost two goal leads in two of the four previous outings after late comebacks away at Kendal and at home to Chasetown denied the Rams the three points, the fact that the remaining minutes were navigated without any serious threat to the hosts goal shows the progression this team is making.

Ramsbottom had the chance to increase their lead even further when Bembo-Leta’s goal bound header from a Kennedy corner was blocked before Rowe was denied with the final chance of the match when his effort from close range was blocked on the goal line.

As the final whistle blew Ramsbottom United had gained a well deserved three points, winning consecutive matches for the first time this season whilst rising to ninth place in the league standings and just two points outside the play off places on Saturday evening although defeat for Glossop dropped the side from Derbyshire to the foot of the table. In truth the margin of victory could and maybe should have been greater but supporters of Ramsbottom United hopefully can look forward to many more entertaining afternoons at the Riverside as this new look team continues to impress.

The Rams will be looking to extend their unbeaten run under the stewardship of Chris Willcock in their FA trophy tie at Frickley next Saturday as hopes of successful campaign at the HWRS gathers momentum.

Ramsbottom United:- Ashton, Kennedy, Jacobs, Moran ,Bembo-Leta, Ellison, Rodney, Higgs (Rother 39 mins), Jerome (Rowe 68mins), Evangelinos, Wright

Unused Subs- Thompson, Osi Efa, Gaskell

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