Pre Season Friendly
Tuesday 30th July
Ramsbottom United 2 Nantwich Town 2
Ramsbottom United continued their preparations for the upcoming league campaign with the visit of Bet Victor Premier Division outfit Nantwich Town on Tuesday evening, the starting eleven for the Rams showed seven of the clubs recently announced signings with four trialists completing the line up.
The opening ten minutes of the match unfolded with both teams creating efforts at goal but neither goal keeper was called into serious action as a header from the visiting number nine Malkin sailed wide of the target before home schemer Jamie Rother responded with a low drive which that failed to test Hall in the away teams goal.
Nantwich had perhaps the best opportunity to break the deadlock midway through the first period when ex Morecambe wide man Joe Mwasile raced clear of the home defence before sending his shot wide of the upright.
Ramsbottom responded with a couple of well struck efforts from Ruben Jerome, one of which almost caught out the visiting keeper but Hall clung on to the rasping attempt and with half an hour played the game remained goal less. The Dabbers responded again in an end to end affair by almost taking the lead moments later but the linesmans flag signalled an offside much to the relief of the home defence after a smart low save was tapped home by the lively Malkin.
Then on 32 minutes the home side edged into the lead when more good work again from Ruben Jerome set up new recruit Daniel Naidole who unleashed a well struck left footed effort from the edge of the penalty area which found the bottom corner leaving Hall helpless.
As an entertaining preseason match up reached the mid way point Ramsbottom United held a single goal advantage in what was an evenly matched forty five minutes.
The second half kicked off with Tom Kennedy being replaced by a familiar looking trialist, as The Dabbers started the half on the offensive and their efforts were rewarded just three minutes after the break when a pass from Harrison found the pacey Malkin whose well struck shot levelled proceedings.
With the hour point was reached of a very watchable contest the Rams had the chance to retake the lead when a clever through ball from the impressive Naidole found Ruben Jerome in the penalty area and an ill advised tackle by Langley sent the striker to the ground and the referee pointed to the penalty spot, the usually reliable spot kick taker Nic Evangelinos saw his penalty saved by Hall in the visitors goal who then produced a superb double save to deny the hosts a second goal.
As two evenly matched sides battled for supremacy the inevitable substitutions occurred with both managers looking for the balance of giving players preseason minutes alongside casting their eyes over potential new arrivals and the match perhaps surprisingly didn’t suffer as a spectacle as is sometimes the case as both outfits continued to create opportunities.
Nantwich fashioned a glorious chance to take the lead midway the second half but a free header from six yards failed to test the Rams goal keeper, within minutes the Rams regained the advantage when recent acquisition Karl Jones found some room in the penalty box and his low drive was touched onto the woodwork by Hall before one of the unnamed trailists reacted to drive the ball home from close range.
With the match entered the final fifteen minutes the Dabbers restored parity when a sweeping move down the left hand side saw a low cross converted by substitute Jamie Reed and despite numerous late goal scoring opportunities being spurned a very watchable match ended with four goals being split evenly.
As the final whistle sounded both managers would surely have learned more about their respective squads during a well contested match which again showed plenty of promise from a Ramsbottom United perspective as Chris Willcocks side completed their third preseason match in six days.