Report by Aaron Benson

The Rams made two changes to the side beaten against Clitheroe in the Integro Cup. Dean Stott and Ben Deegan were replaced in the starting eleven by Lee Gaskell and Jack Higgs.

The home side were looking to get back to winning ways in the league after the 4-0 thumping at Leek Town the previous Saturday. Yet the Rams were behind within seconds after kick off as Clitheroe put the visitors ahead after just two minutes.

Clitheroe striker Max Hazeldine headed home from a near post corner peeling away from the Ramsbottom defenders to give the away side a lightning quick lead, handing The Rams a nightmare start. However the home side responded in spirited fashion and were soon level shortly after. Clitheroe keeper Cameron Terry spilled a cross from the left wing only for Rams midfielder Jamie Rother to fire in from close range. to bring the sides level.

The home side continued to press on and could easily have tuned the tables straight from the kick off. Lee Gaskell won the ball on the press yet his pass to Rother was short and meant Clitheroe could clear their lines as the shot was blocked.

The chances kept coming for Rammy with Nathan Brown winning a penalty on twenty three minutes. His trickery won a twelve yard kick yet striker Gaskell failed to convert from the spot.

Rammy were left to rue their missed chances as they conceded their second goal in the sloppiest of ways. A Lewis Sugden corner ran to an unmarked Jay Jefferies whose shot flew past Sam Ashton in the Rammy goal and gave Clitheroe the lead heading into half time.

HT: Rams 1-2 Clitheroe

It was a case of Deja vu for Ramsbottom as the second period begun. Clitheroe score their third goal less than ten minutes into the second half as Rammy were left with a mountain to climb.

Substitute James Sloane snuck between the Rammy defenders and met a wide ball with pinpoint accuracy to give Clitheroe a commanding 3-1 lead.

However the home side never went away and Jack Higgs could have halved the deficit but could only fire over the bar.

Yet it wasn’t long before Higgs got on the scoresheet to get Rammy back in the game. Higgs somehow managed to get the ball over the line as a goalmouth scramble took place in around the six yard area. Thompson should have drew Rammy level when he found himself unmarked in the box, however his shot went flying wide.

But Rammy’s never say die spirit drew them level in the eightieth minute. Jerome Wright and Philip Dean combined with great affect on the left to send a ball causing havoc in the goalmouth. Tom Brooks was the eventual benefiter taking a rather ‘smash and grab’ approach smashing the ball home from close range.

Both teams had chances to win the game with the game on a knife edge. Clitheroe sub Antoine Recizac turned Dean yet his shot was straight at Ashton. At the other end, Lee Gaskell saw two headers come to nothing. In the end, a point apiece was the end result.

Despite more frustration in front go goal, Mark Fell took the positives from a nail-biting draw.

‘From being three one down it’s probably a point gained. We showed a lot of spirit, the players showed heart and desire to get themselves out of a whole.

‘We need to be better in both boxes. We’ve been working on moving the ball quicker, we got in a couple of times which was great’.

‘We still feel like we’ve been beat, The manner in the goals we conceded from where we are, we wanted to do some damage in the top half, we just couldn’t quite do so today’.

FT: Ramsbottom 3-3 Clitheroe

Team: Ashton, Dean, Brooks, Kennedy, Thompson, Downes, Brown, Rother, Gaskell, Higgs (Deegan 79′), Wright

Unused subs: Foulds, Stott, Robertson

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