Nic Evangelinos scored all four goals as Ramsbottom United took a huge step towards guaranteeing themselves a play-off spot come the end of the season, seeing off Droylsden 4-0 in a routine win for Chris Willcock’s side.
Just the one change was made to the side that beat Runcorn the previous Saturday. Spencer Harris was replaced by Kieran Lugdsen in the starting eleven.
The Rams made a lightning quick start and were soon ahead after just six minutes. Jamie Rainford was brought down by Droylsden keeper Chris Thompson, leaving Nic Evangelinos to convert the well-taken 12 yard spot kick, sending Thompson the wrong way.
Clearly enjoying their football in the spring sun, Rammy scored a second soon after. Eddie Moran delivered a pin point cross from out right, finding Evangelinos who after seeing his initial attempt blocked by the wood work, smashed home the rebound from close range.
After the early blitz from the home side, they were nearly pegged back as Droylsden were denied a goal of their own. A Chris Rigby free kick was spilled by Sam Ashton as the ball tricked over the line, only for referee Matt Scholes and his officials to call a foul on the Rammy keeper, retaining Ramsbottom’s two goal advantage.
Yet it wasn’t long before Evangelinos completed his hat trick, in a grand total of eleven minutes. He did it in style, his dead ball free kick saw the ball bounce off and under the bar, leaving the visitors playing a damage limitation exercise for the remainder of the afternoon.
Numerous opportunities were missed to add a fourth shortly following the Evangelinos hat trick. Rainford fired wide in a one on one, latching onto a cross field ball from Eddie Moran. Tom Kennedy had a set piece attempt beaten away by Thompson and Rainford saw another effort blocked by the men in red as the home side went back to the dressing room three nil to the good.
After a thrilling opening first half, The Rams could have been forgiven for their slow start to the second half. Kieran Lugsden was brought down in the box as the home side looked for a second penalty, before Ruben Jerome was unlucky not to add his name to the score sheet, his low cross turned over the bar by a Droylsden centre back.
Yet soon after the home fans had something to cheer about as Rammy won themselves a second penalty. Lugsden was brought down again by Thompson and Evangelinos tucked his second penalty home again sending the keeper the wrong way.
As the afternoon drew to its conclusion the home side could even have had a third penalty, but substitute Iyrwah Gooden’s loud appeals were quickly waved away. Down the other end The Bloods could have earned a consolation when Sam Ashton palmed away a Liam Caddick effort, then from the same attempt Domaine Rouse sliced wide in front of an open goal.
Ruben Jerome should have added a fifth too. Turning past his marker and then the keeper, the number seven found the angle too tight to add what would have been a well-deserved fifth.
Manager Chris Willcock was most impressed with his sides first half display, but believed the second half performance warranted some improvement.
“First half we were very good, back to our best from a creativity point of view, created a number of good chances and scored some very good goals.
“Second half we took the foot off the gas and didn’t play with the intensity I would have liked.
“I would’ve liked that intensity to have still been there over the 90 minutes, I didn’t enjoy the second half as much”. On Evangelinos and in particular Rammy’s front three, Willcock was again full of praise.
“I thought Jamie(Rainford) and Nico we’re brilliant today, both recently have played very well. Ruben Jerome has been getting back to his best over the past few games too.
“It’s nice not to rely on just one individual for goals. The front three have a good goal tally between them. To get the ball down as and when we can was my intention when I arrived, getting the ball out wide and creating plenty of chances.
“I’ve only been here since October and we’ve had a brilliant run. When I came into the club we were in 18th place, nobody was talking about Ramsbottom for promotion. Since I’ve been here, home and away, the lads have been fantastic”.
Ramsbottom team: Ashton, Kennedy, Jacobs, Moran, Thompson, Kelvin Lugsden, Jerome, Rother (Donaldson 70’ mins) , Rainford (Gooden 63’ mins), Kieran Lugsden, Evangelinos (Jack Kay 73’ mins)
Un-used Subs: Bembo-Leta, Schofield