Saturday 7th December 2019
Tadcaster Albion v Ramsbottom United
Bet Victor North West Division
Report by Damien Barlow
As the December programme got underway and we march headstrong towards another festive period, Ramsbottom travelled into neighbouring county to do battle with a Tadcaster team situated just outside the playoffs and within striking distance of their guests, however with a new found form over the last few games and with the goals starting to flow again, confidence around the HWRS was on the rise, and sights were set firmly on another 3 points.
An unchanged Ramsbottom took their positions on the pitch as Tadcaster got the game underway.
The opening fifteen minutes were typical of two teams in close proximity in the table, which was not conducive for free flowing football. Both sets of midfield players already showing they would not be settling for second best, and with any ball forward being easily mopped up by comfortable defences, neither attacking line were having much opportunity to shine. Only a cleared Rams corner on seven minutes offered any sniff of goal mouth action.
The home crowd had to wait for the twenty minute mark for their team to register an opening. Good work down the left from Chimalilo found Lebrun-M’beke unmarked in the D but his shot was as wayward as you’ll see.
The first bit of excitement shortly followed as Alfie Beestin moved forward through the centre circle only to be nonchalantly tripped from Jerome. His name was taken and fine will be on its way to him for his troubles. The resulting free kick presented the Brewers with their second half chance with number 3 Jack Walter’s finding space down the left but his powerful effort from a narrow angle flew agonisingly over the bar.
The first attempt on target finally arrived on twenty five minutes, after good quick play allowed Gooden to send a ball towards the edge of the area for Moran to help on which fell perfectly for Rother to smash a first time volley which Burn was more than equal to and the danger was averted by the home side.
The breakthrough did, unsurprisingly arrive on the half hour. Effective wing play from Dos Santos freed him from Kennedy and his low cross evaded more than one, and Lebrun-Mbeke couldn’t believe his luck as his scuffed shot crept into the far corner beyond the desperate lunge of Stewart.
30 minutes Tadcaster 1 Ramsbottom 0
The closing stages of the half continued in the same vein with little attacking options, so a second goal before the break seemed unlikely, however, after a hopeful ball in from the right was left by Fishwick, Chimalilo had the simple task of lifting the ball over Stewart and sent the hosts in with an unnasilable 2-0 lead at the interval.
45+1 minutes Tadcaster 2 Ramsbottom 0
Half time Tadcaster 2 Ramsbottom 0
The second half started with no changes from either side. The feeling around the ground was the next goal would be hugely important, and Ramsbottom set about making sure it was theirs. A little more tempo and controlled possession created a couple of half chances for the visitors, of which one would result in a corner on fifty minutes, and when Richie Baker climbed the highest to deftly flick home Tom Kennedys inswinger, the rams did have their goal and with the deficit halved and almost a full half to play, this was game on.
A Tadcaster free kick moments later almost restored the two goal cushion as Leburn-Mbeke sent his header clear of the Rams goal. With the game finely balanced and Ramsbottom showing more authority in the search for an equaliser, the brewers were starting to concede more freekicks, non more so than Ioan Evans dragging Jerome to the ground on half way preventing a dangerous breakaway. The afore mentioned challenge resulted in the games third booking of the day.
Nic Evangelinos thought he had levelled things up on sixty five minutes, only to have his joy dashed by the assistant referees flag. Ruben Jerome had strayed in his attempts to follow up a Baker free kick which had been knocked back accross the box by Thompson for Rother to try his luck from outside the area again. As the half wore on Ramsbottom were growing as was the pressure on the hosts backline. Eddie Moran, was again unlucky as his shot rattled back off the upright following more good play down the left from Kennedy and Evangelinos.
In a bold attempt to really take a stranglehold on the game, Chris Wilcock made a triple substituion on sixty seven, replacing Rother, Moran and Jerome with Naidole, Hmami and Fawns, with the latter taking up a wide right berth and Gooden switching to the left and Evangelinos through the middle. More frustration from the home side saw Wiles cautioned for another seemingly needless challange, a pattern that was becomming more repetative as Ramsbottoms energy and confidence was beginning to restrict the air supply to Tadcaster.
With three quarters of the game played, Ramsbottom did deservedly level things up. powerful play from Thompson released Reece Fishwick who inturn layed the ball into Evangelinos’ path, who expertly teed up recently introduced Naidole who made no mistake, rifling a low shot that was to hot for Burn who let the ball through his hands.
Tadcaster 2 Ramsbottom 2
The closing moments became more frantic and open than the previous eighty or so minutes. Ramsbottom continuing their push for what seemed forty five minutes ago, unlikely, but now very possible. Tadcaster trying to respond in applying their own pressure, resulted in passes being rushed, players being hurried as both camps would feel hard done to should they come away empty handed. Ramsbottom had two chances in stoppage time to take the honours. Firstly a free kick in a central position after Fishwich had been felled, was sent over by Naidole. This was followed by Gooden, who found himself back on the right managed to work a cross low and hard towrads the near post, and when Burn’s handling again looked questionable, Evangelinos just wasnt quick enough to react, and lines were cleared.
As the referee brought the game to an end, two good, hardworking teams shared the spoils. After a largely uneventful first half, the second livened up, but with neither being able to deliver a ‘coup de grace’, a point a piece most would say was a fair outcome.
Full Time – Tadcaster 2 Ramsbottom 2
Team: Stewart, Fishwick, Kennedy(c), Moran, Thompson, Lugsden, Gooden, Rother, Jerome, Baker, Evangelinos.
Subs: Fawns, Hmami, Naidole. Not used Jones, Hampson.