There are not many dull moments or poor matches to be had at the HWRS Stadium at the moment.  If you want to see open enterprising and honest football that is the place to be so it was a bit of a disappointment that the attendance at this riveting match was only just over 200 (four of whom where from Texas).

Harry Williams Riverside Stadium
Saturday 5 November 2016
Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Division One North
Attendance: 201

The Rams deserve better than that (bigger crowds not less Texans) and the former stalwarts who, in no small numbers,  have deserted the club over the last couple of seasons bearing any number of grudges and excuses, real or imaginary but certainly exaggerated, might think about burying their discontent and giving the team another go.

That is not to say that they will see a winning team every week because quite frankly the style of football the Rams are playing is high risk – it is 90% intuitive and the other half is instinctive. When it comes off it is wonderful to behold but there will be days when things do not quite click. But if people do not want to follow the Rams nobody is going to stop them.

After the crushing disappointment of the loss of two points on Tuesday the game on Saturday was almost like dejavu all over again. The Rams dominated the first half in terms of possession and territory but if anything their young keeper Charlie Albinson who was assured and calm in his handling and distribution throughout was the busier of the two keepers. In fact Liam Flynn in the nets for the visitors did not have to touch the ball apart from taking goal kicks for the first 20 minutes and when the Rams took the lead on 39 minutes it was from only their second clear attempt on goal. Gareth Seddon had seen a header cleared off the line but then made no mistake when put clear by a quick free kick from Grant Spencer neatly sliding the ball between the legs of the keeper.

The Rams were unchanged for the third consecutive match and it is clear that the managers now know what there best starting XI is. Consistency in selection is helping and the team awareness and interaction between various units in it is building game on game. There are of course still improvements to be made – taking too many touches at the cost of avoidable offsides is one of them and the other is an inability to start the second half on the front foot. For that reason the lead only lasted three minutes into the second period – Matty Burke’s snap shot from 25 yards flying past a startled Albinson.

On this occasion that setback roused the Rams and just three minutes later a neat one-two between Ryan Salmon and Seddon on the corner of the box sent the big striker clear. From a narrow angle he could not quite clear Flynn’s dive at his feet. The ball though spun out and back to Seddon who turned smartly and sent a shot swerving into the roof of the net.

Closing a game down is not within the Rams skill set and the next 20 minutes saw nip and tuck football with Mossley having the better of it until, with 20 minutes left, Josh Askew, as good a left back as there has been for the Rams in quite some years, produced what should have been the defining moment of the match – and was certainly the best moment. Quick into the tackle he won possession deep in his own half and with the Mossleymidfield and full back committed forward set off on a run of Forrest Gump proportions. Ignoring or not being aware of supporting players to his right he ploughed forward at pace. Stumblingmore than oncehe reached the box with just the keeper to beat but then seemed to have lost the opportunity with a heavy last touch. That though had the effect of unbalancing the keeper allowing him to slide the ball in. Brilliant!

Then it was time for deja to be viewed. Albinson did well to claw away a downward header at the far post but with just nine minutes left his dive to clear another header was thwarted by a touch from Mason Duffy which lifted the ball over him and in. For the next five minutes the Rams were shaky and thoughts were turning to another setback dragged from the jaws of victory until Askew again found himself wide up front and sent a pinpoint cross to the far post. There Ryan Salmon leaped as his name suggests, hung in the air, arched his back, stiffened his neck muscles, twisted his head around the ball and sent his header low inside the post.

This sent the fans and presumably the Texans home happy and excited.

Ramsbottom United: Charlie Albinson, Bradley Roscoe, Josh Askew, Alex Meaney, Luke Thompson, Paul Linwood, Damian Green, Grant Spencer, Ryan Salmon, Gareth Seddon, Matthew Atherton.  Subs: Dean Stott (for Spencer 87mins), Oliver Crankshaw (for Green 74mins), Sam Freakes (for Salmon 90mins), Nathanial Taylor, Jake Cliffe.

Mossley: Liam Flynn, Kyle Harrison, John Bennett, Logan Jeffs, Tom Dean, Kyle McGonigle, Matty Burke, Dale Jennings, Jordan Bove, Mike Fish, Damase Kiwanda.  Subs: Danny McDonnell, Ciaran Harper, Doug Carroll (for Kiwanda 76mins), Dave Short (for Harrison 63mins), Mason Duffy (for Bove 76mins).

Referee: Jon Kenny (Northwich)

SEE THE GOALS FROM THE GAME (thanks to RammyCam)

IMAGES FROM THE GAME (courtesy of club photographer Frank Crook):


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