Ramsbottom United took on high flying Scarborough on Tuesday night in their first home fixture since January 6th with a starting line up showing five changes from the weekend defeat at Prescot Cables.
RAMSBOTTOM UNITED 1 SCARBOROUGH ATHLETIC 3
Harry Williams Riverside Stadium
Tuesday 20 February 2018
Making their Rams debuts were Jay Sheridan and Chinedu Uche who both arrived on loan from Oldham Athletic whilst Sam Madeley arrived at the Riverside from Curzon Ashton, also returning to the starting eleven were Jamie Rother and Greg Daniels.
It was Scarborough who made a stunning start to the match when within a minute of the kick off a superb run and shot from Max Wright was saved by Ashton only for the ball to fall kindly for Scarborough’s Walshaw who dribble around the Rams keeper before tapping the ball into the net from a couple of yards to give the away side the best possible start.
The home side responded with Madeley sending an effort narrowly wide of the target but Scarborough would double their advantage with just five minutes played when a short corner was played to the edge of the penalty area before it appeared Wright wrestled Uche to the ground, the ball then fell to Coulson who arrowed a low shot into the corner of the net giving Ashton no chance much to the delight of the healthy away support from North Yorkshire.
Clearly with a two goal lead so early in the contest the away side looked an assured outfit as they proceeded to control the first quarter of the match as the Rams struggled to make any significant inroads into the Scarborough rearguard. The home sides frustration surfaced as skipper Stott was booked for a late tackle but this appeared to lift the hosts as Uche almost capitalised on excellent work by Jerome Wright before the formers’ goalbound effort was blocked by Sugden.
Scarborough were continuing to show plenty of attacking intent as the impressive duo to Clark and Coulson were providing a threat every time they picked up the ball whilst looking to increase their lead but stoic defending from the Rams and some inaccurate finishing kept the scoreline at 2-0 with half an hour completed.
As the half wore on the home side began to gain more of a foothold in the game and with 35 minutes played they created their best piece of attacking play when sublime control and an astute pass from Daniels gave Madeley a chance at goal but his effort narrowly missed the target.
With the contest almost at the half way point it was the Rams that created the last chance of the half when a deep free kick found the head of Mohammed at the far post but the header was comfortably gathered by Taylor in the Boro goal.
Both sides emerged unchanged after the restart and after an initial spell of early Rams pressure it was Scarborough who almost grabbed a third goal when another run from Clark ended with a shot which brought the best out of Ashton to deny the tricky wide man.
As the hour mark approached and no change in the scoreline the hosts made an attacking substitution with Stott being replaced by Heathcote.
The change almost had an immediate impact as the deficit was almost halved when a superb run and cross from Jerome Wright found its way into the visitors box before the ball was laid back by Daniels to the recently arrived Heathcote but his first time shot was inches wide of the target with the statuesque Taylor helpless.
A third goal of the encounter would arrive with just less than 20 minutes remaining when a corner was cleared but Scarborough kept the attack alive and a clever pass on the edge of the box found defender Hewitt who confidently side footed past Ashton from just inside the penalty area to confirm the three points would be heading back over the Pennines.
The Rams made their remaining substitutions with Moran and Gaskell replacing the hard working Rother and Madeley respectively as fresh legs were introduced for the remaining quarter of an hour.
With time ticking away Ramsbottom United continued to show fight and determination and almost pulled a goal back but a triple save from Taylor in the Scarborough goal denied Heathcote and Mohammed twice as it looked as though the home side would remain goalless.
On 83 minutes the Rams were rewarded for a spiritied second half performance with a goal to celebrate when Daniels confidently converted from just inside the box to reduce the arrears after a short corner wasn’t cleared properly. Sadly there would be no comeback for the hosts but Heathcote had an effort well saved before Scarborough almost scored a late goal of their own but Walshaw was denied by Ashton.
After a difficult start to the game Ramsbottom United improved as the contest developed but slipped to a defeat against a team with serious aspirations of promotion who registered their ninth consecutive league victory but there was plenty of positives to take from the second half in particular and the Rams will be hoping to build on these for their upcoming fixtures.
RAMSBOTTOM UNITED team: Ashton, Brownhill, Sheridan, Stott (Heathcote 62mins), Thompson, Mohammed, Madeley (Gaskell 74mins), Uche, Rother (Moran 74mins), Daniels, Wright. Subs not used: Burgess, Richardson.
GREG DANIELS’ GOAL CAN BE SEEN HERE