Ramsbottom United appear to be finding their feet at the higher level, as they tasted victory for the second time in a week.

Visitors Stamford had begun the campaign well, but could have no complaints about the score as the Rams thoroughly deserved this victory in the first ever meeting between the two clubs.

The home side took the lead as early as the tenth minute. Steve Howson rose above the defenders to power home a header from Grant Spencer’s corner.

Spencer, himself, went close to adding to the score six minutes later, but his free-kick lashed against the side netting.

Scott Burton played the perfect through ball for Jordan Hulme, but his shot was blocked for a corner, as the Rams attempted to double their advantage.

But on 30 minutes, the visitors were back on level terms. Phil Dean was harshly adjudged to have committed a foul just outside the box, and although his yellow card looked tough, the resultant free-kick proved even worse. Nathan Fox took it and was way off target before Michael Built stuck out a leg and sent the ball past a wrong-footed Grant Shenton in the home goal.

Hulme had a good shout for a penalty before seeing his fierce drive parried by Richard Knight in the Stamford goal, and the half-time break arrived with the scores level, despite the Rams enjoying the majority of the play.

Stamford came out for the second half in more determined mood, and took the game to the home side in the early minutes. Jordan Smith inexplicably failed to put them in front when a perfect cross from Built saw him with the goal at his mercy, but he somehow managed to screw the ball wide, much to the relief of the absent home defenders.

On 59 minutes the Rams regained the lead. Osebi Abadaki, who is quickly becoming a firm crowd favourite, skipped down the right before planting the ball inch-perfect for Hulme to head home.

It was no more than the home side deserved, although Stamford continued to make inroads. Nabil Sharriff saw his effort from 20 yards clear the bar, and Lewis Carr raced forward but could not find the target from just outside the box.

On 74 minutes, it was a case of game over. Some excellent trickery by Hulme saw him lay the ball across for Dean who had all the time in the world to pick his spot from 15 yards out to extend the lead to 3-1.

The home side survived a tricky moment when a ball into their box almost resulted in an embarrassing own goal, and substitute Ryan Robbins went close for the visitors. The nearest they came to reducing the deficit was just before the end when Carr drove home a venomous drive which Shenton did well to fist away.

Despite a late flurry, the result never looked in doubt, and the Rams enjoyed their second victory of the week to push them up the table as they become acclimatised to life at Evo-Stik Premier level.

RAMSBOTTOM UNITED: Shenton, Smalley, Pilkington, Spencer(Williams 89mins), Howson, Warrender, Abadaki, Burton, Slaven(Krou 67mins), Hulme(Robinson 79mins), Dean. Subs not used: Cook, Morley

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