A controversial encounter in Cumbria had the Rams returning home with all three points but a disciplinary record tarnished by a double sending off both on and off the pitch.

A late collision in the area, which resulted in home keeper Craig Dootson having to leave the pitch, led to unsavoury scenes which ended with the dismissal of Rams striker Jordan Hulme, and the banishment to the stands of joint-manager Anthony Johnson and coach Darren Green.

This unfortunately tarnished the fact that the visitors deserved the points on offer, despite already having defender Owen Roberts dismissed for a professional foul midway through the second half.

The Rams took an early lead in the sixth minute when Lee Gaskell was on the end of a Dominic Smalley cross, and he slotted home at the second attempt.

In a half dominated by the visitors, a number of their forwards, in particular Phil Dean, Jon Robinson and Gaskell were on the end of some tough tackling which, for the main part, went unpunished by a lenient referee on first name terms with the home side. That leniency was not extended to the unknown Ramsbottom contingent, as subsequent incidents would confirm.

Gaskell and Hulme both went close to extending the lead in a half which saw Grant Shenton having to deal with just a single goal-bound effort from the home side.

Jordan Hulme doubled the lead on 52 minutes when he headed home a cross from Grant Spencer to give his side a cushion.

On 56 minutes, home captain Danny Coid saw his shot from a half-cleared corner deflected past Shenton off Billy Priestley, before the Rams restored their two goal lead five minutes later, as the game livened up with the three goals coming in a nine minute spell.

Home defender Martin Grundy was the man responsible for restoring the Rams advantage as he sliced the ball into his own net under pressure from Hulme, for their third.

A glancing header from substitute Danny Mitchley on 80 minutes brought the game back to 3-2 with the ten men visitors hanging on for the points as the clock ticked down.

Then came the unpleasant incident late on, but in the end Ramsbottom deservedly hung on for their three points despite the numerical handicap, in what was the first league meeting between these two clubs.

RAMSBOTTOM UNITED: Shenton, Dean, Roberts, Stopforth, Lomax, Priestley, Smalley, Robinson(Pilkington 62mins), Gaskell, Hulme, Spencer(Toth 90mins). Subs not used: Brooks, Johnson, Morley

Leave a comment