A Phil Dean penalty followed by a strike from Dominic Smalley was enough to bring Ramsbottom back from behind and seal an FA Trophy win at Warrington Town on Saturday.


Ramsbottom United deservedly moved into the next round of the F.A. Trophy, with a good win at league rivals, and big-spending, Warrington Town.

Having narrowly lost in a League game earlier in the season at the Cheshire side’s ground, the Rams made amends despite suffering an early set-back.

A poor back header from Billy Priestley let in Town’s Liam Dawson who capitalised on the mistake by firing an angled shot past Grant Shenton in the visitors’ goal.

However, not to be shaken by the error, the visitors responded almost immediately. Jordan Hulme neatly threaded a ball into the area for Tom Brooks, who was then bundled to the ground, leaving the referee little option than to point to the spot. Phil Dean dispatched the resultant penalty kick to quickly restore parity.

Dean then saw his volley sail over the bar, before Scott Metcalfe responded with a free-kick that cleared the Rams bar by a couple of feet.

Dawson went close again for the home side with a speculative shot from the right side of the area, before the visitors replied with a fine through ball from Hulme releasing Dean on goal. Josh Cook in the home goal was equal to the challenge as he produced a great save to deny the diminutive winger.

Midway through the first half, the Rams had an amazing escape when a poor back header from Andy Dawson failed to find Shenton. In nipped Chris Gahgan, and in the midst of some desperate defending, his overhead kick crashed against the post before the visitors managed to clear the danger.

Minutes later, the Rams scored what proved to be the match winner.

Shenton threw the ball out to Smalley and he raced fifty yards down field before playing a perfect one-two on the right with Tom Brooks. The return ball fed Smalley in the box, and he fired low past the keeper into the far corner for a well-worked goal.

After a period of pressure from the visitors, the home side broke down the right, and a long ball to the far side found Metcalfe completely unmarked, but fortunately, Shenton was quick off his line to prevent an equaliser.

Grant Spencer went close for the Rams as the first half wound down, with the visitors deservedly in front, and they could have been more comfortable had the referee awarded a second penalty for what looked like a clear case of deliberate handball in the area.

The pitch was making flowing football difficult, and as the game wore on, both sides contributed to an error-strewn match, with many passes going astray.

The worst one almost gifted the home side an equaliser. Spencer, seemingly running out of options, chose to play the ball back to Shenton from the half-way line. His effort was woefully short, but Shenton was again on top form to deny a one-on-one situation.

Hulme and Lee Gaskell both had opportunities to increase the lead, as the visitors looked comfortable despite the slender advantage. Warrington were dependant upon long range strikes, which barely troubled Shenton, and the final whistle blew on a deserved win for the visitors, who now entertain Worksop Town, from Evo-Stik Premier at the Harry Williams Riverside Stadium in the next round on Saturday 19th October.

RAMSBOTTOM UNITED: Shenton, Warrender, Roberts, Stopforth, Dawson(Gaskell 52mins), Priestley, Smalley, Spenceer, Hulme, Brooks, Dean(Edghill 80mins). Subs not used: Toth, Pilkington, Morley

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