Ramsbottom United made the trip to Seel Park looking to continue their unbeaten start to the league campaign with Max Hazeldine replacing Ben Richardson in the only change to the previous game against Trafford 8 days ago.
MOSSLEY 2 RAMSBOTTOM UNITED 0
Seel Park, Mossley
Saturday 16 September 2017
Evo-Stik North Division
Mossley began the contest the brighter side and gave the visitors defence an early examination with Martin Fearon being called into action to deny home skipper Dean from a well flighted set piece. The Rams didn’t heed the warning and on 17 minutes former Rams loanee Jack Tuohy’s free kick found its way to the back post where McLellan headed the hosts into a deserved lead.
It could be argued that Mossleys direct style of play was more effective in the first quarter of the game with the Rams struggling to get a foothold in the match as the visitors laboured to produce any of the exciting football that had seen them score ten goals in the previous three matches.
Indeed the hosts looked more likely to add to their lead as Mossley attacked with purpose without giving the Rams any time on the ball to create a presentable goal scoring chance in the opening 25 minutes, subduing the Ramsbottom attacking players as proficiently as any team has done this season.
Ramsbottom did improve as the half wore as they began to find their passes with more regularity, perhaps the clearest chance arrived around the half hour when a Jerome Wright free kick was headed into the danger area by Brad Roscoe and Max Hazeldine headed over the bar when well placed.
Mossley had a shout for a penalty turned down before the visitors created their best chance of the match on 40 minutes when a through ball found Hazeldine who outpaced the defender before shooting straight at Martin in the hosts goal. A further half chance fell to the Rams when a long Poscha throw was headed towards goal from Brownhill but Martin again saved low down. As the half came to an end it was the away side that threatened an equaliser via a number set pieces rather than in open play.
The sides re-emerged from the dressing rooms unchanged with the Rams looking to impress their travelling fans although Mossley were in no mood to give up their goal advantage and defended resolutely whilst looking a threat on the break.
Clear chances were few and far between in the opening 15 minutes of the second period as both sides battled to gain the upper hand in the contest as the referees’ whistle punctuated the match with frustrating regularity.
As the hour mark approached Mossleys forward line decided to try their luck from distance bringing a smart save from Fearon before Taylor sent a drive wide of the target as the hosts searched for a second goal, almost immediately Ramsbottom made their first change of the day with Alex Meaney replacing Tom Brooks in midfield.
Sadly for the Rams the home side doubled their lead midway through the second period when a strong run and cross from the impressive Ellis found Harrison whose close range shot beat Fearon to give the Rams an uphill task. The hosts perhaps could have added their lead with a number of counter attacks but some brave blocks and wayward finishing kept the lead at two goals.
The match was starting to become fractious and after a mistimed tackle from Rams skipper Stott resulted in a yellow card a melee ensued which involved the majority of the outfield players as tempers started to become frayed.
As the yellow card count increased so did the chances for Mossley as the hosts created more excellent opportunities to increase their lead with Ellis looking a particular threat up front for the hosts. Mark Fell made a further two changes with Nathan Webb and Ben Richardson replacing Jamie Rother and Hazeldine respectively as the Rams manager looked to continue his excellent record of late with substitutions having had a positive effect in recent matches.
Frustrations were building as the Rams struggled to find any fluency in their play to reduce the arrears and in injury time Daniels received his second yellow card and a subsequent red for an indiscretion the referee deemed worthy of a second bookable offence.
Things got worse for the visitors when manager Mark Fell was dismissed and sent to the stands for the second consecutive year at Mossley as the Rams disappointingly succumbed to their first league defeat of the season.
Unfortunately this was a game that the Rams were destined to not take any points from as their efforts would be without reward on a day where not much seemed to fall kindly for the visitors. This was the first time this season that Ramsbottom United had failed to find the net and even the most ardent Rams supporter would find it difficult to argue that the final result was a fair reflection of the match as they fell to their first league loss of the campaign.
An understandably frustrated Ramsbottom manager Mark Fell summarised the match as follows:-
“It’s obviously a very disappointing result for us after a good start. Credit to Mossley, they outworked us and frustrated us. The first goal is soft, not picking up from a set-play and then we’ve had 3 great chances towards the end of the first half – but not converting any of those has hurt us and in the end. Second half we huffed and puffed but ultimately we were half a yard of the pace all over the pitch. The good news is we have a quick turnaround on Tuesday at Kendal, where we’ll look to put it right”
Ramsbottom United: Fearon, Poscha, Brownhill, Stott, Thompson, Roscoe, Brooks(Meaney 61mins), Rother (Webb 70mins) ,Hazeldine(Richardson 79mins), Daniels, Wright Subs not used: Ashburner, Williams
Tuesday 19th September The Evo-Stik North Kendal Town v RAMS 7.45pm
Saturday 23rd September “ “ “ RAMS v Prescot Cables 3.00pm
Tuesday 26th September “ “ “ Clitheroe v RAMS 7.45pm
*** Please note….
Saturday 30th September, the Rams away game at Ossett Town has been postponed due to Town’s progress in the FA Cup. A new date is to be arranged, as is a revised fixture for that date.