Heath­cote is switched to deadly ef­fect

Rossendale Free Press - - Motors -

EVO-STIK NORTH DIVISION ONE RAMS­BOT­TOM ........... 2 BRIGHOUSE TOWN.... 1 JON HASLAM A MUCH-CHANGED Rams side took on a Brighouse out­fit that had won just once on their trav­els this sea­son and re­turned to win­ning ways fol­low­ing back-to-back de­feats against.

The home side be­gan the con­test with the ver­sa­tile Sam Heath­cote in a cen­tral strik­ing role as in­jury and un­avail­abil­ity de­prived the Rams of their usual op­tions up front. It turned out to be a bless­ing for the home side with Heath­cote bag­ging both goals.

“When you con­sider we played a cen­tre half up front, had to make three changes in the back four due to in­jury, it was a good dis­play. For us it’s an im­por­tant win, puts us back in the play-offs.”

Both sides showed their at­tack­ing in­tent in the early pe­riod of the con­test but it was the Rams that opened the scor­ing when on 13 min­utes a typ­i­cally strong left wing run and cross from the hugely in­flu­en­tial Jerome Wright found Heath­cote whose shot beat vis­it­ing keeper Hall­wood as the home side took a de­served lead.

Per­haps the best chance came min­utes be­fore half time when a Grant Spencer free kick was headed back from the by­line into the penalty area by Roscoe be­fore be­ing met by Luke Thomp­son whose pow­er­ful header flew over the cross­bar.

This was the last chance in a fairly quiet first half with the vis­i­tors un­able to muster a shot on tar­get in the open­ing 45 min­utes.

Rams­bot­tom be­gan the sec­ond pe­riod in blis­ter­ing fash­ion and looked to ex­tend their ad­van­tage with a se­ries of pre­sentable chances. Daniels was at his skil­ful best to con­trol a dif­fi­cult pass be­fore turn­ing and test­ing the Brighouse keeper be­fore the same player sent in a cor­ner that Roscoe al­most con­nected with at the far post.

The home side’s at­tack­ing quar­tet were link­ing up well in the open­ing stages of the sec­ond half as the Rams gained a re­ward for their bright start when Greg Daniels skipped past a cou­ple of Brighouse chal­lenges be­fore feed­ing the ball through to Heath­cote who un­leashed a pow­er­ful shot from the edge of the penalty area that flew past the Brighouse keeper to give the makeshift striker his sec­ond goal of the match and fourth of the sea­son.

The move to play Heath­cote in a cen­tral striker role was prov­ing to be a mas­ter­stroke from Rams man­ager Mark Fell, the re­li­able de­fender was thor­oughly jus­ti­fy­ing the de­ci­sion as his hold up play and work rate was ex­cel­lent through­out.

In some­what for­tu­itous cir­cum­stances Brighouse found a way back into the match al­most im­me­di­ately as Taberner punched out a vi­cious in-swing­ing cor­ner onto Nor­man­ton and some­how the ball found its way over the line as the vis­i­tors re­duced the ar­rears.

The Rams then re­placed the cre­ative Spencer with the pacey Re­gan Jar­rett on 64 min­utes as the game was be­gin­ning to have an open feel to it as Brighouse sensed they could force an equaliser.

With Brighouse throw­ing cau­tion to the wind the Rams had Luke Thomp­son to thank for pre­serv­ing their lead when a dan­ger­ous cross from the by-line looked des­tined to reach a Brighouse for­ward be­fore Thomp­son ac­ro­bat­i­cally cleared the dan­ger.

This was only the third time in 16 at­tempts that Rams­bot­tom United had tasted vic­tory in a league game on a Tues­day night.

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