... but Fell’s men make no mistake in Trophy replay
FA TROPHY REPLAY RAMSBOTTOM UTD ..... 4 SHAW LANE ................... 1 JON HASLAM RAMSBOTTOM United took on high flying Shaw Lane from the Evo Stik Premier League on Tuesday night in a FA Trophy replay after Saturday’s game ended in a 2-2 draw.
The contest began positively with the Rams winning some early free kicks as they sought to take the initiative against their higher ranked opponents and indeed had the first shot at goal as Rother fired over the bar from just inside the box.
A strong looking Shaw Lane side containing a number of former Football League players made the breakthrough on the quarter hour mark when an inswinging corner was met by striker Clayton whose flicked header beat Danny Taberner for the first goal of a lively encounter.
Dean Stott and Josh Heaton repel a Shaw Lane attack
On a chilly evening both sides battled for supremacy as the half wore on with ex Ipswich Town and Bolton player David Norris looking accomplished in the visitors midfield.
The home side created their best opportunity just after the half hour mark when Tom Brooks found himself with time and space in the area before firing a low shot wide of the target. The remainder of a competitive half of football passed without either keeper being seriously tested as the Rams looked to gain parity without success but as the half time whistle blew the visitors lead at the break.
Moran replaced Stott at the resumption of play in the home sides midfield as the Rams again started the second period brightly with home debutant Josh Heaton slotting in comfortably alongside the ever combative Luke Thompson at the heart of the Rammy defence. Greg Daniels was again showing ●● Phil Dean some exquisite touches as he lead the line with intelligence as Rother twice failed to hit the target when well placed as the Rams more than matched their opponents in every department with an interesting skirmish between Clayton and the superb Roscoe a particular highlight.
The encounter was finely balanced with the visitors using their vast experience to manage the game without allowing the home side to gain any attacking momentum.
Shaw Lane could have doubled their lead when a shot from Harris look destined for the top corner before Taberner pulled off a superb flying one handed save to keep the deficit at a single goal.
Rams manager Mark Fell then sent on rant Spencer for the excellent Jamie Rother with 20 minutes remaining as the home side looked for an equaliser, the match became a touch fractious perhaps due in part to the contentious nature of the Shaw Lane injury time penalty a few days earlier.
Sam Heathcote then entered the fray with ten minutes remaining for the hardworking Tom Brooks in what would prove to be a match changing decision as within two minutes a corner found its way to Luke Thompson whose pass was finished with composure by the auxiliary striker and the contest was all square.
The Rams finished the game strongly as they almost snatched victory late on with Greg Daniels testing Stewart and a Spencer free kick was headed over as the home side pushed for a late winner.
As the full time whistle blew the tie entered an additional 30 minutes, Ramsbottom looked to continue their attacking momentum gained in the closing stages with Jerome Wright and Phil Dean looking to influence proceedings further. Heathcote then fired wide before testing the Shaw Lane keeper twice in quick succession with shots from the edge of the box showing the confidence the goal scorer was playing with.
The visitors replied with an incisive move which required Taberner to produce a low save to keep the teams level as the first period of extra time was completed with the sides locked at 1-1.
The second half began in fine style for the Rams when a break down the left hand side gave an opportunity to Wright whose low shot from the edge of the penalty area beat Stewart before hitting the back of the net via the post to give the home side the lead.
Things got better for the home side with 5 minutes remaining as Shaw Lane pushed forward looking for an equaliser and were caught on the break when the lively Dean won the ball before linking with Wright whose superb shot from the edge of the box fizzed past Stewart to give the Rams a 3-1 lead.
Phil Dean then completed a sensational second period of extra time for Ramsbottom when the wide player cut in from the right hand side before sending a curling shot into the top corner of the Shaw Lane net for perhaps the goal of the night as the home side settled the tie in stunning fashion to set up an away trip to Altrincham in the next round much to the delight of the home supporters.
This was an outstanding team performance which should give the squad a huge confidence boost.