●● Tom Kennedy races away with the ball ●● EVO-STIK FIRST DIVISION WEST RAMSBOTTOM UTD ....... 2 RUNCORN LINNETS ....... 3 ADAM CLARK
ALL good things must come to an end and for the Rams that meant the conclusion of a fantastic run of unbeaten form since Chris Willcock took over as manager.
Willcock took the reins after Mark Fell’s departure in the opening days of October – two months on and this was the first taste of defeat for the club since his appointment – a terrific achievement.
The Rams were unchanged from the 2-1 win against Pickering Town in midweek.
The home side conceded an early foul on Paul Shanley by Tom Kennedy which gave Runcorn a chance from around 20 yards but Luke Thompson was there to head it away
Two minutes later, Kyle Jacobs was adjudged to have fouled Shanley just inside the area, the first of a number of controversial refereeing decisions which irked the home support. Louis Corrigan stepped up to score from twelve yards to give Runcorn a sixth minute lead.
In the next 20 minutes the Rams replied with half chances falling to Nialle Rodney and Kennedy before the equaliser was scored on 25 minutes.
Eddie Moran was fouled 25 yards out, and Kennedy stepped up and put the free-kick into the top left hand corner of the net to bring the Rams on level terms with their promotion rivals.
The applause had barely died down when just two minutes later, Runcorn edged back in-front, with Peter Wylie heading in from a great in-swinging free kick.
Towards the end of the first half, Anthony Donaldson & Kyle Jacobs both had shots well saved by Forth in the visitors goal as the Rams attempted to reach the break on level terms.
The half-time whistle blew at the end of a competitive first half played on a heavy surface but with much endeavour from both sides.
Rams boss Chris Willock looked to freshen things up in the second half when at half time he made a double sub bringing on Jamie Rainford & Kieran Lugsden in place of Ruben Jerome and Donaldson.
Eight minutes into the second half came another contentious decision by the referee. Kyle Jacobs was sent off for what appeared to be a 50/50 challenge with a Runcorn player, whose dramatic rolling around on the floor would have had many in the crowd expecting a broken leg. The red card came out in a flash, only for the “injured” player to be back on his feet in no time. Not for the first time was the official unable to detect game play by the visiting team.
However the Rams didn’t let that affect them they scored a second equaliser five minute later after Nic Evangelinos was brought down in the box. Rodney duly obliged from the spot and the game was again all square.
For the final 30 minutes the Rams saw Kelvin Lugsden replace Jamie Rother. Jamie Rainford had a chance for the Rams a couple of minutes later but his effort from close range sailed over the bar, with a gaping goal at his mercy.
It only got worse for the Rams from here on in, with thirteen minutes to go Kieran Lugsden was sent off for his reaction to a challenge made by a Runcorn player on the midfielder.
Against nine men, Runcorn scored the what turned out to be the winner, two minutes later. Freddie Potter the scorer he headed the ball into the bottom ●● Kyle Jacobs receives his marching orders in the game against Runcorn right corner from close range.
The Rams had a couple of chance in the final five minutes but nothing came of them and the lost for the first time since Trafford on the 25th September.
Manager Willcock postmatch said “We’ve got to lick our wounds and go again.” ●● THE new look Ramsbottom United team not only took the points on the pitch, but have also scooped the award as Evo-Stik West Division Club of the Month for November. When new boss Chris Willcock took over in early October, he immediately went about reshaping a team that was 14th in the Division and the new look side went on a terrific thirteen game unbeaten run.
Three successive away league victories during November against Skelmersdale United, Prescot Cables and Colwyn Bay hoisted them up to fourth spot in the table, whilst two away draws in the FA Trophy at Yaxley and Pickering Town, allowed the club’s only two home games during the month to end with victories in the replays sending the Rams on to the FA Trophy 1st round proper. An engraved permanent momento will be presented to the club on behalf of the League’s major sponsor, Bostik, at a date to be confirmed.
HASLINGDEN U11s made a quick dash up the M66 to face Prestwich Marauders.The Tornados raced out of the blocks from the first whistle. The midfield trio of Maleah Bennett, Annie Richmond and Chloe Lomax immediately put the home side under pressure with passes into Evie Riley who was playing in her familiar attacking role to create some early chances.Whenever the midfield line was breached, Sophia Aspin and Antonia Johannsen-Ward were on hand to quell any potential danger and protect Katherine Protheroe’s goal.The breakthrough came less than 10 minutes into the first half following some intricate passing, with Maleah cutting in from the left, dribbling past a couple of Marauders before stroking the ball with her favoured left foot into the bottom left corner.Minutes later, another fluid attack which included a selfless assist from Evie to Chloe whose deflected shot culminated in a goal as the loose ball was met resoundingly by Annie as she struck it low past the keeper.Louisa Boustouller came on to replace Evie up front and made some intelligent runs into space.Darcey Rowlands made her debut for the Tornados, stepping onto the field in a defensive position initially before spending some time in midfield.An own goal increased the Tornados tally before the interval and the second half started in a similar vein with the Tornados sweeping forward and scoring through Evie.The Marauders grew into the game during the second half and created some good chances of their own, thwarted only by some brave keeping from Katherine and great defending.Katherine was voted ‘Player of the Match’ thanks to her exploits between the sticks and Darcey was awarded the Captain’s armband for her next game. Tom Kennedy’s free-kick eludes the Linnets keeper to level the scores