Andrew’s Match Preview
Colne v Ramsbottom United
Saturday 1st April - 15:00
Colne welcome “historic Lancashire” rivals Ramsbottom United to Holt House for a Spring 6 pointer in the NPL West.
Ramsbottom United, nicknamed the Rams, were founded in 1966. They play their home games at the Harry Williams Riverside Stadium, and their average attendance this season is 294. The Rams finished 15th in the NPL West last season, and in the head to head with the Reds, a win apiece was the outcome. Goals from Murphy, Cooper and Abadaki, helped Rammy surge into a 3 goal lead, before a late consolation from Lee Pugh meant a 3-1 final scoreline for the home side last September. In the return at Holt House in March, an early Danny Edwards strike proved to be the only goal, as Colne gained revenge in front of 420 supporters. Earlier in November the two sides fought out a disappointing 0-0 draw, watched by a gate of 307.
This season Ramsbottom have struggled, winning 5, drawing 6 and losing 21. This has left them in 20th place with 21 points from 32 games. Away from home Rammy have won just 2 of their 16 games, losing 10 times. Their wins have come at Bootle 2-1 and Newcastle Town 2-0. In the FA Cup this season, Rammy overcame Thackley 2-0 at home in a replay, before losing 3-4 at City of Liverpool, again in a replay. A 2-1 home win over Glossop North End in the FA Trophy gave the Rams a home tie against local rivals Clitheroe, but it was the Blues who ran out 4-1 winners. In their last game last Saturday, Rammy were held 0-0 at home to Widnes, and in their last away game, a Wealth Dasilva first half goal wasn’t enough to see off Kidsgrove Athletic, who hit back in the second 45 with a brace from Aaron Bolt.
Ramsbottom United players to watch - Former Rochdale youngster Billy Hasler-Cregg, needs no introduction to the Red Army, after spending almost 3 years at Holt House. The pacy winger/attacker played for Altrincham, Stalybridge Celtic and Congleton Town before joining Colne in the summer of 2019. Billy was a very popular player for the Reds, but lack of starts saw him swap Red for Blue in February last year. Billy has played 31 times this season scoring 3 goals.
Versatile 21 year old defender Oscar Radcliffe has represented the Rams 33 times this season. The attacking right-back signed for Rammy in the summer from AFC Blackpool after previously being at Bamber Bridge.
Defender/midfielder Michael Fitzgerald came through Blackpool’s youth system. The 19 year old centre-half joined Rammy in the summer and has played 30 times already this season, scoring twice.
Another defender, 21 year old Will Hall returned to the club after a previous loan spell from Altrincham. Will is another with 30 appearances this term, but his 2nd red card of the season against Clitheroe earned him a 4 match ban and he’ll miss out.
Ex QPR youth, Witton Albion and Prescot Cables winger Leon Johnson, had a brief spell with Colne last October, turning out for the Reds on 4 occasions. Leon signed for the Rams late in September but picked up an injury in December. His return is imminent.
Attacking midfielder Jordan Southworth joined the Rams at the beginning of the year from Skelmersdale United. The 26 year old has had previous spells at Halifax Town, Farsley Celtic, Chorley and Prescot Cables.
19 year old midfielder Jordan Scanlon is currently on loan from Rochdale. Jordan signed in February and has been an ever present since arriving.
18 year old keeper Tom Wooster joined the Rams last month from Manchester United. Tom has been in great form since joining and he was instrumental in their excellent point away at Workington, making crucial stops and saving an injury time penalty.
23 year old Nigerian attacker/winger Wealth Dasilva was a youth at Bury and last played for Squires Gate. Wealth joined at the beginning of the month and scored on his 2nd start at Kidsgrove Athletic.
Former Blackburn Rovers youth player Lewis Mansell was snapped up a couple of weeks ago. The 25 year old centre-forward has EFL experience with Accrington Stanley and he could be an astute signing once he hits his stride.
Lee Donafee, lost his job in February after being at the club as assistant manager and manager for 5 years. His replacement is former no nonsense FC United defender and coach David Chadwick.
Last time out for the Reds - Third placed Workington arrived at Holt House on Tuesday evening boasting 10 wins in 15 away games this season. Colne manager Paul Weller named an unchanged side from the one that won 2-1 at Bootle in the previous game. Kicking uphill for the first half with the incessant rain on an already heavy pitch didn’t help the Reds get a foothold in the game, as the high-flying visitors took control. Hakan Burton did well to keep out a Conor Tinnion effort, but he was powerless to prevent the opening goal on 21 minutes. Kai Nugent found acres of space down the right hand side and his cross was met by Scott Allison, who cooly lifted the ball over the Colne keeper notching his 11th goal in his last 13 appearances. Burton saved well from Nugent not long after and Alex Doyle who’d been struggling with an injury came off to be replaced by Matty Kardacz. The Reds were probably the happier of the two sides only going in at the break a goal down. The conditions eased during the interval and the rain dried up, but if anything Workington passed the ball around better playing uphill. A Watkinson free-kick from the edge of the Workington 18 yard box, which just flew wide, was Colne’s best chance, before Lucas Weaver made way for Malik Diakite. The Cumbrian Reds netted their second on 70 minutes. Keenan Leslie’s cross from the left was touched on by Reuben Jerome and it fortuitously fell behind the defence to enable him to smash the ball home. Malik Diakite was unluckily adjudged to have impeded Dav Symington in the box and the ref pointed to the spot on the 80 minute mark. Captain Conor Tinnion sent Burton the wrong way to make it 0-3. Game, set and match for the away side, or so it seemed. Tom McCann got a run out as he replaced Luke Stowe and with barely a minute remaining on the clock, a loose ball on the edge of the Workington box was glided home by Malik Diakite to reduce the deficit, and with 3 minutes injury time added on, the young Red lions pressed forward. A low corner from the right hand side found Matty Kardacz on the edge of the Workington penalty area, and he turned and smashed the ball through a crowded box into the right hand corner of the visitor’s goal. Despite defending yet another corner, Workington desperately hung on for a 2-3 victory. Both Harry Winstanley and Eddie Elewa-Ikpakwu stood out for the Reds, with Eddie shading the man of the match on his Holt House debut. The Reds remain in 17th place with 34 points from 33 games.
Who’s on Ashh’s couch?
Ben Anderson will miss out once again with a niggling groin strain which hasn’t settled down.
Alex Doyle had to limp off on Tuesday night, and his grade 1 hamstring injury will keep him out.
Jack Doherty is recovering from surgery on his ACL injury and will begin his rehabilitation when ready, under the watchful eye of Accrington Stanley. This injury has ruled him out for the season.
Matty Kardacz could be the one to take advantage of Alex Doyle’s absence. Rory Cormack and Sheikh Islam are the favourites to claim the void on the bench. Malik Diakite came off the bench mid-week and scored his first goal for the club; he’s pushing for a start. Paul Weller should have 17 players to choose from.
Ramsbottom haven’t won since beating Trafford 3-2 at home on Boxing day, a run of 12 games, of which 9 were losses. They haven’t won away from home since a 2-1 victory at Newcastle Town in November. Rammy find themselves at the foot of the table not least because of their high turnover of players over the season; 47 in total. Of the first eleven who started the first league game back in August, only Oscar Radcliffe survived selection for their last league fixture last weekend. Departures this calendar year haven’t helped, losing leading scorer James Murphy, playmaker Anthony Donaldson and experienced keeper Harry Turner. The Rams picked up a point last week in a 0-0 home stalemate with fellow strugglers Widnes. This came on the back of 5 consecutive losses, which included a 1-2 loss at Kidsgrove Athletic in their last away fixture.
The Reds fell to only their 2nd home defeat since October on Tuesday night, losing 2-3 to a very good Workington side who are challenging for the runners up spot. New signings Finley Devenney and Eddie Elewa-Ikpakwu have integrated seamlessly into the first team and Malik Diakite is chomping at the bit to showcase his undoubted skills. Paul Weller has instilled a more positive approach to the Reds’ play, and they’ll be going all out to take the game by the scruff of the neck and instil their new confidence on the beleaguered Rams from the first whistle. It’s a must win game for the Reds, and one they’re more than capable of winning, before moving on to their next 6 pointer at home to similar placed Widnes next Saturday.
Admission Prices are:
Adults : £9
Concessions : £6
Under 16's: £2
Under 12's: Free
Colne Football Club
Sat 8th April - Colne v Widnes - 15:00 NPL West
Mon 10th April - Clitheroe v Colne - 15:00 NPL West
Sat 15th April - Colne v Leek Town - 15:00
Today’s NPL West games - 15:00
City of Liverpool v Prescot Cables
Clitheroe v Leek Town
Glossop North End v Newcastle Town
Hanley Town v 1874 Northwich
Kidsgrove Athletic v Runcorn Linnets
Macclesfield v Trafford
Mossley v Bootle
Widnes v Workington
Witton Albion v Skelmersdale United