Ramsbottom United V County Preview


A short break from worrying about where that next Vanarama Conference North win is going to come from as County make a visit to Ramsbottom United for the first time since .. well, last season. More on that only previous visit to the Harry Williams Riverside Stadium later but before starting the preview proper some words from Ramsbottom on the match arrangements.


To avoid having to make the match all-ticket Ramsbottom United have had to implement a number of measures for the visit of County at the request of GM Police. Most of them will be nothing new to County fans but I've listed a few key points. Firstly, unlike our pre-season visit last season there will be no parking permitted at the ground except of official vehicles, Admission cost will be £10, £5 for concessions. This is to ensure a speedy entrance to the ground without having to dish out change. The ground will be segregated. County supporters will enter the ground using turnstile number 1 (our main turnstile). Ramsbottom United supporters will gain access via the new turnstile block, numbers 2 and 3. Stockport supporters will be housed at the cricket field end of the ground with seating in the Ellis Timlin Stand. Catering and portaloos will be brought in for the away supporters who will have no access to the purpose built facilities. Ramsbottom strongly recommend you turn up no later that 2.30 to avoid crowd congestion. Anyone arriving after 2.30pm will have to put up with the consequences of doing so!.


Ramsbottom have not had a lot of League action in recent weeks with matches in three different cup competitions. Despite this they lie in a very respectable sixth place in the Premier Division of the Northern Premier League and with games in hand on the sides above them are well placed to mount a second successive promotion campaign. They have a decent run of results but Monday night saw what was generally reported as a poor performance against a team three levels below in the pyramid - perhaps minds were on a certain weekend game.

25 Nov H v Burscough (LGC1) Won 5-1
30 Nov A v Banbury United (FAT3Q) Won 3-0
2 Dec A v Salford City (LGC2) Won 2-1
6 Dec A v Matlock Town Drew 1-1
8 Dec A v Artherton Collieries (LANC3) Lost 1-2


The side that played on Monday showed a handful of changes from that which drew at Matlock two days earlier . The men involved on Tuesday were:

" "
NamePosKnown Past Clubs
Grant Shenton G FCUM, Salford C, Mainne Road, FCUM
Dominic Smalley M Atherton LR, Ramsbottom U
George Grayson LB Scunthorpe U, Bradford PA(L), Frickley Ath(L), Tamworth
Gary Stopforth M Clitheroe, FCUM, New Orleans Jesters [usa], Kendal T, Ramsbottom U, AFC Fylde, Ramsbottom U (L)
Steve Howson D Radcliffe Bor, Prestwich Heys
Lee Pugh LB Bury, Chorley (L), Bacup Bor, Ramsbottom U, Clitheroe, Chester
Tom Williams W Wigan Ath, Rossendale U, Radcliffe Bor, Bamber Bridge, Clitheroe, Chorley, Kendal T, Bamber Bridge
Scott Burton M Runcorn T
Jon Robinson F New Mills
Tom Brooks Ramsbottom U, Curzon Ashton
Osebi Abadaki MMossley, Ashton U, Buxton, Radcliffe Bor, Mossley, Salford C, Farsley, Salford C, Ashton U, Nantwich T
Phil Dean M Ramsbottom U, New Orleans Jesters [usa]
Grant Spencer M Bolton W, Ramsbottom U, Hyde
Jordan Hulme F Padiham, Ramsbottom U, Padiham, Ramsbottom U, Atherton Coll, New Orleans Jesters [usa]

Three of Saturday's starters, Phi Dean, Grant Spencer and Jordan Hulme were on the bench for Mondays; game - although all three came on and in Spencer's case got their consolation goal. George Grayson, Jon Robinson, and Tom Brooks were promoted in their place but it seems likely these changes will be reversed in the more senior competition on Saturday. Absent on Monday was French central-defender or midfielder Cedric Krou.

It's no coincidence that one of Ramsbottom's players has the same surname as one of County's. Grant and Scott are brothers, the County man being the older,. Grant has scored occasionally for Ramsbottom this season, and got the first of the goals that set them on their FA Trophy run in a 2-1 victory at Whitby Town. .

Grant Shenton.

The club captain is the man between the sticks, Grant Shenton., Tuesday night saw him become the fourth player in United's semi-professional days to reach 200 starts. - a big difference to his FC United of Manchester days when Grant made just a handful of appearance over three years.

United have three men who have already reached double figure goals this season. Jon Robinson and Phil Dean are a couple behind leading scoring Jordan Hulme. Hulme, Saturday will be his first chance to score against County. that is not too surprising given l have failed to track down any previous matches against County's first team for the men who represented the Rams on Monday - I can only assume some of them were involved in last season's lively encounter.


There is an interesting comment in Rams report of Tuesday's game describing how they were hit on the break when pressuring the opposition goal - and not for the first time this season. It's a description that brings back memories of the end-to-end nature of last year's pre-season Friendly when the Rams were all over County for most of the game but the Hatters managed to steal a win.

Tuesday 23 July 2013 - Friendly
Ramsbottom United (2) 3
Stockport County (0) 4 [Turner, Jevons, Dennis 2]

County: Ian Ormson, Kyle Jacobs, Jordan Fagbola, Kieran Charnock Chris Churchman,) Stephen O'Halloran, Ian Craney, Jamie Hand (Bobby Lofthouse,) Brandon Windsor (Scott Duxbury, )Rhys Turner, Phil Jevons, Kristian Dennis.

Ramsbottom withheld the names of their players as club policy to protect potential signings.


The reports make it fairly clear that Rams tactics will be all out attack, and it will be up to County's defenders to show their skills early on. But comments on the home side's vulnerability on the break give County a strong possibility to punish the home side if they get carried away with chance to get a County fans will be travelling with strong hopes for a victory but as always we must never forget United are only just behind the Hatters in the Pyramid and are going reasonably well. We've lost out to teams from this level before but  hopefully our attacking players will find their shooting boots again and take County through the 2nd round of the trophy for the first time in our four seasons in the competition. Ramsbottom are already on their best ever FA Trophy run in their years in the competition.


Tamworth, who looked to be facing a season of struggle being in -or just above - the relegation places for September to mid-November, continued their recovery on Tuesday. An away win at Gloucester City climbing to 12th lace and closing to within 4 points of county.


The weekend's games for Conference North clubs are listed below. Winners go through to the last 32 with games at that stage being played on 10 January, when the ties begin to impact on the Vanamrama Conference North league programme. County's scheduled opponents that day, current League leaders Barrow, are already out of the Trophy
Hyde v Spennymoor Town. AFC Fylde v Gainsborough Trinity , Guiseley v Chorley, North Ferriby United v Boston United, Worcester City v FC Halifax Town, Bradford Park Avenue v Kidderminster Harriers, FC United Of Manchester v Harrogate Town , Lowestoft Town v Dover Athletic, Wimborne Town v Oxford City, Dartford v Solihull Moors.

Ian Watts.


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