Rammy Treble Topples United
Skelmersdale United 0 Ramsbottom United 3
By Simon Driscoll
After an enforced break from league action in the last two weeks, United suffered a 3-0 loss to Ramsbottom United on their return to Evo-Stik duties. A brace either side of half time from Ruben Jerome and late strike Nic Evangelinos signalled defeat for United who ended with ten men after captain Phil Mooney's late dismissal.
Dave Powell welcomed Dave Moore back into the starting 11 after his recent work commitments and Charles Duke replaced the suspended Jack Fleming while Declan Daniels made his first start for the club.
Ramsbottom's lineup included ex-United trio Sam Ashton, Jamie Rainford and Tony Donaldson and it was the Rams who started the better of the two sides with Nialle Rodney's early cross finding the arms of Terry Smith. United responded with Tom Molyneux's free-kick sweeping into the area but only finding Edward Moran who cleared for the Rams. Skem soon went closer as Charles Duke picked out Declan Daniels, Daniels clipped an effort towards goal which drew a save from Sam Ashton but proved costly for the striker who suffered an injury and departed the field on a stretcher.
Ramsbottom opened the scoring on 22 minutes with Donaldson cleverly worked his way down the wing before squaring for Ruben Jerome who slotted past Smith for 1-0. The visitors went close to doubling the lead minutes later with Tom Kennedy's free-kick finding Ryan Ellison at the far post who sent a headed effort narrowly over the bar.
The second half began with United conceding a free-kick inside ten seconds which was dealt with in defence, the 55th minute saw Ramsbottom appeal for a penalty as a low cross from Jerome drew a block from the sliding Dimi Christou with the refereel waving away the handball appeal. A stunning goal-clearance from Duke on the hour denied a second goal for the Rams as he blocked Evangelinos' shot with the rebounded effort from Joel Bembo-Lets missing the target.
The second goal did come for the visitors just two minutes later as Evangelinos collected a pass just inside the United half and advanced through the defence before finding Jerome in space who fired past Smith for 2-0. United's chances of a comeback were dashed on 83 minutes as substitute Louis Rowe tested Smith with the save seeing the ball fall into the path of Evangelinos who slotted in for 3-0. A miserable afternoon for United only got worse as three minutes later, Mooney was dismissed for a second bookable offence as he felled Evangelinos and with the final whistle, United were left to reflect on a defeat that extended their wait for a first home win of the season and one which will need to be improved on quickly with a trip to Droylsden in midweek.
Skelmersdale United - Smith, Duke, O'Hara, Molyneux, Mooney (c), Christou, Moore, Griffiths (Duffy 70), Daniels (Van Veen 15), Dunne, Yeldrem (McLoughlin 56). Subs not used - Banks, Arnasalam.
Ramsbottom United - Ashton, Kennedy, Jacobs, Moran, Thompson, Ellison, Rodney (Rainford 75'), Bembo-Leta, Jerome (Rowe 75'), Donaldson (Osi-Efa 81'), Evangelinos. Subs not used- Rother, Foulds.
Attendance - 118