RAMSBOTTOM’S play-off hopes suffered another blow as they were hit by the curse of Cammell Laird once again.

The Rams are now four points behind Lancaster City in the fifth and final play-off place as their Wirral visitors completed a quick-fire double.

It means that United are yet to beat Cammell Laird in four attempts.

But it wasn’t for lack of effort as the hosts ran the game for the most part, but their opponent’s defence held firm as the usually free-scoring Rams failed to find the net in a league game for the first time since last August.

The early loss of inspirational midfielder Scott Burton hardly helped the cause but the Rams still had much of the possession.

Visiting keeper Mike Langley had to cut out a dangerous cross from Grant Spencer, with Phil Dean and Lee Gaskell lurking for a loose ball, and he had to be alert when a snap-shot from Spencer looked like sneaking in by his left-hand post.

In fairness, the visitors failed to trouble the Rams defence for the most part, but gained a foot-hold on 34 minutes via the penalty spot converted by Jamie Henders.

In the second half, Gaskell went close to equalising but United paid for another missed chance when John Couch fired home a loose ball after Grant Shenton had tipped a sweetly struck free kick on to the bar.

Gaskell then hit the bar and when Spencer was denied by Langley, Laird held on for a shock victory to complete a league double and put a big dent in Ramsbottom’s promotion ambitions.