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Rivals set for battle in race for play-offs
LOCAL rivals and promotion hopefuls Ramsbottom United and Clitheroe go head-to-head tonight in a local derby battle that could make or break either team’s season as the campaign reaches boiling point.
The Rams are on an amazing run of six wins and a draw in their last seven games, while Clitheroe are themselves on a five-match unbeaten streak – and those two runs have seen the pair put themselves right into the promotion picture.
While Skelmersdale are the team to catch with a seven-point advantage and games in hand, the race for the play-offs is very much on with both second-placed Ramsbottom, and Clitheroe in third, on 56 points.
And Ramsbottom co-manager Anthony Johnson is very much in the mood for a real push between now and the end of campaign.
“Until it’s impossible to catch Skelmersdale we’ll keep going,” said Johnson. “They are the best side in our league but you never know.
“If they slip up and we keep winning, we could catch them.
“We’ve got a derby at home to Clitheroe, who are in the play-offs, and it doesn’t get much better than these games, they are brilliant to be involved in.
“There’s something to play for every time we go out there now, no matter who it’s against, and it makes it more important when you’re playing a team that’s trying to nick your spot.”
The Rams climbed into second spot thanks to their 3-2 win over Salford on Saturday, while Clitheroe boosted their goal difference en-route to third place with a 3-0 win over Wakefield at Belle Vue.
And the Blues could face one of their old boys this evening after the Rams snapped up former Blue Johnbull Osemwegie.
The 21-year-old former Manchester City scholar was with Clitheroe last term after a spell in Scotland.
He made his Rams debut from the bench at the weekend and is pushing for a start.
There is also one game in the North West Counties League Premier Division as Bacup Borough bid for back-to-back wins when they make the trip to St Helens Town.
The recent upturn in form sees Bacup five points clear of the relegation places with St Helens currently sitting in the drop zone in 21st.
Another win for Bacup would move them up another place with Brent Peters’ side having a clutch of games in hand on those teams around them.
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