North West Counties League Divison One

Ramsbottom United 4 Mossley 1

STRIKER Chris Willcock made a dream debut against his old club to spark Ramsbottom United's first league win in four weeks.

Willcock scored twice and had a hand in another to give the Rams a morale-boosting win over a side that started the game third in the table.

Mossley were the first to show in a lively opening spell. Andy Gayle got in a low shot that Keith Nield saw early to get down and save.

Andy Grimshaw headed over the top from a corner for Ramsbottom before they went in front in the ninth minute.

Chris Willcock drifted out onto the right flank and crossed to see the ball go in off the far post.

Mossley tried to get back into it down both flanks, but the Rams defence held firm. Then another former Mossley player, Phil Porter, put a shot just wide after Willcock set him up.

Ramsbottom were winning the midfeld battle and in the 42nd minute Willcock almost added a second when he fired over the top from an acute angle.

A minute later he grabbed his second goal. The ball came into the box after some good work by Danny Goodall down the left side and Willcock stabbed the ball under Tommy Allen as he came out to try to narrow the angle.

Allen denied Willcock a hat-trick with a superb one-handed save just before half-time.

Ramsbottom continued to attack at the start of the second half and Darren Bowman unleashed a 20-yard shot that went just over.

The third Ramsbottom goal came in the 51st minute when Russell Brierley stooped to head Goodall's cross past Allen, who got a hand to the ball but couldn't keep it out.

Mossley hit back in a desperate attempt to save the game and Nield was forced into a fine save to tip over a Gayle effort.

The Rams defence weathered the storm and at the other end Allen pulled off another fine save to keep out a Mike Langhorn free-kick that beat the wall from 25 yards out.

In the 68th minute Willcock was brought down in the box and Brierley stepped up to hammer home the penalty to make it 4-0 to the Rams.

Three minutes later Mossley finally reduced the arrrears. A free-kick from the right was played into the box and midfielder Pedro Brennan ran in to glance a header past Nield.

The goal led to a spell of Mossley pressure, but Ramsbottom finished strongly with Allen saving efforts from Steve Orrell and Darren Bowman.

RAMSBOTTOM UNITED: Nield 8, Porter 8, Langhorn 8, Smith 8, Thomas 8, Grimshaw 9, Bowman 8, Holt 8, R Brierley 8, Willcock 8, Goodall 8. Substitutes: Orrell (for Willcock, 70 mins) 8, Wallace (for Grimshaw, 85), Briddon (for Holt, 75).

Ramsbottom have a league game at Maine Road tonight (kick-off 7.45pm) and are due to entertain Glossop North End in another North West Counties fixture at the Riverside next Saturday (kick-off 3pm).