RAMSBOTTOM United eased their way in the next round of the FA Trophy thanks to a performance as immaculate as the Nantwich Town playing surface.

After a draw and a defeat in their last two league outings, the Rams put those disappointments behind them with fine all-round display.

Scott Burton was an impenetrable shield in front of the back four, Dom Smalley rampaged up the right wing and in tandem with Tom Williams running the Nantwich left back ragged.

Jordan Hulme quite simply made a total pest of himself ranging the full width of the pitch holding the ball up and bringing others in to play and generally driving the whole of the Nantwich defence to distraction.

It what was clearly a well rehearsed move, his run to the near post after five minutes took with him both central defenders allowing Williams to ghost in on Grant Spencer's in-swinging free kick and slide home from the 6 yard line.

By the time the second goal came along on 38 minutes - delayed only by a couple of smart saves from Terry Smith - the disintegration of the Nantwich back line was such that they were engaging more with the officials than the Rams attackers.

Still arguing with the referee over a disputed throw-in, they failed to react to another accurate cross from Spencer. Hume headed on and the ball fell perfectly to Phil Dean who volleyed past Smith from a narrow angle in almost Van Basten fashion.

The tie was all but up 11 minutes. Jordan Hulme was again the provider taking advantage of further confusion among the Nantwich defenders as to what constitutes offside to calmly round the keeper and tee up Grant Spencer with the easiest of taps ins.

That really should have been that but the Rams do like to stick out their chin and invite a counter punch.

With 20 minutes left they allowed Mark Winslade space to slot in a low cross from the left. For a few moments there was a threat of an unlikely comeback which could all to easily have materialised except for some classy interventions from an imperious Cedric Krou - one of which he followed up with a mazy 70 yard spoiled only by a shot that ballooned over the bar.

With that, the Rams restored equilibrium and calm. Smith saved brilliantly from Dean, set up by another strong run from Hulme and a neat cut back, and the Rams closed the game out comfortably although where four minutes off added time came from is as much a mystery as how they managed to let Nantwich beat them at home earlier in the season.