RAMSBOTTOM United crashed out of the Lancashire FA Challenge Trophy at the quarter-final stage following defeat at Atherton Colleries.

The virtue of participation in this particular competition has been the subject of justifiable debate and with league fixtures beginning to pile up an exit from it could well be the silver lining in the cloud of a 2-1 defeat.


Nonetheless there will be concerns at the rather insipid performance given by the Rams against a team three levels lower in the pyramid.

To be fair there were extenuating circumstances, apart from the distraction of this weekend’s game against Stockport County.

The pitch was in a particularly poor condition and the Rams were upset that the Colleries second goal was allowed to stand following a clear hand ball in the box led to Jordan Cover firing home.

Despite that it was a well deserved win for the home side, in front of a crowd of 140.

There has been a groundhog day element to many of the goals conceded by the Rams this season stemming from an all out attack on the opposition goal.

On 15 minutes a scramble in the Colliers box was converted in seconds to a goal at the other end for Mark Truffas.

The reverse failed to rouse the Rams and it was not until they conceded the disputed second goal midway through the second half that they raised themselves from lethargy.

Five minutes later Grant Spencer curled in a delightful free kick with his first touch after coming on and for the remaining 15 minutes or so the Rams attacked with something like the urgency and style that might have been expected, but the equaliser failed to arrive and it was the Colleries who were left to savour a notable scalp.

Despite the defeat the match was a special occasion for Grant Shenton, who made his 200th start for the club in goal at Alder House.

“For me, he is the best keeper in non-league football,” said co-manager Anthony Johnson.