RAMSBOTTOM United turned in a ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ performance as they edged towards climbing off the foot of the Evo Stik League Premier Division.

For 45 minutes, the Rams produced some of their best football off the season - but only had Mitchell Tolley’s own goal to show for their efforts.

But after the break, the Rams inability to maintain an even level of performance, or to control and kill off games nearly came back to haunt them.


However, the victory was all that counted for Ramsbottom who are now just seven points from safety with a couple of games in hand.

United started superbly and Shelton Payne, out on the left, was irrepressible, irresistible and just about unplayable.

His every touch threatened a goal and the only surprise was that it took 27 minutes for one to arrive. And when it did, it came via the outstretched boot of Tolley who diverted Payne’s forceful low cross past his keeper.

Rushall were reduced to 10 men, seven minutes before the break after Payne was hauled down when free on goal.

The Rams surged forward with Alex Meaney prominent but could not grab a second goal that the first half performance more than deserved.

After the break, the Rams lacked momentum and allowed Rushall to seize control of the game.

Where Payne became a frustrated observer at one end, Luke Benbow sprang to life at the other and single handedly put the Rams back four under pressure.

And 10 minutes into the half, and looking a little offside, he sprang clear and lifted the ball over a diving Grant Shenton.

It was no more than Rushall deserved.

The game cried out for changes off the bench and, just before it was too late, the introduction of Robbie Bromley at right full back released Prince Heywood to play wide. At last Rushall were stretched. And with six minutes left, Heywood broke clear and his pass found Payne in space and his shot had enough power and direction to slip past he keeper.

There was still enough time for nervousness at the heart of the Rams defence to cause palpitations. A header thudded just wide with Shelton beaten and then only a desperate clearance from George Edmundson prevented Benbow from grabbing a second equaliser.

n Clitheroe earned a 1-1 draw at Prescot Cables.

Robert Doren fired Cables in the 53rd minute lead but Sefton Gonzales equalised 15 minutes from time.