CHRIS Willcock was delighted to see Ramsbottom United topple league leaders Workington in what he said was an 'outstanding' team performance.

The Rams moved to the top of the BetVictor League North West Division thanks to goals from Reuben Jerome and Josh Hmami at a packed Harry Williams Riverside Stadium.

It was the perfect response to the 3-2 defeat at Dunston the previous Tuesday that saw the Rams 12-match unbeaten league run come to an end.

Jerome got Ramsbottom off to a flying start with a goal in the third minute with Hmami doubling the lead just before the break.

"I thought the lads were outstanding from minute one," said Willcock. "The tempo we created was really good. Our possession, our discipline and work rate was first class and I thought with the ball we were very, very good.

"We could have ended up scoring a few more goals as the came opened up which I expected it to, I expected Workington to come out after half time and have a real go which they did to be fair but the lads stuck firm and that was what I was after really.

"A clean sheet, the lads defending how I know they can defend and I thought, collectively, we were outstanding."

Willlcock was delighted to see his free-scoring Rams keep a clean sheet for the first time since beat Droylsden 5-0 in mid-December.

"Even though we have been on a fantastic run, scoring a lot of goals, we have been conceding sloppy ones, collectively or individually making some really bad errors," he added.

"So we have been winning games 5-2, 7-1 against Moseley was a mistake again.

"We are the highest scoring team in the league and they have the best defensive record so something is going to give and what we had to do was to make sure our possession and discipline was very good.

"We talked about how they were going to play but the lads have implemented what we asked for and they were first class and were deserving winners.

"I don't want to single anybody for praise in particular, I thought the front three with the pressing and the shape and midfield on the back of that was very, very good. The back four, good discipline, great covering and communication.

"We have been harping on about that and that is probably our best performance on the back of the impressive run we have had."

That run ended with a 3-2 defeat at Dunston but Willcock was delighted with the response.

"When you score two goals away from home you expect to get something out of the game so that was disappointing," Willcock said of the defeat. "But the lads have responded and we have pressed the reset button and let's see if we can put another run."

Willcock refused to see the Workington win was the most important of the season but did say it was key to pick up points against teams in and round them at the top of the table.

"It was important for us to beat a team that has been going exceptionally well all season, they have shown great consistency and that is why they have been leading the table since the league kicked off," he said. "From our point of view it was good, we got beat off Marine who are up there, we beat Marske at home and we drew at Tadcaster. We got beat off Pontefract.

"So it was important for us and that can only give us great confidence going forwards."

The Rams travel to Droylsden on Saturday and despite that emphatic 5-0 home win in December, Willcock would happily take a 1-0 victory.

"1-0 will do me, three points, another clean sheet would be marvellous," he said. "Back to back clean sheets, we have not done that this season.

"So let's see if we can go there and get a clean sheet and if we win the game 1-0 I will be over the moon; three points and move on."