Ramsbottom United travelled to old rivals Mossley in the Preliminary round of the FA Cup, and can count themselves unlucky that they did not progress further in the competition, writes Tony Cunningham.

A first half goal was all that separated the two sides, as the hosts withstood a second half barrage to successfully move into the next round.

The Rams certainly missed the presence of holidaying leading scorer Matt Dudley as their first half build up failed to produce any real chances whilst the hosts hit the bar at the other end before taking the lead in the 34th minute,

The ball was played in from the left and the awaiting Bailey Marsden had the time to line up his shot from the edge of the penalty area that flew past Ryan Hamer in the Rams goal.

The team from the higher division went in at the break with a slender lead that they just about deserved, but buoyed by a number of substitutions, the visitors looked a different side in the second 45 minutes.

Playing down the slight slope, the home side were well contained, although they did once again strike the bar, but the majority of the play took place in the Mossley half.

Some attractive football saw the home team having to defend their lead whilst the visitors stoked up the pressure.

Kuda Chingwaro fired in a superb drive from 25 yards that flew inches over the bar as the Rams sought a deserved equaliser.

Then two glorious chances presented themselves in the final ten minutes, as through balls split the Mossley defence.

Alas tangled feet prevented both Ryan Lockett and Henri Ogunby from latching on and testing the home keeper, much to the despair of the Rams management team and supporters.

Based on the dominant second half performance, the least the Rams deserved was a replay, and on another day they could well have won the tie, but the lack of fire power ultimately let them down, and any further financial rewards in this competition will go to a Mossley side that would have breathed a sigh of relief at the final whistle.

Ramsbottom United: Hamer, Collinge, Walder, Walker, Radcliffe, Roscoe(Ujahchuku 89mins), Gallagher(Ogunby 73mins), Jenkins(Locket 86mins), Jackson, Whyte, Chingwaro. Subs not used: Greenwood, Rigby, Whittingham, Lungenyi