In their first FA Vase match for 12 years, Ramsbottom United avoided a potential banana skin as they travelled over the Pennines to take on Northern Counties East side Worsbrough Bridge Athletic, running out 3-0 winners, writes Tony Cunningham.

With the home side playing at a level below the Rams, any concerns that a giant-killing was on the cards vanished from the off.

A warning from manager Steve Wilkes not to be complacent was taken on board from the first minute as the visitors took the game to the hosts and remained in firm control throughout the ninety minutes.

Wilkes has a special liking for this competition as he took Northwich Victoria to an agonising penalty shoot out loss in the semi-final, with a trip to Wembley tantalisingly close. How he would love another shot of making it all the way, this time with the Rams!

With a strong following cheering on the team, the difference in gulf was obvious and the only surprise was the fact that the visitors only managed to score three times.

The early dominance soon paid off when after just 15 minutes, Henri Ogunby chased onto a loose ball and drove into the area before planting the ball past the home keeper from an acute angle.

The remainder of the half saw the away team create more chances, although none were taken, much to the frustration of Wilkes who expressed his disappointment during the half-time break.

Whatever he said did the trick, for within a minute of the restart, Matt Dudley was on the end of a good move to poke the ball home from close range to double the lead.

From then on the outcome was never in doubt, it was a case of how many more the Rams could notch.

The home side were becoming frustrated, and tackles began to go in, but the away side refused to bend and eventually clinched a third on 74 minutes.

Kuda Chingwaro found the ball 25 yards out and he had time to fire home a delicious strike which beat the home keeper all ends up.

More chances came Ramsbottom's way, but the final whistle blew on a one-sided affair, with Ryan Hamer in the Rams goal, rarely troubled throughout the match.

Despite what appeared to be poor opposition, the Rams played some attractive football, showing how well the new-look squad is blending, and whilst the main aim will be a quick return to the Northern Premier League, it will be interesting to see just how far they can progress in the FA Vase.

The next round sees them at home to fellow-NWCFL side Euxton Villa on 23rd September.

Before then, however, a little matter of six more league fixtures to fulfil, to keep the team moving upwards in what looks like being a tightly-contested division.

Ramsbottom United: Hamer, Collinge, Walder, Walker(Whittingham 58mins), Radcliffe, Black, Ogunby, Jenkins(Rigby 80mins), Dudley, Gallagher, Chingwaro(Lockett 77mins). Subs not used: Roscoe, Ujahchuku, Hayhurst, Wood