Ramsbottom United began a run of three home games in five days with a disappointing 2-0 reversal against a Colne side that looked more up for the challenge, writes Tony Cunningham.

The away side showed more determination from the off, leaving the home side on the back foot.

As early as the third minute, home keeper Chris Thompson needed to use his legs to block a goal-bound effort from Lucas Weaver, before the stopper had to, once again, be on his guard as a dangerous in-swinging cross needed to be clawed away from under the bar.

Ryan Bolton fired over the bar as the visitors kept up the pressure before the Rams gradually forced their way into the action.

A fluent move ended up with the ball at the feet of Matty Birchall, but some desperate defending sent it out for a corner. Another block prevented Harvey Whyte from firing in an effort, but the away side’s determination to wrestle back control saw a number of opportunities created in the Rams box. Thompson had to be alert to defy Tom McCann before finding himself in the right spot to gather a ricochet off the body off Jakob Hebda.

Just as it looked like the teams would go in at the break level, an errant ball on the Rams left, was picked up and slammed across to the far side. Former United player Billy Hasler-Cregg was the recipient and he sent in a cross that evaded everyone but struck the inside of the far post. Despite a frantic attempt to clear, the assistant referee flagged to say that it had bounced over the line, and suddenly the half-time team talks from both sides changed.

The second half continued in a similar vein, with misplaced passes from the home side inflicting damage to any attempt to find a foothold back in the match.

With the exception of a Luke Sephton long-range attempt which flew over the goal, Charles Monk in the Colne goal had a relatively easy night.

A second goal after 69 minutes finished the game off as a contest.

The ever-impressive Weaver was on hand to receive a pass into the penalty area, and he turned superbly to fire home a gem of a goal, leaving Colne well in command.

From then on, the game tended to peter out with little in the way of opportunities for either side with the home side rarely looking capable of producing anything worthwhile.

The end of a long season really can’t come quick enough, and this was a game, played at the fourth attempt, that seemed to confirm such thoughts.

Manager Steve Wilkes said: “Disappointing performance and result, especially after the last couple of performances.

“The goal on half-time has killed us. Chris Thompson had made a couple of good saves and we had a couple of half-chances, but it looked an end-of-season game in my eyes.

“We made poor decisions with the ball in the first half and second half we didn’t create enough chances to threaten the Colne defence."

Ramsbottom host Padiham on Thursday before completing their season with an all-ticket sell out against derby rivals Bury.

The club have warned there will be a 'no ticket, no admission' policy and security will be present to prevent unauthorised access.

Fans are being encouraged to get to the ground as early as possible and to either walk or catch public transport as there is no parking at the ground. Anyone driving are asked to use town centre car parks or local streets if possible.