Non-league Matters: Anthony Johnson says Ramsbottom United eager to get campaign kick-start underway

By Ross McLean

Relieved Ramsbottom United joint-manager Anthony Johnson admits his players are chomping at the bit going into tonight’s showdown with Salford City after their weekend return to form.

Rammy’s maximum points haul from Saturday’s trip to Cantilever Park against Warrington Town saw Johnson’s side return to form after a stuttering run of only one win five matches.

And the former Clitheroe striker believes the manner of their victory over Shaun Reid’s Warrington should stand Ramsbottom in good stead for tonight and the remainder of the season.

“We have Salford at home tonight and the lads are full of confidence and raring to be playing all the time now after Saturday’s win,” he said.

“And because we beat a Warrington as opposed to a GarforthTown, the players can take a lot of confidence from a good performance and result.

“We executed our philosophy of getting the ball down and playing perfectly after an initial battle – hopefully we have overcome our little stumble now and we can move on.

“You could see the confidence flooding back on Saturday where we put in a very good performance as well as getting a brilliant result.”

Johnson and Co sit one place outside the Evo-Stik League Division One play-offs, only a point behind fifth-placed Curzon Ashton with three games in hand.

The 2012 North-West Counties Premier Division champions are close to a return to the play-offs, although Johnson is taking nothing for granted.

“The last time we played Salford a couple of weeks ago we were beating them comfortably but they came back and gave us a massive scare,” he said.

“We were three-nil up with 20 minutes to go but they rallied, scored a couple of goals and we only ended up winning 3-2.

“We know it’s going to be tough but we’re pleased with the three points we got on Saturday and we’ll take that into tonight and look to do the same again.”

After tonight, Ramsbottom have only six games remaining as they target back-to-back promotions, with some tasty fixtures ahead against fellow-promotion candidates.

But Johnson is relaxed about the league table at present, accepting there will be a few twists and turns to come before the end of the campaign.

“What people do when they look at the league table is automatically give every side around you maximum points,” he said.

“But that’s impossible as everyone has to play each other yet – we have Cammell Laird, Trafford and Mossley to come yet.”

Picture courtesy of Rob Moss, with thanks

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