IF ever a game was expected to have goals in it it would be a fixture between Ramsbottom and Clitheroe.

The last five meetings between the two have produced 23 goals. But, though Saturday’s game at Clitheroe contained just three goals, two of them went to Rammy’s Jamie Rainford.

Tom Schofield had early chances but after keeper Ben Purdham saved his first effort he headed a Tom Kennedy corner just wide of the goal.

With Clitheroe barely threatening, it was the Rams who were knocking on the door for a goal in the first 30 minutes, with Nic Evangelinos twice clearing the bar and seeing another shot easily saved.

The visitors finally got the breakthrough on 36 minutes, Rainford breaking the deadlock with a close-range shot after he brought the ball down well in the area to put the Rams 1-0 up.

However, Clitheroe were back on level terms within three minutes thanks to a Rammy old boy, Max Hazeldine, who looped the ball over the head of Sam Ashton from around 12 yards out to send the teams in level at the break.

Clitheroe threatened in the early stages of the second half, with Ashton saving a goalbound free kick and the hosts’ appeals for a penalty for a foul on Antonie Reizac turned down by the referee.

The Rams’ winning goal came on 56 minutes, Rainford shooting low and hard from the edge of the box to find the corner of the goal.

Rammy nearly had a chance to put daylight between themselves and their hosts when the referee initially awarded a penalty for a handball against Michael Wilson.

However, following a touchline discussion between the referee and his assistant they decided an attacker had strayed offside as the ball came into the box.

Rainford went close to completing his hat-trick four minutes from time but shot wide.

It made no difference as Chris Willcock’s men saw out a win that moved them up two places to fourth in Evo-Stik West.

“I was pleased, we’ve got back to winning ways after a couple of defeats,” said Willcock. “I thought overall in the first half we generally controlled the game and created some good half-chances.

“We look a threat from set pieces and we were pleased to get our noses in front and I was then hoping for us to kick on.

“In the second half we came out and the conditions played quite a part, it was a stiff breeze and both teams found it difficult to get out and play some decent football.

“I thought the pitch let us down at times when we got ourselves into good areas, but obviously they made a mistake and Rainford does what he’s been doing well over his career and gets a brace which is pleasing and we come away with the points which, overall, we thoroughly deserved.”