RAMSBOTTOM United boosted their prospects of a play-off place with a 2-1 win against Runcorn Linnets.

Almost 20 minutes passed without any goal attempts, then Luke Thompson headed wide from Tom Kennedy’s free kick and Nic Evangelinos nodded over when Eddie Moran sent a high ball into the box.

But the hosts took the lead with their first attempt on goal, 30 minutes in, Mitchell Bryant capitalising on the Rammy defenders’ hesitancy and sending a low shot past Sam Ashton.

The Rams drew level 10 minutes before the interval, Runcorn’s Peter Wylie handling in the box and Evangelinos converted the resulting penalty.

After going in level at the break, Ramsbottom almost led on 52 minutes, Kennedy finding Moran who was surging forward but his looping header over the onrushing goalkeeper bounced wide.

Chances came and went at both ends of the pitch before, midway through the second half, Moran charged down the right flank and sent in an inviting cross for Jamie Rainford to confidently stroke home for his 17th league goal of the season.

Rammy’s defensive unit was at its combative best in the latter stages with Thompson and Kelvin Lugsden solid in the centre, ably assisted by

full-backs Kyle Jacobs and Kennedy.

As time ticked away Runcorn’s frustrations began to surface with four yellow cards in little more than 10 minutes and Ashton comfortable in the visitors’ goal.

With the hosts throwing men forward the Rams had an opportunity to seal the points when a strong run from Evangelinos resulted in his effort flying wide of the target.

The remaining minutes were managed superbly by the Rams as they secured a valuable three points on the road against a play-off rival, moving above Linnets into third.