IWYRAH Gooden grabbed a hat-trick as Ramsbottom United continued their unbeaten run in fine style with a 5-2 win at the City of Liverpool.

Goals from Gooden along with a Josh Hmami brace were enough to seal all three points for Chris Willcock’s side as Rammy remained in second place in the BetVictor League North West Division.

But their impressive form in the league was not matched in the Integro League Cup as they were knocked out in their second-round tie at Trafford, defeated by the same scoreline they had racked up at the weekend.

Unbeaten since the first week of November, Rammy had flown out of the blocks at Liverpool and could easily have led within the first minute but Nic Evangelinos fired over the bar after good work from Jamie Rother and Gooden.

But the visitors did take the lead soon after as Gooden opened the scoring in the seventh minute, finishing at the far post after Evangelinos had flicked on a cross from Tom Kennedy.

The home side equalised in the 23rd minute thanks to a goal from Liam Hynes but they were only on level terms for six minutes as Eddie Moran’s miskick from an Evangelinos ball fell invitingly into the path of Gooden and he drilled a low shot beyond the home keeper.

The Rams were denied a third goal when Reuben Jerome saw his effort saved by Wheeler in the City of Liverpool goal but a third goal did arrive before the break when Josh Hmami volleyed home in fine style from another Evangelinos cross.

The second half began with a possession exercise from the Rams which featured a near miss from Gooden. Rother delivered another magnificent ball out onto the right where the number seven was unlucky not to score with an effort that flew over the bar.

But in the 67th minute, it was 4-1 when a Kennedy ball from the left was touched home by Hmami.

Following Hmami’s goal, substitute Jamie McDonald forced Rams’ keeper Brad Wade into a flying save and from the resulting corner, McDonald saw a further chance flash wide.

Gooden completed his hat-trick in the 85th minute with a smart finish past Wheeler after a wonderful piece of midfield work from Moran in the build-up.

Winning the ball off McEllin as he caught his opposite number off guard on the half turn, Moran supplied a superb ball out to Gooden who finished the work off with ease, ensuring the Rams would take all three points back down the East Lancashire Road.

There was a final goal in the game, however, as the home side gave some respectability to the scoreline in the dying moments. Nevitt pulling a goal back.

Nevertheless, the win maintained the Rams’ 100-per-cent record in 2020 and also extended their unbeaten run to 12 games in all competitions.

That came to a crashing halt on Tuesday, however, as Trafford – who came into the game in poor form – hit Willcock’s men for five in their cup tie.

The Rams made five changes from Saturday, with Daniel Naidole, Richie Baker, Mason Fawns, Greg Daniels and Karl Jones coming in for Kennedy, Rother, Jerome, Evangelinos and Reece Fishwick.

It took eight minutes for the first Rammy shot on goal, Daniels’ effort from the edge of the box easily saved by Trafford’s Matt Cooper.

The hosts took the lead just three minutes later, former Ram Max Hazeldine slotting home at the back post after a well worked team goal down the left-hand side.

Rammy almost responded immediately but Fawns was also denied by keeper Cooper.

But Trafford doubled the lead on 14 minutes from the penalty spot, Moran having fouled Darius Palma just inside the box.

Palma took the spot kick himself, putting it firmly out of Bradley Wade’s reach.

After chances came and went for each team, a third goal for Trafford on 39 minutes deflated the visitors, captain Sam Egerton firing in from close range to make it 3-0 at the break.

With a little more than 15 minutes of the second half gone, Trafford put the game to bed with a fourth goal through Palma, who virtually walked through the Rams defence with ease before slotting home.

Two goals in a minute then saw the Rams make a fist of it, the first an own goal by Egerton, who sent a header past his own keeper.

The second came from the penalty spot after a foul on Gooden, Evangelinos burying it to give his side hope of a remarkable comeback.

And Rammy should have had a third just two minutes later.

Evangelinos threaded an excellent cross to the unmarked Moran but his close range effort was somehow saved on the line by the Trafford keeper.

Fawns had a golden chance nine minutes from time, but his shot whizzed over the bar by a matter of inches.

And the spirited fightback was ended as Trafford added a fifth on 84 minutes. Sam Baird got above everyone in the box to head home at a corner, sealing Rammy’s first defeat since the start of November.

They get back to the bread-and-butter of the league this weekend with a trip to Brighouse Town.