The Byron Rams Premier division football side went into equal 2nd place on the Premier League ladder after their tense 5-3 victory over Lennox Head on Tuesday night. Tom Ruhl added an amazing 4 goals to his tally, putting him in contention for the FFNC golden boot. So it was a real showdown on Saturday when the Rams faced equal placed Richmond Rovers. Before the match Byron head coach Peter Ware was optimistic “we are looking to cement a spot in the top 3” he said. “Any of our players are capable of scoring so if we continue to play good football our defenders can win us the game”. However it was Rovers that made the most of their luck on the day and were the eventual winners. Both teams went out hard fighting for possession. The Rams had 3 shots on target in the first 10 minutes but couldn’t get the ball in the net. The midfield was running ragged trying to create attacking opportunities for the forwards and it was great to see talented Victor Pires back in the mix. Rovers weren’t going to give anything away and both sides had to work overtime to find any openings. However at the 28 minute mark Rovers’ Bobby Bugden made a break up the left channel and smashed his way through the Rams defence. He turned and managed to get his shot past keeper Pierce Essery 1-0.
It was hard going for both teams and the large appreciative crowd was treated to some beautiful football and it was easy to see why they are both at the top of the competition table. The Rams had the run of play and kept up their shot rate but just couldn’t get through the tight Rovers defence. At 40 minutes Pierce Essery made the save of the game off a Rovers corner kick.
At ½ time Ware brought on midfielder Lachlan Dewar and striker Jordy Campbell who was just granted a release from playing in Western Sydney. It breathed new confidence into the Rams. However the run of catch up games started to take their toll and the replacement bench was empty after Shaun Packham and then Tommy Ruhl had to come off badly injured at 60 minutes. Kai Connell took his place in goals and young Essery was forced to play out on the field. At 80 minutes Rovers’ Troy Mathews fired a freak lucky shot from the sideline catching Connell off guard and finding the net. 2-0. The Rams dug deep for the last 10 minutes however their shots just wouldn’t go in the net. However the Rams still have another bite of the cherry for second place with another catch up game to go.