Lancaster City recorded their worst league defeat for nearly a decade as a ruthless Ramsbottom demolished their unbeaten Evo-Stik First Division North record on Tuesday night.
Rob Henry played just the opening five minutes before being substituted due to illness and with Ryan Elderton and Glenn Steel also injured captain Neil Marshall was the only first choice defender in a backline that was torn apart by a breathtaking attacking display by the hosts.
It was a blight on the home side that their first goal was marred in controversy as striker Jon Robinson from an offside position flicked on a route one ball into the path of Thomas Brooks who dispatched with ease.
The officials conversed and declared that Robinson hadn’t touched the ball and was not interfering with play to City’s fury.
From then on there was only going to be one winner as the hosts easily doubled their lead.
Jordan Hulme’s free header at the back post was the only one of a string of other first half chances to beat Mike Hale.
The ‘keeper was in great form, but even his efforts couldn’t keep the scoreline respectable for Darren Peacock’s side.
The patched up backline’s bad night got worse when Hale and Marshall summed up the first-half by having to be separated by teammates and officials as a heated argument broke out as the half-time whistle blew.
Any faint hope of a comeback in the second half went 90 seconds after the restart when Robinson drilled a shot across Hale into the bottom-right corner.
The strike pair of Robinson and Brooks had a good night thanks in large to wingers Dominic Smalley and Philip Dean who lapped up the Rams’ direct style of play.
In recent games a City defence would have enjoyed absorbing the pressure this sort of tactic but on this night disintegrated.
And when just four minutes into the second half Brooks doubled his tally to made it four for the hosts even the always rowdy and plentiful away support fell silent.
An astonishingly bad night didn’t stop there as Lee Gaskell and Smalley added their names to the score sheet in similar circumstances before the referee finally ended Lancaster’s ordeal, with 6-0 the final scoreline.
Despite the hammering, going forward the Dolly Blues were encouraging in the second half.
They had decent spells of possession and there were some nice flowing passing moves with Jackson going close on two occasions to getting a consolation.
Sadly however, this was a game that will be consigned to the record books for all the wrong reasons.
Lancaster City: Hale 7, Henry (Winder 5), Hudson 5, Marshall 4, Clark 4, Wills 5, Akrigg 5 (Mahoney 68), Hunter 6, Ince 5, Kilifin 5 (Wearing 55), Jackson 5. Subs not used: MacDonald
Star man: Mike Hale.