THE Wingmakers continued their pre-season preparations with a 2-1 away defeat to Ramsbottom United of the Evo-Stik League at the Riverside Stadium.

Airbus opened brightly with Lewis Short going closest to opening the scoring, but he failed to keep his effort down.

Phil Dean raced down the left for the home side before slamming in an angled drive which flew into the side netting.

On 13 minutes the Rams had an amazing let-off when four close range attempts were hacked off the line before Grant Shenton, in goal, pulled off a first-class save and was relieved to see the follow-up sail over the bar.

But, on 18 minutes, Rammy took the lead. A disputed free-kick on the right was hurled into the crowded penalty area, where Tom Brooks ducked to send his header just inside the post.

At the other end Glenn Rule was on the end of a fine move before placing his shot just to high, but Rule it was who levelled the scores on 28 minutes. 

Slack marking allowed him time to find space in the box, and as the ball arrived from the right, he promptly dispatched it from 10 yards out.

Another fine run from Dean was thwarted when his final shot was blocked, whilst for Airbus, trialist Jay Owen hit the target but Shenton was equal to it.

The game continued to swing from end to end in the second half.

Rule saw his volley blocked, before United's Adam Morning was inches off target with a fine curling shot from the corner of the penalty area.

Airbus upped the pressure with danger man Rule slamming a fierce drive goalwards which Shenton did well to cover with Chris Budrys ready to pounce. Short again went close with a low angled drive, before Steve Jones netted from close range only for the linesman’s flag to chalk it off.

Shenton again had to be at his best to deal with a long-range effort from Tom Field, before Mark Drew chanced his arm at the other end, only to be wide of the target.

The home side nudged in front on 67 minutes.

A Gary Stopforth corner on the right found captain Andy Dawson near the far post and his header found the gap to restore the Rams lead.

Airbus replied with a perfectly timed through ball for Jones, but Shenton came bravely out of his goal to smother the ball at the on-rushing forward’s feet.

The Rams attacked again down the right, with Jon Robinson laying the ball back to Dominic Smalley whose goalbound shot took the slightest deflection to earn the home side another corner.

Ryan Wade should have done better for the Wingmakers when he raced into the area, but drove his shot wide of the far post, whilst the visitors had keeper James Coates to thank as he denied Smalley again after he had been played in down the left.

Shenton then dealt with another good effort from Airbus full-back Sam Hart to preserve the slender lead.

[Report and photo courtesy].