Danny Grainger praised Ramsbottom after his Workington side had lost 2-0 at the Riverside Stadium to concede top spot in the NPL North West Division.

Reds had led the table for five months, since the opening day of the season brought a 4-1 win over Pickering, but have now been leapfrogged by Rammy.

“I thought they played well. They got their goals and worked really hard to keep the lead. In fact in the end they could have won more than 2-0,” said Grainger.

“After their second goal I reacted by making two substitutions. I brought off Brad [Carroll] and Robbie [Hebson] but as I told them I could have brought off a few more than them. They reacted as I thought they would, getting changed and coming out to support their team-mates in the second-half.”

It was a re-run of the big New Year’s Day game at Pontefract - without the second-half improvement.

“There’s still a long way to go and it would have been very difficult to lead the table from start to finish. Others have been able to close in and make it tighter but we just have to respond in the right manner.

“We play Keswick on Tuesday night in the County Cup and I will be putting out a strong team. After that we will think about Saturday and another away game at Prescot.

“We weren’t able to bring in a new face this week. One we had in mind played for his club last Saturday and picked-up a knock. We will try again this week and there’s the possibility of having a new player for the Prescot game,” said Grainger.

Reds actually finished the game at Ramsbottom with ten men. The third substitute Charlie Bowman twisted his knee and was forced to retire for the last ten minutes.

“We will assess Charlie during the week and hopefully he will soon be back in contention,” said Grainger.