Cammell Laird 1 Bamber Bridge 3
Northern Premier League 1st Division North
Saturday 13th August 2011
By Dave Rowland
Bamber Bridge took the spoils on the opening day of term with a fine 3-1 victory at Kirklands over Rock Ferry side Cammell Laird. Brig controlled the game throughout, but had to endure a frustrating first 45 minutes, when, after having made most of the running, they found themselves a goal down. The Irongate side persevered after the break and stepped up a gear. Inevitably, their endeavours were ultimately rewarded following another scintillating display.
Brig kicked off the new season at an overcast Kirklands and went straight onto the offensive but were nearly caught out when a mix-up between skipper Michael White and full-back George Bowyer let in ‘Lairds’ diminutive striker David McNamara. After swirling his shot around the stranded Brig goalkeeper, Lee Dovey
, McNamara looked on in disbelief when the ball struck the post and bounced away to safety.
Following this piece of good fortune, Brig responded quickly on 13 minutes, and following a sweeping move, a Matty Jones effort flew beyond ‘Lairds’ goalkeeper, Phil Palethorpe before smacking against an upright. Chris Marlow
’s follow-up was cleared off the goal-line by a defender. Brig came on in force again in a hectic opening spell and a Stuart Howson header from a Bowyer cross from the right, just cleared the crossbar.
The visitors somehow survived a goalmouth scramble on 23 minutes as the pace remained unrelenting and a Marlow ‘goal’ for Brig at the other end two minutes later, was ruled out for an infringement.
On the half-hour mark Shay Dysart came close for Cammell Laird with an audacious long-shot from distance, which flew just beyond Dovey’s crossbar, before a swirling effort by Matt Mahoney at the other end flew inches past an upright as Brig continued to edge matters.
Against the run of play Brig found themselves a goal down on 39 minutes after AARON BOWEN went down under the combined attentions of White and Luke Atherton. The tall striker dusted himself down before sending Dovey the wrong way from the resultant spot kick.
Brig almost equalised just prior to the break after Alistair Waddecar
shot narrowly across the face of goal, following a well delivered pass from Bowyer. After controlling much of the play, Bamber Bridge found themselves going in at the break a goal behind.
As was expected, the visitors came out fighting after the interval and Waddecar came very close with another cross-shot on 49 minutes following a superb Matt Mahoney pass which had unlocked the home rearguard. ‘Man of the match’ Palethorpe then made a spectacular double-save, first from the head of Stuart Howson from a Waddecar corner on the right before recovering in time to deny Ryan Salmon who headed a Matt Mahoney cross from point-blank range, tipping the effort over his crossbar.
However, Palethorpe’s brave resistance was finally broken on 54 minutes when Brig skipper. MICHAEL WHITE headed home from the resultant corner, delivered by Waddecar from the right. Brig’s leading marksman last term, White, had opened Brigs account at Mossley on the opening day of term last August.
Galvanised by the goal, Bamber Bridge went in desperate search of further plunder and began to completely dominate proceedings. Indeed, little was seen of ‘Lairds as an attacking force from this point on.
Palethorpe was really on his game when keeping out a low ‘screamer’ from Matt Mahoney on the hour mark from a Salmon lay-off as Brig continued to press forward in numbers, before the visitors deservedly got their noses in front six minutes later. The pressure on the home goal was relentless and following a pin-point through-ball from Matty Mahoney, Alistair Waddecar
deftly curled a shot with the outside of his foot past the beleaguered Palethorpe from just inside the box.
On 73 minutes the game was over for the homesters with what was, arguably, the best goal of the game. Bowyer put the speeding RYAN SALMON away down the right channel and after brushing aside the attentions of an incoming defender, Brig’s number-nine, skilfully squeezed his shot between Palethorpe and the near post from a rapidly narrowing angle. It was a quality strike.
Salmon then struck the angle of post and crossbar with a spectacular effort minutes later from a delightful Marlow pass as the home team wilted under the storm. Just before the end of proceeding Palethorpe made two exceptional saves. He dived low to block a Marlow effort from point-blank range and minutes later bravely saved at the base of the goalpost, as Waddecar moved in for the kill.
Bamber Bridge : Dovey, Bowyer, Howson, Atherton, White, Jones, Waddecar, M Mahoney, Salmon, Johnstone, (Cass 65mins), Marlow (Lakeland 83mins). Unused subs : Reynolds, Jackson and Green.
Attendance : 68