Bamber Bridge 2 Radcliffe Borough 3
Northern Premier League 1st Division North
Tuesday 3rd April 2012
By Dave Rowland
Following the narrow loss at Ossett Town at the weekend, Bamber Bridge suffered a further disappointment when going down by 2-3 at home against fellow Lancastrians, Radcliffe Borough, in the First Division North at the Irongate ground.
Brig eventually narrowly lost out in this well contested and entertaining game when ‘Boro’ replied to a late Brig equaliser to grab all three points.
Brig kicked off on an extremely cold and windy evening at the Irongate ground and the opening period was to be a lively and closely fought affair and this was to be a feature for the whole of the evening’s proceedings.
Each side created goal-worthy openings within minutes of the game kicking off. ‘Boro’s’ Declan Fletcher went very close as early as the first minute when heading a Matthew Chadwick cross narrowly over the Brig crossbar, whilst at the other end moments later, Brig’s Chris Marlow
’s cross-come-shot had to be tipped over by visiting goalkeeper Nick Culkin.
Darren Green had the ball in the back of the net for the home side on 5 minutes following a dazzling run and cross from the left by Alistair Waddecar
. However, Brig’s joy was short-lived when the ‘goal’ was ruled out for off-side.
Waddecar was showing great enterprise as he twisted and turned his way passed a couple of defenders on 10 minutes before shooting narrowly beyond the far post following a neat cross from the left by full-back Lydon Hodgkiss. Then the mercurial wingman sent over a well directed free-kick which centre-back, Ciaron Barton, just failed to convert at the back post a minute later as Brig took the game to their guests.
The South Ribble side were rewarded for their endeavours on 23 minutes with the opening goal of the game when the irrepressible Alistair Waddecar
fired home at the back post for his 17th strike of the season after Culkin had pushed aside a fine drive from Green on the right.
Brig continued to shade matters and had the ball in the net for a third time on the half-hour mark when Leon McLoughlin sized onto a superb through-ball from Barton. However, the Irongate men were again denied when the ‘goal’ was surprisingly ruled out when the referee adjudged that McLoughlin had impeded the Culkin.
The visitors almost equalised on 40 minutes when a fine in-swinging corner-kick from the left by Fletcher was headed off the goal-line by Marlow as ‘Boro’ got more into the game with some purposeful play.
Radcliffe turned the game on its head with two goals within a minute either side of the break. Brig goalkeeper, Lee Dovey
made an uncharacteristic blunder when he somehow allowed a speculative shot from thirty wards out by BEN WHARTON to squirm from his grasp and roll into the net on 44 minutes, before a fine volley by MATTHEW CHADWICK flew into goal via the goalpost on 46 minutes to put the visitors into the lead.
Bamber Bridge were stunned into a response and mounted a series of raids. However, The ‘Boro’ rearguard held firm and minimised the danger.
However, Brig stepped up a gear in search of parity and almost got their reward on 62 minutes when a McLoughlin effort was headed off the line by a defender following a Waddecar cross.
‘Boro’ too were playing some delightful football and almost got through on goal on 76 minutes when Dovey bravely saved at the feet of the inrushing Fletcher.
The South Ribble side came on strongly with the wind at their backs and McLoughlin was desperately unlucky on 79 minutes when his thunderbolt from just outside the right-hand angle of the ‘Boro’ penalty box came back into play off the base of the goalpost with Culkin beaten.
However, the homes side’s persistence was eventually to pay dividends with an equaliser a minute later when a deflected DANNY MAHONEY shot from distance wrong footed Culkin before finding the roof of the net.
The story however was to have a sting in its tail. Despite the all their efforts in pulling themselves back into contention, Brig were completely undone by a third ‘Boro’ goal within two minutes of the equaliser when, following a sweeping move down the right, JOHN HARDIKER rifled the ball home at the back post from a Wharton cross. And that, as they say, was that!
Bamber Bridge : Dovey, Bowyer, Hodgkiss, Barton, Lawlor, M Clark (Reynolds 45mins), McLoughlin, D Mahoney, Green, Waddecar, Marlow (Bell 45mins). Unused Subs : Holland and Swarbrick.
Attendance : 111