Brig Play Their Part In Excellent Game
Curzon Ashton 3 Bamber Bridge 1
Northern Premier League 1st Division North
Monday 12th March 2012
By Dave Rowland
Bamber Bridge’s poor run of results continued following this 1-3 defeat in the First Division North against Curzon Ashton at their well appointed Tameside Stadium. The result put Curzon in pole position in the table; three points ahead of Warton side AFC Fylde.
Brig have now gone eight games without a win in the league; their last victory being the 7-0 mauling of relegation candidates Cammell Laird on the 28th of January. However, despite the result, this was a much improved performance by the South Ribble side who were not overawed by their high-flying hosts and played with a lot of spirit, determination and guile throughout.
After going two goals down before the break, Brig fought very hard and deservedly pulled a goal back just prior to the half-time whistle. A third Curzon strike early in the second-half proved to be the killer touch, but nevertheless, the battling visitors pushed the promotion seeking Tameside team all the way, in what was a very pacy and entertaining game of football.
Bamber Bridge kicked off on a chilly but otherwise pleasant evening and the early exchanges proved to be fairly even. That was until Curzon got their noses in front after just 9 minutes. A well flighted Matthew Purcell corner-kick taken from left was firmly headed home at the near post by SAMUEL WALKER.
Despite this early set-back, the visitors remained positive and began to build up the type of momentum that had eluded them in the game against Witton Albion at the weekend.
Both sides moved the ball about with pace, playing attractive and purposeful football and the advantage swung first one way and then the other.
Mike Clark put Alistair Waddecar in on the left with a neat chip on 20 minutes, but Curzon goalkeeper, Joshua Ollerenshaw, came out quickly and managed to deflect the winger’s effort around the goalpost.
Brig were more that holding their own against a very slick and polished Curzon side who were playing a lovely brand of passing football.
Visiting goalkeeper, Lee Dovey pulled off a great save on 35 minutes when he got down well to stop a fierce Chris McDonagh drive from the left following a neat through-ball from his lively midfield colleague Brian Summerskill as Curzon steadily built up the pressure.
The home side’s creative endeavours paid off on 37 minutes when they increased their lead. SAMUEL WALKER moved menacingly in from deep on the right flank before unleashing a rasping low drive from the corner of the penalty box which zipped into the net beyond Dovey’s reach. It was a fine strike and an excellent individual goal by the Curzon man and his second of the game.
Moments later the home side were desperately unlucky not to have grabbed a third when a powerful rising drive by Kristian Dennis struck the angle of the goalpost and the crossbar following an exquisitely precise through-ball from the tireless Walker.
If that effort had gone in, as good as it was, the score-line would most certainly have been a little harsh on Bamber Bridge in what had thus far been a fairly closely contested encounter. Indeed, before the close of the first half, the South Ribble side had pulled a goal back to give the score-line a more representative picture of the balance of play.
Brig’s leading marksman Alistair Waddecar took advantage of some sloppy defensive play by the homesters on 43 minutes when he latched onto a poorly directed pass and nipped in to slip the ball passed the stranded Ollerenshaw for his 16th strike of the campaign.
Waddecar almost grabbed his second goal moments later when firing inches over the crossbar following some excellent work on the right by Danny Mahoney.
Curzon opened on the offensive in the second period and Walker went close to achieving his hat-trick twice. First when he shot narrowly over on 47 minutes from a deft Dennis cross, before his well-struck free-kick from 30 yards out flew inches past the goal-post.
At the other end, Waddecar went on a mazy run through the home defence but was successfully stopped just as it looked as though he may be about to break clean through on goal.
However, Curzon added a third goal on 55 minutes when the Brig defence got themselves into a tangle and as the ball ran loose Dennis squared into the path of the unmarked CHRIS McDONAGH who had the simple task of firing home from about six-yards out. It proved to be Brig‘s nemesis.
The goal temporarily changed the course of the game and instead of pressing on in search of an equaliser, the visitors found themselves two goals adrift and looking a little deflated.
Despite this, they showed a great deal of character and continued to push forward when the opportunity presented itself. A clever ball over the Curzon back line on 70 minutes put in the overlapping Brig full-back George Bowyer, but Ollerenshaw comfortably fielded the resultant shot.
The home team played some delightful football as they began to force the pace and Bamber Bridge were having to ‘dig in’. Curzon spurned a great chance of a fourth goal on 85 minutes when Purcell put McDonagh away, but the striker fired wide from a good position.
To their credit Bamber Bridge kept plugging away and their persistence almost got its reward in the dying minutes of the game when substitute Bradley Carsley headed a Waddecar corner-kick just wide at the back post.
Bamber Bridge : Dovey, Bowyer, Marlow (Barton 45mins), Atherton, Lawlor, Bonaminio, McKenna (Carsley 45mins), M Mahoney, D Mahoney, M Clark (Green 45mins), Waddecar. Unused Subs : Reynolds and Gonzales.
Attendance : 121