Bamber Bridge 7 Cammell Laird 0
Northern Premier League 1st Division North
Saturday 28th January 2012
By Dave Rowland
Bamber Bridge won the league and cup ‘treble’ over Rock Ferry outfit Cammell Laird with this thumping 7-0 success over the Birkenhead side in the First Division North at Irongate. This follows the 3-1 win at Kirklands in the league on the first day of term on the 13th August and the 3-0 triumph at the same venue back in October, when Brig knocked ‘Lairds’ out of the FA Challenge Trophy in the Preliminary Round.
The win was all the more merited due to the fact that the visitors, despite being bottom of the table, had made a marked improvement recently, having won their previous two outings in the First Division North. Brig have now lost just one of their last 12 games in the league, having won 7 and drawn 4, and as a result, they have made a good deal of ground up on leading group in the table since the turn of the New Year.
Quickly thumbing through the record books, Bamber Bridge have achieved 7-0 victories only three times previously since they joined the semi-professional ranks back in 1990-91. The first time was on the 12th January 1993, when overcoming Blackpool Mechanics in a North West Counties League Floodlit Cup tie at Irongate. Brig knocked in seven without reply against Farsley Celtic in the First Division of the Northern Premier League on the 12th November 1994, again at Irongate, and then demolished Colwyn Bay by the same score at Llanelian Road in the Premier Division back on the 1st May 2000. Brig’s highest winning margin in the semi-pro game however, came on the 10th September 1994 when they overcame Curzon Ashton at Irongate in the First Division by 8-0.
Three first-half goals set Brig on their way to a goal feast against luckless Cammell Laird, although in reality, there was little to choose between the sides at the interval. The South Ribble side had been more clinical in front of goal with Lairds having failed to take the chances that fell their way. Lairds striker Jack McGowan was sent off on the stroke of half-time for violent conduct and any hope that the visitors may have harboured of staging a come-back after the break, vanished at that moment. A dominant and unrelenting Brig, ran in four more goals in the second period to complete the rout, thus extending their good run in the league.
‘Lairds’ kicked off on a bright but very cold afternoon at Irongate and were first to show when a Connor Millington header flew just beyond the angle of the goalpost and the crossbar from a well executed free-kick by his skipper Chris Adamson on 3 minutes.
Brig responded and they were desperately unlucky not to have got their noses in front on 12 minutes when a close range effort by Salmon was blocked on the goal-line by a defender following a goalmouth melee which developed after a viciously in-swinging Alistair Waddecar
corner-kick had caused a ‘ping-pong‘ session to ensue inside the visitors six-yard box.
A well worked short-corner routine between Jack McGowan and John Riley on the left almost created the opener for Cammell Laird on 15 minutes when Adamson’s shot just cleared the Brig crossbar as the visitors confidently attacked the home goal.
The heavy conditions underfoot advantaged no one, but despite this, both sides worked the ball about with pace and precision.
The visitors were well in the match at this stage and took the game to their hosts. Indeed, their creativity almost brought them some reward on 20 minutes when diminutive wingman John Riley, fired over a dangerously swirling cross which whipped across the face of goal and Brig goalkeeper, Lee Dovey
, had to be at his best in blocking a shot from close range at the back post from the inrushing Aaron Bowen.
Bamber Bridge clinically took the lead on 24 minutes with a powerful header by skipper LUKE ATHERTON who rose to meet well deposited free-kick from Waddecar.
‘Lairds’ responded and almost equalised ten minutes later when Dovey saved at full length from McGowan, who had taken advantage of a square home defence to move rapidly in on goal.
The visitors paid dearly for their missed opportunities when Brig showed them the way to goal on 35 minutes when the South Ribble side doubled their account with a spectacular strike. Billy McKenna nonchalantly rolled the ball into the path of DANNY MAHONEY who deftly lifted a curling shot over the head of the exposed ‘Lairds’ goalkeeper Martyn Stevenson and into the back of the net from fully 30 yards out.
DANNY MAHONEY grabbed his second and Brig’s third goal on 44 minutes with a fine volley at the back post following an inch perfect cross from his brother Matt, to put the homesters into a commanding lead. Worse was to follow for the shell-shocked visitors on the stroke of half-time when they were dramatically reduced to ten men when striker McGowan was dismissed for violent conduct.
Waddecar opened the second period with a sparkling run and his cross-come-shot on 47 minutes from wide on the right, bounced along the top of the crossbar. Then Brig were awarded a penalty-kick on 53 minutes when Chay Dysart brought down substitute Chris Marlow
as the Brig man made his towards goal. However, Danny Mahoney’s spot-kick was brilliantly tipped away to safety by Stevenson.
At the other end, Dovey got down low to save a fierce drive from Adamson on 55 minutes as ‘Lairds’ gallantly plugged away. The visitors were resolutely defending but they were increasingly having to depend on the occasional breakaway as the game wore on.
Bamber Bridge however, were in no mood for charity and after 65 minutes they increased their lead when RYAN SALMON smacked home a raking drive from an acute angle following a neat flick-on from Danny Mahoney. Matt Mahoney worked his way through on goal on 70 minutes but fired into the side netting as Brig continued to assault the visitors goal.
The home team notched a fifth goal on 78 minutes when Alistair Waddecar
turned and neatly shot home from just inside the box following a fine cross from the left by the lively Danny Mahoney.
RYAN SALMON was unlucky on 80 minutes when his forceful header was palmed onto the crossbar by Stevenson from a Waddecar corner-kick but the battling front man was not to be denied and scored his second of the game three minutes later from close in after Waddecar’s persistence deep on the right. A minute later DANNY MAHONEY completed the rout with his hat-trick, the first by a Brig player this season, when finishing off further good industry by the mercurial Waddecar.
Bamber Bridge : Dovey, Bowyer, Lakeland (Clark 44mins), Atherton, Lawlor (Barton 67mins), D Mahoney, McKenna (Marlow 37mins), Reynolds, Salmon, M Mahoney, Waddecar. Unused Subs : D Green and Bonaminio
Attendance : 147