Scarborough Athletic 2 - 3 Bamber Bridge
Alan Bateson reports on Brig's crucial victory against promotion rivals Scarborough.
Bamber Bridge made the long trip East on Saturday afternoon to the Yorkshire Riviera and Scarborough, and a real 6 pointer Brig could ill afford to lose. Reno’s boys certainly didn’t lose and returned home with all 3 points safely packed away after a magnificent display and 3-2 victory.
In front of a large and vociferous home crowd of over 1,100 The home side stared the brighter as the Brig players took time to accustom themselves to the artificial pitch. The first chance of the game went Boro’s way, a header from a corner falling wide of Lloyd Rigby’s post. The home side continued to press with Brig slowly but surely getting to grips with the pitch and starting to pass the ball around.
Brigs 1st attempt on goal arrived in the 10th minute when a low cross from the left from whipped across the 6 yard box was met at the far post by Keiran Charnock, but his half volleyed effort cleared the crossbar. From their next attack Boro took the lead. The home side broke down the right and a superb defence splitting pass was met by the advancing centre forward who swept the ball home from 8 yards.
The goal clearly lifted Scarborough and Brig were forced to soak up the pressure as the hosts looked to capitalise. Brig held firm and weathered the storm before starting to create chances of their own. On 27 minutes Regan Linney weaved in to the area but his shot was blocked, seconds later Adam Dodd also saw his shot charged down. Just 3 minutes later and brig were level. Lewis Nightingale picked up the ball midway in to the Boro half, advanced towards goal before bending a superb effort from the edge of the box over the keeper.
It was now the visitors looking the more likely, and just 5 minutes later they took the lead with another sublime goal. Adam Roscoe won the ball in midfield following a superb tackle, the ball ran on to Ali Waddecar who raced in to the penalty area, as the keeper advanced Ali slotted the ball passed him into the bottom corner of the net and wheeled away in celebration. Brig were now rampant and a terrific 3 man exchange be-tween Roscoe, Nightingale and Waddecar ended with Nightingale shot skimming the bar. As Brig ended the half well on top Regan Linney almost made it three just on half time but the home keeper dived to his left to make a fine save.
Half time 1-2
The home side were out on the pitch a good few minutes before the Bamber Bridge side for the 2nd half and came flying out of the blocks determined to get back into the game. Brig had an enforced change as Adam Roscoe was replaced by Stu Vasey. For 15 minutes Scarborough put the Brig defence under tremendous pressure but the visitors defended magnificently with keeper Rigby commanding his area and dealing with the ariel bombardment.
Bamber Bridge were struggling to gain possession but on 65 minutes, and really the 1st meaningful attack of the half the Lancashire team increased their lead. Fantastic wing back play from Macauley Wilson saw skin the the Boro left back before delivering a peach of cross, Regan Linney met it at the far post to power home a bullet header to the utter dismay of the home fans.
The goal seemed to take the sting out of the home side and although they continued to dominate possession they were unable to break through the resolute Brig back line. With Brig looking dangerous on the break, Stu Vasey tried his luck with a 25 yard daisy cutter that the keeper saved comfortably.
With time ticking away for the home side and frustrations rising on the pitch and off it, Brig made their 2nd change. The vastly experienced Jamie Milligan replacing Lewis Nightingale. A further change moments later saw James Boyd replace Regan Linney.
With Brig slowing the game down, the frustrations of the home side came to the fore and a touchline fracas had players from both sides pushing and shoving each other. Brig keeper Rigby seemed to be the peacemaker getting the Brig players out of the way.
Rigby was then forced into a fine save as the game continued in to stoppage time. He dived full length to push away a low drive from close range. The home side forced 3 corners in succession and on the 3rd pulled a goal back. A fine overhead kick flashing into the back of the net.
A nerve jangling final 2 minutes ensued with Brig not allowing Boro another chance and ending the match to the jeers of the home support and the delight of the small band of visiting supporters.
Full Time: Scarborough Athletic - 2 Bamber Bridge - 3
Speaking after the game, Neil Reynolds paid tribute to both his team and the travelling fans
"It was a great win, credit to everybody involved".
Listen to Reno's full post-match interview: HERE
Team: Rigby, Wilson, Dodd, Charnock, Lawlor (C), Potts, Waddecar, Forbes, Roscoe, (Vasey), Nightingale, (Milligan), Linney, (Boyd).
Unused subs: Marlow, Dudley
Match Reporter: Alan Bateson
Photo: Lewis Nightingale celebrates his goal (photo courtesy of Scarborough Athletic FC)