Bamber Bridge 1 - 0 Prescot Cables (03/10/17)
George Hodgson reports as Brig dig deep to secure another win at the Sir Tom Finney.
Phil Doughty’s first-half strike was enough for Bamber Bridge to claim a 1-0 victory over Prescot Cables, and their sixth successive win in all competitions.
Games come thick and fast in football, this match Bamber Bridge’s third game in a week. Their 7-0 demolition of Southport in the Lancashire Cup last Tuesday was followed up with a 0-1 away win at Ramsbottom United. Those results left Neil Reynolds’ side flying high and feeling good, with them sitting in second place in the table coming into this fixture.
Regan Linney has been amongst the goals this season, and he sent the first effort of the match over the bar, with a right footed strike from the edge of the box.
Lewis Baines made a vital last-ditch tackle to snatch the ball from the path of Prescot Cables striker Dominic Marie – that was the visitors’ first glimmer of a chance.
Linney won Brig’s first corner of the game, sending a dangerous ball in to the back post, which was sliced over the bar.
The visitors grew into the first-half, Rigby comfortably gatherered an effort from Aaron Turner, after the midfielder rode a couple of Brig challenges. Shortly after, Marie glanced a looping header onto the roof of the net, before Tunde Olawabi burst down the right-hand side, only to see his cross collected confidently once more by Rigby.
On the 23rd minute mark, Phil Doughty opened the scoring for Brig. The centre-half found himself unmarked in the box, to smash home the opener after latching onto Danny Forbes’ knockdown from the corner.
After a 10-minute spell with little chances for either team, Brad Carsley tried his luck from distance, but his powerful shot arrowed over the crossbar.
The ball dropped kindly for Jordan Southworth after a Cables free-kick from the right-hand side, but the winger failed to connect properly on the volley, and saw his effort dribble wide.
Carsley came close to doubling The Whites’ lead just before half time. The forward’s shot from 18-yards out took a couple of deflections before trickling inches past the post.
HALF TIME: Bamber Bridge 1-0 Prescot Cables (Doughty 23’)
Neil Reynolds made one change before the second-half. Macauley Wilson was replaced by Sam Staunton-Turner.
The second half started slowly, James McCulloch rattled a shot from distance that deflected just over the roof of the net. Shortly after, the second Brig sub was made, with James Boyd making way for Matt Dudley.
A powerful run from Danny Forbes on the 67th minute saw him break through down the left, his pull-back found Linney, whose effort flew high and wide of the mark.
After a second-half that had offered precious little in terms of chances, both sides went close to finding the net. Jordan Wynne’s piled driver from distance was superbly tipped round the post by Rigby in the Brig goal. The midfielder’s effort was destined to nestle in the bottom left corner. Moments later Linney forced his way down the left, only to see his poked effort on goal well blocked by Burgess from close range.
On the 72nd minute, Linney was substituted by Jamie Milligan. The visitors made a double change too, with Baba Conte and Harry Cain coming on for Aaron Turner & Dominic Marie.
The hosts restricted the visitors to efforts from distance, Olawabi the next to have a punt, his tame strike rolling into the grateful arms of Rigby.
Cables were proving a hard door to unlock, until the 90th minute when Forbes split the defence open to find Carsley, however the striker was denied by the onrushing Burgess. The chances were falling to the Brig number-nine, seconds later the ball fell to him once more, but the ball was struck into the advertising boards as oppose to the back of the net.
With the final whistle nearing, the hosts had to stand tall, with numerous balls into the box cleared well by the Brig backline. The one half-chance that came Cables’ way fell to substitute Harry Cain, but his volley skimmed off the turf and wide of the mark.
The Whites sealed the three-points after a tough fought ninety-minutes, which sees them remain in second spot, one point behind South Shields. It wasn’t the most glamorous game, but Brig did what they had to do against a battling away side.
Neil Reynolds was pleased with how his side dug-in the win the game: “It was one of the games we had to dig out, but we’ve got another goal and kept another clean sheet so were delighted with it and it’s another win so we build on that. He also added: “They’ve come and had a go tonight but my team at the minute is full of confidence at both ends,”
“We’re going to score but we’re also going to keep clean sheets, so once we got that one we addressed a few things at half-time and we knew how we were going to see the game through.”
The manager was also full of praise for the hunger shown by him young side: “There’s going to be times that teams come and stop us from playing our fluent football. We’ve got to show another side to our game and I keep talking about having a young dressing room in there, a young dressing room that’s hungry that are learning every single game,”
“There will be games that they dig out and there will be games that they go and score three, four, five, six but you know, that’s part and parcel of football, we’ll take the three tonight and move on to Saturday.”
Full Time : Bamber Bridge 1 - 0 Prescot Cables
Bamber Bridge: Rigby, Wilson (Staunton-Turner 45) , Marlow, Baines, Doughty, Potts (c), Waddecar, Forbes, Carsley, Linney (Milligan 72), Boyd (Dudley 60)
Subs (not used): Vasey, Reid
Match Reporter: George Hodgson (@ghodgsonsport)