Bamber Bridge 5 - 0 Trafford
Brig shine as they hit Trafford for five!
It was a Saturday to remember for Bamber Bridge, on an afternoon of fixtures that caught the eye in the Evo-Stik North.
The hosts came into this one having taken four points in four days, after a 1-1 draw at Droylsden last weekend was followed up with 0-1 win away at Glossop North End on Tuesday night.
From start to finish it was a complete performance from Brig, in a game they thoroughly deserved to come out of with the three points.
Kieran Charnock started the rout when he headed home from the corner, before Lewis Nightingale doubled the lead just shy of half time.
Regan Linney made it three early in the second half, before late goals from Chris Marlow & James Boyd ensured a more than convincing victory.
It was in fact the visitors who had the first chance of the match, but Michael Monaghan could only fire over from inside the box after the ball fell kindly for him.
It was a lively start to the game, with Brig looking particularly dangerous out wide with Nightingale and Linney.
Charnock had the first meaningful effort on goal, but after meeting the deep free kick, his looping header dropped the wrong side of the far post.
Alistair Waddecar, playing in a more central role, was the next to try his luck with a strike from 20 yards that flew over the crossbar.
With 17 minutes on the clock Brig took the lead through Charnock, who headed home from the corner to score his first for the club.
Nightingale was looking increasingly threatening as the half wore on, and the number-seven struck two shots wide in close succession from the edge of the box.
Neil Reynolds side really started to put the pressure on, and with 25 minutes on the clock Nightingale’s first-time effort from inside the box somehow didn’t find its way over the line.
With half time approaching Brig doubled their lead courtesy of a touch of class from Nightingale on his home debut.
The winger drifted in-field from the right before curling in a perfectly placed shot into the bottom left corner from the edge of the box.
Brig then had a glorious opportunity to go in at the break 3-0 up, but Linney headed wide from close range after Waddecar picked him out with the cross.
HT: Bamber Bridge 2-0 Trafford
With Brig two goals ahead going into the second half, the visitors came out the livelier in pursuit of a goal, but the hosts stood firm to keep their two-goal lead.
After a strong ten minutes from a defensive point of view, Brig extended their lead through Linney after persistent work from Waddecar.
The latter worked an opening down the right after tenacious pressing, before pulling the ball back to Linney who slotted the ball home for number three.
Nightingale had been a constant thorn in the Trafford defence all afternoon. After a lovely piece of skill, the winger crossed for Matt Dudley, whose travelling goal bound effort deflected inches over the crossbar.
Lloyd Rigby had little to do in the Brig goal, but he was called into action on 70 minutes, when he saved well from Mark Derbyshire’s header.
It was the tall striker that looked the likeliest source of a goal for Trafford, he volleyed into the arms of Rigby, before then hitting the post with a poked effort from close range.
With five minutes to play the game was put beyond any doubt. Chris Marlow side footed home at the second time of asking from a matter of yards, just seconds after coming on from the bench.
Neil Reynolds’ side then added some gloss to their performance and the result, when James Boyd rattled the ball home into the bottom corner with a thumping strike from 20 yards.
Vasey pickpocketed the Trafford backline, before finding Boyd who finished superbly.
That result sees Brig maintain their promotion push at the summit of the table – a truly emphatic afternoon’s work from Bamber Bridge.
FT: Bamber Bridge 5-0 Trafford
Man of the match (voted for by match sponsors Jewsons Building Merchants, Preston): No 6. Michael Potts
Match reporter: George Hodgson (@GHodgsonSport)