Skelmersdale Utd 1 - 3 Bamber Bridge
Alan Bateson reports as Brig return to 4th in the league.
Bamber Bridge took advantage of Prescot Cables Monday night defeat at Atherton Collieries by returning to 4th spot in the league with a fine 3-1 away victory over Skelmersdale United on Tuesday evening
The game was in some doubt with kick off approaching following a day of prolonged and steady rain. The ground staff’s efforts were rewarded though when the referee declared the pitch fit to play.
The game started unsurprisingly with both sides looking to get to grips with the wet surface, Brig were first to create when on 5 minutes Adam Dodd crossed from the left, the home keeper fumbled the ball and was forced to tip it over the bar for a corner. From that corner both Dodd and Waddecar got in shots that were blocked. Brig were now starting to dictate the game, James Boyd was unlucky as his well struck shot was gathered by the keeper.
On 9 minutes Brig took a deserved lead when Danny Forbes arrived in the area to sweep home on the volley from an Adam Dodd Free kick. Brig now poured forward looking to increase the lead with both Boyd and Tanner trying efforts from the edge of the area. The 2nd goal duly arrived on 34 minutes, Waddecarr, turning on a sixpence and hitting a superb reverse pass to set Dodd free, Dodd drove in to the area before pulling the ball back to the advancing Boyd, who thumped it home from 8 yards.
Before Bamber Bridge had Time to dwell on their two goal advantage, Skem pulled one back. A rare break and a fine low drive giving Brig keeper Lloyd Rigby no chance. The goal lifted the home side and for a 5 minute spell the had the visitors back pedalling. Brig responded and on 44 minutes scored the goal of the game. Ali Waddecar picked the ball up on the edge of the area and twisted and turned, leaving two Skem defenders stranded, he flicked the ball to James Boyd who’s deft back heel sent Ali towards the 6 yard box, The keeper tried to close the gap but Ali poked the ball under him to wheel away in celebration. The half ended with a Waddecar free kick from 25 yards that cleared the bar.
The 2nd half continued where the 1st had left off with Brig well on top. Boyd was unlucky when his 12 yard shot was deflected over the bar for a corner. Boyd, who was having a fine game again came close when he connected with a Marlow cross from the left only to see a defender hack it off the goal line to safety. Brig where now passing the ball around with confidence and playing some terrific football.
Skelmersdale‘s task was made even harder when on 63 minutes they where reduced to 10 men, Following a rash tackle that left Ali Waddecar in a heap on the ground. From the resulting free kick Matt Dudley struck a fine low shot that the keeper dived to save.
With Saturday’s crunch game with Atherton Collieries in mind Brig manager made 3 changes, bringing on Linney, Milligan and Doughty for Boyd, Marlow and Vasey.
The game was now essentially one way traffic with Brig keeping possession and stroking the ball around the pitch, Ali Waddecar was sent clear on 75 minutes but a superb last ditch tackle on the edge of the area halted his progress. The move of the match arrived on 82 minutes, A superb 50 yard diagonal ball from right to left found Adam Dodd, he skipped past the defender and curled over a superb cross that was met by a Matt Dudley header, the ball beat the keeper but rebounded off the far post and was cleared.
Brig saw out the remaining minutes in complete control to take all 3 points and climb back into that all important 4th place in the league. The confidence so evidently missing at Ossett at the weekend was back in abundance with Brig playing the kind of fast passing football they are well capable of.
Full Time: Skelmersdale United - 1. Bamber Bridge — 3
Brig: Rigby, Vasey, Marlow, Charnock, Lawlor (C), Tanner, Waddecar, Forbes, Boyd, Dudley, Dodd
Subs: Milligan, Linney, Dougherty, Carsley, Wiles