Grantham Town 1 - 1 Bamber Bridge
An encouraging season opener from Brig.
Bamber Bridge returned from Lincolnshire with a point in a match that, on balance should have yielded all three. A new season, a new Division and new surroundings as we kicked off the 2018/19 season at the South Kesteven Stadium, home of the
Gingerbreads, Grantham Town.
Bamber Bridge settled the better of the two teams and looked to get the ball wide at every opportunity, both Ali Waddecar on the right and Ryan White on the left where involved in most of Brigs attacking play. Waddecar especially looked to have the beat-ing of the hosts left back and whipped in several dangerous crosses, that for the most part where headed clear by the giant centre back pairing of the home side. Centre For-ward Brad Carsley battled selflessly ploughing a lone furrow under constant pressure from the Grantham rear guard.
For all Brig's excellent approach play, chances where at a premium. Carsley, White and Potts all had efforts blocked but probably the closest the visitors came to opening the scoring was when Danny Forbes met a Waddecar pull back on the run, but his close range shot flew over the bar.
The 2nd half started with Bamber Bridge quick out of the traps and almost straight from the kick off, they took the lead. Ryan White raced clear into the penalty area and smashed a first time effort into the roof of the net.
Unfortunately before Brig had a chance to capitalise or even settle on their lead Grantham snatched the equaliser. Danny Forbes superbly blocked an effort at the edge of the box but Grantham reacted first and the ball was whipped back into the box and stabbed home from close range.
Bamber Bridge responded to the disappointment well and where soon back on the front foot, Ryan White was close to a 2nd as he pounced on a loose back pass but his shot was well saved by the keeper. Ali Waddecar then got to the byline and pulled the ball back to the advancing Matt Dudley but he scuffed the shot and the keeper was able to make a comfortable save.
Bamber Bridge where once again asking all the questions and Waddecar was unlucky to see a rising 20 yard shot just clear the bar. Brig where forced into the 1st change of the afternoon when Chris Churchman came on to replace Michael Potts who had taken a knock. Matty Morgan then came on for his Brig league debut replacing Matt Dudley. Morgan came close on 80 minutes when he latched on to another Waddecar pull back but his shot from 10 yards crept just wide of the post.
The home side where reduced to 10 men as the game entered added time as Michael Hollingsworth received a 2nd yellow and was the 1st man back in the changing rooms. Moments later the referee brought proceedings to and end.
1-1 and a hugely encouraging performance from Bamber Bridge.
Bamber Bridge: Rigby, Dawson, Dodd, Lawlor (Capt.), Charnock, Potts, Waddecar,
Forbes, Carsley, Dudley, White
Subs: Doughty, Morgan, Marlow, Boyd, Churchman
Match reporter: Alan Bateson