Prestwich Heys 1 - 4 Bamber Bridge
It’ll be alight on the McKnight!
Reporter: Alan Bateson
Bamber Bridge progressed to The Semi Finals of The Lancashire Trophy with an impressive 4-1 victory away at in form Prestwich Heys. Brig will be joined in the last by Colne FC, Ashton Athletic, and one of Southport or Garstang who will play their delayed tie on December 19th.
On a misty, cold night in North Manchester, it was the Visitors from Bamber Bridge who started the brightest. Ali Waddecar was first to test the home keeper but his shot from the edge of the box was collected comfortably by the Heys keeper. Moments later a Danny Forbes effort cleared the bar. With Brig dominating the opening stages it came as no surprise when they took the lead. A disputed free kick 22 yards from goal gave Darren McKnight the opportunity to test his dead ball skills. He coolly found the bottom corner,, bending a sublime kick around the wall to give Brig the lead.
A lead that was short lived however. Almost straight from the restart,the hosts won a corner. This was partially cleared but fell to the Prestwich striker who’s shot was deflected off a Brig defender and cannoned in off the post. Ten minutes gone and all square.
The next half an hour became a something of a midfield stalemate with neither side assuming any kind of control. With the half time whistle closing in Brig took the lead again. A ball from Adam Dodd sent Chris Marlow free down the left wing, he reached the ball on the byline and whipped over a terrific cross, Ali Waddecar met it with a powerful header from 8 yards giving the home keeper no chance. The goal inspired the visitors who suddenly where on the front foot again, Goose was unlucky with a drilled shot that just cleared the bar and Danny Forbes came close as the half drew to a close.
The second half began with Brig looking in no mood to surrender the lead again as they looked to build on their half time lead. Ali Waddecar sent a fine through ball down the middle and Danny Forbes raced on to it only for the keeper to make a fine save diving at his feet. Chris Churchman had a long shot that flashed just wide before Danny Forbes gave Brig a two goal advantage with a back post header from a Goose cross that dropped just inside the keepers left hand post.
By this stage of the match Brig where in total control. Paul Dawson seeing a shot well held by the keeper and Adam Dodd, following a mazy run into the box had his shot blocked.
A rare Prestwich break away lead to a fine save by Brig stopper, Danny Roccia, as he flung himself across his goal to push a stinging shot around the post for a corner.
Both Goose and Danny Forbes saw efforts blocked before the later gave way to Callum Spooner on 75 minutes. On 80 minutes confusion reigned in the home box following an Ali Waddecar chip in to the area, Keeper and left back collided and the ball trickled inches beyond the post.
Brig made it 4 on the night and two for Darren McKnight when a free kick on the edge of the box gave the Brig midfielder another dead ball opportunity. McKnight made no mistake , this time chipping the ball over the wall and leaving the keeper rooted to the spot to make it 4-1 on the night.
Kieran Young came on for his 2nd Brig appearance on 85 minutes replacing Chris Marlow as the visitors coasted their way through the final minutes to take their place in the last 4 of the competition.
Full Time: Prestwich Heys - 1 Bamber Bridge - 4
Brig: Roccia, Dawson, Dodd, Lawlor(Capt), Doughty, Churchman, Waddecar, Forbes, Dudley, McKnight, Marlow
Subs: Charnock, Spooner, Carsley, Young, Rigby