Kidsgrove Athletic 1 - 3 Bamber Bridge
'Phoenix Nights' for Brig in the league cup!
Not quite the full on “Tractor Boys” experience, but another memorable away day for Bamber Bridge, when after the game, as the players enjoyed their post match meal, it became apparent that the coach had broken down and we weren’t going anywhere in a hurry. Well Brig did what Briggers do best, we made the most of the situation in the aptly named Phoenix Club at Kidsgrove Athletic and had a party !! The karaoke machine was out and the lads started blasting out the tunes, lead as usual by team song leader, Chris Churchman. Players and supporters joined in, in true Bamber Bridge fashion.
Our hosts were fantastic, and as the time ticked by they continued to serve the drinks and even brought out a mirror ball light machine to give the club a real “Phoenix Nights feel”.
Ninety minutes later and a local mechanic managed to restart the bus and we where on our way after the impromptu party.
On to the match that had taken place earlier in the evening that saw Bamber Bridge progress to the quarter final stage of this seasons Integro league cup with a convincing 3-1 victory over Kidsgrove Athletic on Wednesday evening on a bitterly cold night at The Novus Stadium in Stoke on Trent
A confident flowing display from The Lancashire men swept the hosts aside, particularly in the 1st half when the gulf in quality between the two teams was clear to see. However, credit to to Kidsgrove for their resilience and determination which kept them in touch with Brig for the entire match
Bamber Bridge set off t a tremendous pace, an early chance was headed wide before Brig took the lead in the 5th minute. An Ali Waddecar cross was palmed out for a corner. The ball was swung in from the corner kick and Chris marlow was first to react to force the ball home and give the visitors the lead. Brig continued to dominate proceedings, The home keeper was kept busy as Brig peppered the home goal. It came as no surprise when the lead was doubled on the half hour, again Ali Waddecar with an assist has flicked a forward ball on to the advancing Marlow who cooly side stepped the keeper before slotting the ball into the bottom corner. The home side protested that Goose was offside, but to no avail. The goal was given and Brig were coasting at 2-0
With Brig in complete control and seemingly heading for a two goal advantage at the break, the home side caught them out with a swift counter attack, moving the ball from left to right before Anthony Malbon the Kidsgrove skipper found himself with time and space on the edge of the area. He controlled the ball before firing a fierce shot under Brig keeper Danny Roccia to give the Staffordshire side hope as half time approached.
A half time change saw Danny Forbes replacing Chris Churchman who had taken a knock, the pattern of play remained the same with Brig dominating possession once again. Darren McKnight whipped in a superb right wing cross that flashed across the 6 yard line just needing a touch, Goose then found the head of Paul Dawson with a left wing cross, the ball falling just wide of the post. Ali Waddecar tried his luck from 2 yards after cutting inside from the right, but his shot was inches wide.
While the scoreline stayed at 2-1 however the home side where never out of the game and Brig were almost caught napping on 59 minutes when a shot from close range missed the the target by inches. Brig made a 2nd change at this point, Brad Carsley coming on for Darren McKnight and it didn’t take long for the Brig striker to make his mark. A long forward ball looked to be heading for the Kidsgrove keeper, He rushed out of his area to meet it only for the ball to take a wicked bounce over his head. Brad gleefully skipped around him and stroked the ball into the empty net to restore the 2 goal advantage.
The 3rd goal clearly took the sting out of Kidsgrove and other than a long range shot that Danny Roccia comfortably saved, they never threatened the Bamber Bridge goal. A third Brig sub on 80 minutes saw Academy prospect Kieran young come on for his 3rd 1st team appearance replacing Chris Marlow. The Brig youngster came close to scoring his 1st Brig goal has he controlled a pass on the edge of the area, with his back to goal, he turned, beat the defender and got in a shot that was saved by the home keeper.
The full time whistle followed and Brig continue on into the last 8 of this completion where they will welcome Belper Town to Irongate.
Match reporter: Alan Bateson