Bamber Bridge 1-0 Prescot Cables. Play-Off glory for Brig!
George Hodgson reports as it's 3rd time lucky for Neil Reynolds' men.
A late Chris Marlow volley in the EVO-STIK North Play-Off final handed Bamber Bridge promotion into the Northern Premier League.
Prescot Cables stood in Brig’s way as 4th and 5th locked horns in the final, and it wasn’t until the 80th minute that the deadlock was broken.
Marlow, on as a substitute, chested the ball down inside the box and rattled the ball home on the volley to send the majority of the 1600 plus crowd into ecstasy.
On a blazing hot afternoon at a packed Sir Tom Finney Stadium, the game started in an expected tight fashion, with both sets of fans making themselves heard.
Chances were at a premium in the opening 15-minutes, a Matt Lawlor header from a corner that went over the bar the only glimmer.
On the half hour mark the hosts were forced into an early substitution when Brad Carsley, who had picked up a knock, was replaced by Adam Roscoe.
Regan Linney’s eyes must’ve lit up when the Brig striker appeared to have a clean route through on goal, but a fantastic last-ditch tackle from James McCulloch to put he ball out for a corner denied him the shooting chance.
The visitors’ first chance of the game fell with five-minutes to play of the first-half when Lloyd Dean’s well hit strike from distance skidded wide off the post.
HALF TIME: Bamber Bridge 0-0 Prescot Cables
Like in the first half, the second started scrappy with neither side able to really gain a foothold.
On 67-minutes Ben Barnes was eventually called into action when Waddecar’s nicely struck free kick was tipped behind for a corner.
In a game with precious little in terms of opportunities, it was about who could take the chance should it come their way.
And on 80-minutes, with extra-time looming, Marlow did just that when he chested down Kieran Charnock’s header across goal and lashed the ball home on the volley to raise the roof.
Minutes after the opener the substitute Marlow could’ve made himself a hero when he clipped the inside of the post following a great run and cross from Waddecar.
Brig fell under pressure with Cables in hunt of a leveller, but a superb stop from Lloyd Rigby and a heroic block from Kieran Charnock kept them at bay.
The last ten minutes were tense with so much at stake, but Neil Reynolds’ side stood tall and defended like warriors to clinch promotion on their own patch.
Bamber Bridge: Rigby, Vasey, Dodd, Marlow, Charnock, Potts (Milligan) Waddecar, Forbes, Carsley (Roscoe), Nightingale, Linney (Marlow). Subs (not used): Dudley, Dovey
Match reporter: George Hodgson (@GHodgsonSport)
A full gallery of match photos is available here: BBFC Flickr Page