Stocksbridge Park Steels 1 - 3 Bamber Bridge (FA Cup Prelimary Round, 25 August 2018)
Alan Bateson reports as Brig head out on the road to Wembley.
Bamber Bridge overcame the hurdle of the Emirates FA CUP Preliminary round with a fine 3-1 win over the Pennines at Stocksbridge Park Steels, to earn a place in the 1st Qualifying round.
Manager Neil Reynolds opted for just a couple of changes, notably Danny Roccia coming in for Lloyd Rigby in goal. Jamie Milligan also making his 1st full start of the season.
After a scrappy opening 5 minutes Brig took the lead with almost their 1st attack of the match, Jamie Milligan picking his spot with a fine effort from just inside the box and planting the ball in the bottom corner of the net. No sooner had Park Steels kicked off, when they where level. As at Grantham last week, Brig’s lead had lasted less than a minute. A looping ball into the area wasn’t cleared, and was lashed home from close range to level the scores.
The home side, buoyed by their equaliser went on to the front foot and pushed their Lancashire visitors back. On 15 minutes Danny Roccia pulled off a fine save to keep the scores level, getting his fingertips to the ball at full stretch to push the ball out for a corner. Brig were struggling at this stage to gain any kind of foothold and the hosts continued to look the more threatening.
As the half wore on, brig slowly but surely started to get in to the game and Ryan White came close on 35 minutes as he cut in from the right and fired in a shot that went just wide of the keepers left hand post. Moments later and Hyuga Tanner fired in a curling effort for the edge of the area that just beat the far post. With the half draw-ing to a close it was Bamber Bridge now doing most of the pressing.
Half time 1-1
The Bamber Bridge team where back on the pitch a full 5 minutes before the emergence of the hosts, and straight from the kick off it was clear to see the tempo had been raised as Brig immediately went on the offensive.
On 50 minutes, A Jamie Milligan free kick from 25 yards, cleared the wall but was comfortably gathered by the home keeper. With game opening up, Stocksbridge struck the bar with a fine header from a corner on the right. From the resultant goalkick Brig attacked at the other end and Ryan White beat his man on the left wing, rolled the ball square to Milligan whose 1st time shot beat the keeper but crept agonisingly wide of the post.
Brig made their 1st change of the afternoon on 58 minutes with Matt Dudley coming on to replace Hyuga Tanner. Brig where now beginning to dominate and Ali Waddecar was next to test the home keeper. The ball touched in to his path from Brad Carsley, and from 15 yards Waddecar bent the ball towards the far post. Jordan Greaves The Park Steels keeper dived full length to pull off a terrific save at the expense of a corner.
A second Brig sub on 65 minutes saw Jordan Darr replace Ryan White. The visitors continued to pour forward and Brad Carsley turned well on the edge of the box and fired in a shot that once again the home keeper was equal to. Seconds later and Cars-ley was left scratching his head in disbelief as he rose superbly at the far post to meet an Adam Dodd cross, his downward header looked a goal all the way until Greaves
somehow managed to dive low to his left and push the ball away, an absolutely won-derful save.
Ali Waddecar tried his luck with a 20 yard free kick on 70 minutes, but his curling effort just cleared the bar. The 2nd goal for Brig arrived on 72 minutes. Another free kick just outside the right edge of the area, Jamie Milligan stepped up and curled a beauty over the wall and into the keepers bottom left hand corner. The impressive Greaves in goal just unable to get his hand to the ball.
With Brig now in total control, the 3rd and last substitution was made, Michael Potts replacing Danny Forbes on 77 minutes. The onslaught continued and another Adam Dodd cross from the left was met by Ali Waddecar but his powerful header was once again claimed by Greaves in goal for the hosts.
The 3rd goal for Brig came in the 85th Minute, following another fine passing move, Waddecar received the ball at the edge of the penalty area, controlled the ball, swivelled and struck a fine shot to the keepers left, the ball took a wicked deflection and spun in to the bottom right hand corner with the unfortunate Greaves completely wrong footed.
The last chance of the game fell to Brad Carsley who made a cross from the right at the far post, his header back across the goal, beat the keeper but also the far post by inches. Brad may have been unfortunate not to have been on the scrore sheet but his overall contribution to the victory had been immense.
Full time and a fine 3-1 victory for Bamber Bridge against a spirited and sporting Stocksbridge Park Steels. A game played in a terrific spirit from both sides.
Bamber Bridge: Roccia, Wilson, Dodd, Lawlor, Charnock, Tanner, Waddecar, Forbes, Carsley, Milligan, White
Subs: Dawson, Morgan, Marlow, Darr, Potts
Match reporter: Alan Bateson