Northwich Victoria 2 Brigg Town 0
Brigg travelled to Stafford Rangers’ ground for their last away fixture of the season to play against Northwich Victoria, but were without Josh Davies and Paul Grimes as well as the injured Scott Hellewell.
Mark Dudley was back in the defence and James Playford in mid-field.
A free kick from Mark Dudley from the half way line on the left was headed clear and a second one from Rob Zand following an off side decision went out for a goal kick. Then Chas Fisher set up a left wing attack winning a throw-in deep in Vic’s half but the ball ran away from Liam Davis before he could get a firm shot a goal.
After enjoying most of the early possession, Brigg were caught out pushing forward in the fifteenth minute and when the ball was played through the middle of the defence, MICHAEL CLARKE had a simple task of knocking it past Rob Zand into the bottom of the net to give Vic’s the lead.
Rob Zand held on to a free kick from Kevin Leadbetter and then Ricky Mercer was cautioned for a poor challenge on Bruno Holden. In the home team’s best move of the first half, the ball was switched from Naim El-Harrati on the right to Kevin Leadbetter on the left and back before being moved further on to Alex Taylor, who struck a shot just wide of the upright from the edge of the penalty area.
Vic’s scored a second goal after thirty seven minutes after some sloppy play close to the touchline down their right wing. Brigg gave the ball away from a throw-in and an attempted back pass to Rob Zand fell short leaving DANNY WISDOM an easy chance.
In the last attack of the first half, the ball was given away yet again in a dangerous position leaving Naim El –Harrati the opportunity of a free shot from twenty yards out but the ball flew past the upright.
Kicking with a stiff breeze in their favour for the second half, Vic’s started well with Alex Taylor crossing from the left for Michael Clarke to head narrowly wide. From a short corner on the right wing, Brian Summerskill’s shot struck the Brigg upright and then Gregg Archer made a great goal line clearance to keep Brigg still in the game.
Alex Taylor was cautioned for another foul against Liam Davis, who then struck the awarded free kick across the face of the Vic’s goal. Brigg continued to play some neat football on the hard surface with Paul Ashton combining well with Danny Buttle to get the ball in for Ryan Paczkowski but the high bounce beat him.
Danny Buttle had a reasonable chance to reduce the arrears after Ryan Paczkowski laid the ball up for him but he sliced his shot wide.
Brigg continued to press forward without success but they had Rob Zand to thank for keeping the deficit down to two goals when the young (birthday boy) Brigg ‘keeper made a fantastic double save in the closing minutes.
The game ended with a victory for the Vic’s but Brigg played their part in an enjoyable match with a much improved performance than the one given in the previous home game. Now they end the season with a couple of home games , starting with Chasetown next Saturday afternoon and ending their programme a week later against Market Drayton Town.
Brigg team - Rob Zand, Gregg Archer, Mark Dudley, Paul Ashton, Oliver Fisher, Martyn Gee, James Playford, Liam Davis, Bruno Holden, Ryan Paczkowski, Danny Buttle ( Subs used - Scott Matthews & Elliot Broughton )