Bamber Bridge 6 -1 Stafford Rangers
The Joy of Six - Brig bounce back in style against Stafford Rangers.
Bamber Bridge responded to last Tuesday's FA cup disappointment in the best possible way, with a 6-1 demolition of Stafford Rangers at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Two players where making their Brig Debuts, Oli Byrne, a goalkeeper signed from Blackburn Rovers on loan and Andy Haworth signed on a permanent deal from Glossop North End. Brig started very brightly with Haworth striking the bar in the 5th minute with a powerful drive from the edge of the area.
An end to end start saw both both sides attacking from the off but Brig where already creating chances and Keiran Charnock was unfortunate to see his header from a corner just beat the far post. However, the home side didn’t have to wait much longer to take the lead when on 12 minutes Ali Waddecar latched on to a loose ball on the edge of the penalty are and volleyed a superb shot over the keeper and into the roof of the net.
Waddecar then came close to grabbing a 2nd when he got his head on to a Chris Marlow cross from the left follwing a fine passing move, Ali’s header cleared the cross bar on this occasion, but as the game progressed Ali was to prove unstoppable in front of goal.
As Stafford pushed on looking to get back into the game, new keeper Oli Byrne made a fine save, diving to his right to deny the visitors striker. The save lead to two consecutive corners and Rangers grabbed the equaliser from the 2nd one with a powerful header from 8 yards.
Straight from the kick off Brig attacked the Woodyard End and Andy Haworth scored a fine debut goal, picking his spot and placing a firm shot from the edge of the area in to the bottom corner of the net. The goal had stunned the visitors so soon after their equaliser, but they went straight onto the offensive and Oli Byrne was once again called upon to make another top save as the match swung from end to end. Ryan White then saw a 25 yard daisy cutter flash just wide of the post after a mazy run from the left wing.
Paul Dawson then struck a curling effort from the the right that bet the keeper but flew just wide of the post before Rangers almost grabbed the equaliser in stoppage time. A powerful header from a left wing cross looked to be heading goalwards before Chris Marlow made a teriffic goal line clearance to keep the Brig lead intact at the interval.
The 2nd half began as the 1st had ended with both sides attacking at every opportunity, Brig where close again on 50 minutes when Brad Carsley met an Andy (Shaky) Haworth cross but his downward header narrowly flashed wide. Brig started to pile on the pressure and with the visitors unable to clear the ball, Brig grabbed the 3rd. Another fine passing move saw the ball at the feet of Ryan White wide on the left, his pinpoint cross found an unmarked Ali Waddecar who headed the ball down and into the back of the net to give the home side a 2 goal advantage on 61 minutes.
From this point Bamber Bridge took the game by the scruff of the neck and totally dominated the visitors from Staffordshire. Danny Forbes had an effort scrambled off the line as the home side poured on the pressure.
Andy Haworth having had a fine debut was replaced by Jordan Darr on 65 minute and it was the Brig sub who made it 4-1 with his 1st touch of the ball, prodding home at the far post follwing a low cross from the left. Chris Churchman replaced Danny Forbes on 71 minutes with the game looking comfortable for Brig. Oli Byrne however, was still called upon to make another top save, spreading himself well to force the ball around the post for a corner.
Brig continued to look the more likely and on 80 minutes Manager Neil Reynolds made his final substitution sending on Matt Dudley for the ever hard working Brad Carsley. With the visitors now struggling to keep Brig at bay, Jordan Darr had a shot saved by the keeper moments before Brig where awarded a penalty for a trip in the box. Ali Waddecar stepped up and thumped the ball into the top corner of the net for his hat trick and Brigs 5th. Ali wasn’t finished though and has the match entered added time, he latched on to a through ball, rounded the keeper and stroked the ball home for his 4th of the match and to give Brig a 6-1 lead.
The referee blew the final whistle much to the relief of the visitors. The home side where given a terrific ovation from the home fans what had clearly been the best performance of the season by some distance.
Full time: Bamber Bridge - 6 Stafford Rangers - 1
Bamber Bridge: Byrne, Dawson, Marlow, Lawlor (Capt.), Charnock, Potts, Waddecar, Forbes, Carsley, Haworth, White
Subs: Tanner, Darr, Dudley, Churchman, Boyd
Match reporter: Alan Bateson