Bamber Bridge 1 - 3 Everton U23s
By Ruth Hornby
Everton U23s run out 1-3 winners at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium as Bamber Bridge continued their pre-season campaign.
David Unsworth brought his young toffees to town on the back of a trip to Spain to face Coventry City last Sunday
The first half was an even encounter but it was the visitors who showed the cutting edge to go in at half time with a 0-2 lead.
Natmangelo Markelo gave the blues an early lead when his low and hard strike darted into the bottom corner after just five minutes.
Brig responded well, knocking the ball around confidently on a pristine pitch, without really creating too many clear cut chances.
With ten minutes of the half to play Lloyd Rigby produced an outstanding reaction save to get down low and tip Nathan Broadhead’s powerful header on to the crossbar and behind for a corner.
But despite pulling off a save of the highest order, Rigby was left with no chance on the stroke of half time when Fraser Hornby rose in the box and bulleted a header home into the top corner.
Half Time: Bamber Bridge 0-2 Everton U23
Brig came out of the traps quickly in the second half an were unlucky not to pull one back five minutes in.
Michael Potts saw his deflected strike from 20 yards saved by Hansen, before the young goakeeper rushed off his line moments later to smother James Boyd’s effort from close range.
Against the run of play though David Unsworth’s side added a third through substitute Harry Charsley, who finished off a nice move in some style when his thumping volley found the back of the net off the underside of the crossbar.
Again the response from Neil Reynolds’ side was positive and they came inches away from a goal when Macauley Wilson’s whipped in cross from the right deflected agonisingly wide of the far post.
The goal did eventually arrive though and when it did it was worth the wait.
Michael Potts, who had been terrier-like in midfield all game, controlled the cleared ball 20 yards from goal and unleashed a rocket on his right foot that flew into the top corner.
That goal sparked even more life into Brig and they were desperately unlucky not to make it 2-3 minutes later.
Jordan Darr showed serious pace to go past two defenders, before sliding the ball past Jensen, only for Brendan Galloway to somehow hook the ball up and over the bar from a matter of yards out.
Brig enjoyed a great deal of possession in the closing stages, without really troubling the Everton goal and it finished 1-3 to the Premier League youth outfit.