Farsley Celtic 3 - 2 Bamber Bridge
By Ruth Hornby
Alan Bateson reports as Brig are defeated at Farsley
A 3-2 defeat for Bamber Bridge on their 3rd visit to Yorkshire in just over a week as they twice took the lead at Farsley Celtic but came away with no points.
A game of two distinct halves, the 1st half as exciting as any so far this season, the 2nd just couldn’t match it for excitement and goalmouth action.
Brig started well and had the first chance of the match, a hard low cross from the right that flashed across the 6 yard line. Ali Waddecar looked poised to knock it home but the ball was whipped off his toe as he shaped to shoot.
In a half that constantly swung from one end to the other, Celtic responded and Oli Byrne made his first of several fine saves to push a long drive around the post for a corner.
Back to the other end as as Andy Haworth cut inside from the right wing he was tripped, leading to a Brig free kick. Chris Churchman curled in a sublime free kick which Brad Carsley attacked with a powerful downward header from 8 yards which flew in to the back of the net to give the visitors the lead.
The lead did not last long. On their next attack, Farsley Celtic forced Oli Byrne into another top save, from the resulting corner the ball was headed home to level the scores. Spurred on the home side looked the more likely to take the lead, but it was Brig who grabbed the 2nd, and again it was Super Striker Brad Carsley, this time meeting a brilliant Paul Dawson right wing cross with a bullet header that gave the home keeper no chance.
Chances were coming and going at both ends and Andy Haworth saw a shot flash just a foot wide, again after good work from Carsley. Oli Byrne twice more was called upon to make saves before Ali Waddecar almost added another for Brig, weaving his way into the box but being dispossesd as he was about to shoot.
On their next sortie forward the hosts though they had levelled the scores with another headed goal, only to see the assistant referees flag raised. Carsley then had another shot well save before everything changed right on half time.
With the clock ticking passed 45 minutes Celtic were awarded a free kick 25 yards from goal. As the ball was whipped into the box the referee spotted a hand ball and awarded a penalty. Treatment was required to a Celtic player and we waited almost 3 minutes before the spot kick was taken. Will Hayhurst (ex PNE) took the kick which was brilliantly saved by Byrne, but the ball rebounded straight back to the striker who slammed it home to level the scores.
For some reason the referee played on for several more minutes. The home side where awarded another free kick as Brig backtracked. Hayhurst stepped up and curled the ball over the wall, the ball hit the far post, rebounded out but the home team reacted the quickest and the ball was headed home to give Celtic and unlikely lead. As Brig restarted, the referee brought the half to an end, having somehow managed to add 7 minutes to the first 45.
The 2nd half just never lived up to the 1st and all the action from the match had pretty much already occurred. Brig had clearly been shell shocked with end of the first half and just never threatened the home keeper. Celtic for their part where happy to contain Brig but came closest to adding to the score line when they struck the underside of the bar with a close range effort.
The half just drifted away from Bamber Bridge tempers began to fray as decision after decision from the officials seemed to favour the home side. Brig made 3 changes during the half, with Danny Forbes, Jordan Darr and Darren McKnight replacing, Chris Churchman, Michael Potts and Chris Marlow. But the home side held firm to take the points
The relentless volume of games so far this season, every Saturday and Tuesday along with some incredible distances travelled may well have had some bearing in the lads running out of steam in the 2nd half. However it gets no easier, as we welcome Basord United, flying high in the top three to Irongate on Saturday.
Full Time: Farsley Celtic - 3 Bamber Bridge - 2
Brig: Byrne, Dawson, Marlow, Lawlor, Charnock, Potts, Waddecar, Churchman, Carsley, Howarth, White
Subs: McKnight, Darr, Forbes, Dodd, Milligan