Bamber Bridge 1 - 1 Hednesford Town
By Ruth Hornby
Brig's hard work earns a late point.
A late Alistair Waddecar penalty earned Bamber Bridge a well-deserved point against Hednesford Town.
It was the away side who went in at the interval ahead, thanks to Kieran Wells’ nicely taken goal.
But Brig responded well from there on in and in the 88th minute they finally found their equaliser, through Waddecar from the spot.
The game started in a scrappy fashion, with the rain thrashing down and making it difficult for either side to get the ball down and play.
Brig did start to find their feet with 15-minutes on the clock though.
Waddecar forced Kieran Preston into a smart save from a free kick, which was turned behind for a corner.
Micky Taylor’s side continued to probe, Danny Forbes struck an effort wide, before Matt Dudley stooped low and flashed a header just over the bar.
On the half hour mark though the hosts were dealt a blow, when Kieran Wells broke through on goal and remained composed to slide the ball past Rigby and fire Hednesford ahead.
Despite their effort, Brig couldn’t find a way through a stubborn backline and went in at the break behind.
Brig had controlled things in the first half, but perhaps just needed a slice of luck in the second half to get themselves back into the game.
And Lloyd Rigby will have been pleased to see Wells shoot wide, after the striker found a way through down the right in the opening minutes of the second half.
From then on in though it was the home side that dominated, with the first real chance coming just after the hour mark.
Scott Harries broke down the left and pulled the ball across goal for Waddecar, whose first-time effort with the left-foot deflected the wrong side of the post.
In a game that had offered little in terms of clear chances, the last 10 minutes served up its fair share.
Forbes called Preston into action with another smart save from the midfielder’s vicious strike, before Brig were handed the perfect chance to level.
Chris Marlow strode into the box and was hacked down, giving the referee no option but to point to the spot.
Up stepped Waddecar, who rifled his penalty into the top right corner to set up a frantic finish at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium.
With their tails up Brig really ought to have won it, but they were denied twice remarkably by Preston.
Firstly, Matt Dudley looked set to win the game and he did everything right, hitting a first-time effort from 10-yards low and hard, but the goalkeeper somehow got down to parry the ball away.
Then, Dudley turned provider to cushion the ball with his chest into the path of Waddecar, only for the No.7s low drive to be palmed away again by Preston.
And Brig were almost left to rue those chances when Lewis Archer ran clean through on goal, but the Hednesford substitute slid the ball wide.
Bamber Bridge: Rigby, Spooner, Lawlor ©, Doughty, Dodd, Waddecar, Forbes (McKnight 90’), Churchman (Linney 83’), Marlow, Harries, Dudley.
Subs not used: Roccia, Wilson, Charnock.
Man of the match: Adam Dodd
Match reporter: George Hodgson (@GHodgsonSport)