Report by Alan Bateson
In the eloquent words of our very own Rob Melling, Last night’s performance at The Martin and Co. Arena, home of Gainsborough Trinity, was the “antithesis” of Saturdays display at FC United.
Following a terrific and inspired, but ultimately fruitless performance in Manchester, Brig turned in a lacklustre performance in Lincolnshire that was to all intents and purposes, over as a contest after just half an hour. Bamber Bridge’s 9th competitive away game out of the 12 matches played so far this season ended with a 4-1 beating and their can be no complaints from the Lancashire side on this occasion.
Right from the kick off, the home side, buoyed by their last minute equaliser at the weekend, set a high tempo, Brig were unable to get any kind of foothold in the game and it came as no surprise when the hosts took the lead in the 9th minute. A back pass had Brig keeper Lloyd Rigby scampering from his goal, he looked to slip which allowed Trinity striker Allot to reach the ball first and slide it under the keeper.
Bamber Bridge were creating nothing of any note in an attacking sense and where in truth becoming very sloppy in possession of the ball. A Tom Walker header from a right wing cross that looped on to the top of the cross bar was as close as Brig came in a half being totally dominated by Gainsborough. On 23 minutes the game was effectively over as the home side doubled their lead, this time a swift run down the left from goalscorer Allot before his pass found Ross Hannah who simply stroked it past Rigby. Questions could be asked of the Brig stopper who may himself feel he could have done better.
On the half hour Trinity wrapped up the points with a third. Harry Middleton allowed time and space on the edge of the area to pick his spot and drive the ball home. An Adam Sumner deflected shot for Brig was palmed away by the home keeper before the referee brought a depressing first half for Brig to end, blowing the half time whistle.
The Brig fans reflected during the half time period on what was turning out to be another away day disaster. One point from the previous 6 away games and it certainly wasn’t going to get any better in the 7th League game on the road.
Brig made two half time changes, Bringing on Ryan White and Matt walker for Chris Marlow and Tom Walker and almost immediately The visitors pulled a goal back. Kieran Charnock heading home from a Ryan White cross. Moments later and the Brig goalscorer had to be substituted himself, picking up a knock and replaced by Chris Churchman. Brig looked for a spell like a comeback may be possible Danny Forbes heading over from a Churchman Cross and Ali Waddecar seeing a shot saved by the home keeper and palmed away for a corner. Matt Lawlor then watched in disbelief as his towering header was acrobatically tipped over the bar by George Willis in the home goal. The best chance for Brig to really get a foothold fell to Matt Dudley, Who having been put through by Michael Fowler found himself one on one with the keeper, Dudley tried to slide the ball under the keeper but Willis saved with his legs to push the ball away for a corner. That was the chance for Brig to really put the pressure on the home side in the closing stages but it wasn’t to be and just two minutes later it was 4-1. Allot again who had tormented Brig all night this time finding Simon Russell in space, the striker slamming the ball home to restore the 3 goal advantage.
The last action of the match saw A Brig free kick from the edge of the box just clear the cross bar. As the keeper retrieved the ball the referee brought proceedings to a halt with the full time whistle. A better 2nd half from Brig but the game had already been lost in the opening 30 minutes of the game. Bamber Bridge can now look forward to two rare home games as we entertain Witton Albion at The Sir Tom Finney Stadium on Saturday followed by Nantwich Town the following Tuesday evening. One point from seven away games clearly shows the importance for Brig of picking up points at home. The squad proved at FC United on Saturday that they are well capable of competing in this Division, however we also saw last night that anything less than their best and teams at the this level will punish you.
Full Time: Gainsborough Trinity – 4 Bamber Bridge – 1
Bamber Bridge: Rigby, Spooner, Sumner, Lawlor (Capt.), Charnock, Waddecar, Forbes, Marlow, Wisdom, Walker, Fowler,
Subs: Doughty, Dudley, Pett, White, Churchman.