Bamber Bridge where brought down to earth with a bump at Greenwich Avenue, home of Basford United, in Nottingham on Saturday afternoon. Following last weeks heroic 4-0 victory at Radcliffe, The Briggers were on the wrong end of a 3-0 defeat this time around.
Playing on the artificial 4g pitch and in very blustery conditions and without the suspended Chris Marlow, Brig had started very well and almost took the lead in the 4th minute. Danny Forbes picking up the ball 22 yards from goal before unleashing a terrific effort that forced an equally spectacular save From Basford Keeper Keiran Preston, the ball being tipped around the post at full stretch for a corner.
Brig were looking up to the task, zipping the ball around the pitch, however it was the home side that found the net in the 15th minute, only to see the linesman's flag raised and the “goal” was chalked off. The wind was beginning to affect both sides ability to keep possession of the ball and for the next 20 minutes or so the match turned in to a very scrappy affair with neither side able to create any clear cut chances. The closest Brig came in this period of the match was an inswinging corner from the left that was headed off the line.
On 25 minutes Basford took the lead, following a mix up at the back from Brig, a back pass to Danny Roccia in goal looked to be under hit, the hurried clearance was charged down by the Basford forward who was then bundled over just outside the area as he shaped to shoot. Nathan Watson stepped up for the home side to lift the free kick over the wall and into the net via the post. Roccia in goal getting a fingertip to it but not enough to keep it out.
The goal certainly buoyed the Nottingham side and they pushed on looking for a second goal. This arrived on the breakaway just moments after a Richie Allen shot from 12 yards had been hooked off the line by a Basford defender. The ball was quickly moved out to the left wing as the home side attacked with pace. A low cross from the left was swept in to the net for around 10 yards by Ashley Worsfold. Brig suddenly found themselves with a mountain to climb in what at been a tight game up to the 1st goal.
Half time 2-0
Brig started the 2nd half with the wind at their backs although the swirling gale force blasts didn’t really aid any kind of fluent passing football. But as the half wore on Brig began to dominate possession and push their hosts back. A Chris Churchman free kick was struck hard and low, the home keeper grabbing the ball at the 2nd attempt. Richie Allen then looked on as his clever chipped cross from the left evaded everyone and and dropped inches wide of the far post. The Lancashire side were now looking to shoot at every opportunity and Adam Sumner was next to test the ever impressive Kieran Preston in the Basford goal as is 25 yard free kick was well held by the keeper at his near post.
Preston pulled off another wonder save on 70 minutes as he was a full stretch to tip a Daniel Wisdom 30 yard wind assisted shot over the bar. The near post corner kick almost caught out the Basford defence, as it struck the post and was again cleared by the home side. Brig were throwing the “kitchen sink” at their hosts at this stage of the match and twice Joe Booth saw efforts flash just wide of the post before the Brig midfielder tried an audacious lob from just over the half way line. Preston in goal back peddled before palming the ball down and gathering it in both hands.
Michael Fowler was introduced for Bamber Bridge, replacing Joe Booth as the visitors continued to force the issue. On 8o minutes it was clear it wasn’t going to be our day. A corner from the left, was met by a Basford head, the attempted clearance went the wrong way, struck the inside of the post and bounced to safety before being hacked away. Rowan Roache was introduced in place of Matt Dudley for the closing minutes but it was the home side that sealed the points with a breakaway goal in the 88th minute. Nathan Watson finishing of a smart move with a low shot in to the corner of the net to end any hope of a Brig fightback.
Full time and a 3-0 defeat but Brig can take some solace from the fact that they had once again served up a decent display in very difficult playing conditions. In fairness to Basford they took their chances and looked a very solid outfit. After match comments for the home staff suggested they had had to be at their best to come away with points.
Bamber Bridge move on, and now two home matches against Buxton next weekend and Radcliffe the following weekend will give The Briggers the chance to push on towards mid table safety.
Full time: Basford United - 3 Bamber Bridge – 0
Bamber Bridge: Roccia, Churchman, Sumner, Spooner (Capt.), Charnock, Forbes, Green, Wisdom, Dudley, Booth, Allen
Subs: Roache, Doughty, Fowler, Waddecar, Milligan