Hyde United 0 - 2 Bamber Bridge
By Ruth Hornby
It's back to winning ways for Brig as they do the double on Hyde.
Bamber Bridge gave themselves a fighting chance of avoiding relegation from The Evostik Premier Division with a battling and impressive 2-0 Victory at Ewan Fields, The home of Hyde United on Saturday afternoon. The win leaves Brig with their destiny in their own hands with just three games remaining.
Brig started well on the plastic pitch and in only the 2nd minute Regan Linney made a superb run down the right wing, cut inside the full back and curled a fine shot that whistled just wide of the far post. Moments later Regan again took possession inside the box and was clearly held as he shaped to shoot but the referee waved away the appeals for a penalty.
The visitors were not having it all their own way and Hyde looked dangerous on the counter attack. They almost took the lead when a Brig corner was claimed by the keeper who released the ball quickly, within seconds, Lloyd Rigby was called upon to make the first of several fine saves, diving to his right to keep out a shot from distance. Minutes later another long distance effort from the home side just cleared the Brig bar.
The game was swinging from end to end with Brig looking to pass the ball around the 4g Carpet while the hosts were quick to get the ball up to their front men. Another screamer from the home side narrowly cleared the bar on 23 minutes before Ali Waddecar tried his luck for Brig when he cut in from the left and struck a daisy cutter from 20 yards that the keeper got down well to save. Chris Churchman then saw a shot clear the bar following another Brig corner.
Again Brig pressed forward and on 40 minutes Ali Waddecar, this time from the right wing, clipped over a delightful cross to the far post, Matt Dudley rose well but his looping header dipped just over the bar. At the other end shortly after tipping a long range pile driver over the bar Lloyd Rigby then pulled off an amazing full length diving save from a close range bullet header, palming the ball away for a corner. Brig had the last opportunity of the half, Ali Waddecar chesting the ball down on the edge of the box for Joe Booth who struck it first time just wide of the post.
The 2nd half began with Brig immediately winning a corner. Kieran Charnock, rose like a salmon to power home a terrific header to put Bamber Bridge in front. The goal visibly lifted the visitors and suddenly the free flowing football seen earlier in the season was back as Brig piled on the pressure and knocked the ball around with aplomb. Charnock almost grabbed his 2nd of the match on 60 minutes when he flicked on a cross from the right, the home keeper arching backwards to tip the ball over the bar. Adam Dodd then tried his luck, attacking down the left flank, coming inside and curling an effort just wide before Charnock again met a corner, this time from the right, but this time his header sailed over the bar.
On 65 minutes with Brig in control of the match, Ali Waddecar was given the chance to double the lead after he was upended in the box has looked to make space for a shot. Ali stepped up, and sent the keeper the wrong way, planting the ball firmly into the back of the net much to the delight of the small band of Brig supporters behind the goal.
Regan Linney, who was having his best game since returning for his long term injury came so close to making it 3 when he dribbled into the area, leaving 3 Hyde defenders in his wake before seeing his 6 yard shot blocked, the ball fell to Joe Booth who smashed it goalwards only to see it clip the top of the bar.
Brig made two changes on 70 and 75 minutes Goose (Chris Marlow) replacing Scott Harries, who also had played probably his best game for Brig, and Danny Forbes for the Industrious and hard working Daniel Wisdom. The changes didn’t disrupt the flow of the game as Brig continued to dominate with Lloyd Rigby in the Brig goal largely redundant in the 2nd half.
A final change came on 85 minutes, Dom McGiveron replacing Matt Dudley. With the game heading towards 4 minutes of added time Goose and Adam Dodd combined superbly down the left leading to another Brig corner. The visitors saw out the added time more than comfortably, to claim only the 2nd away victory of the season and take home 3 well deserved points.
Victories have been in short supply of late and this one was greeted with much delight from players and fans alike. Brig now have the opportunity to haul themselves out of the relegation places when they entertain Matlock Town at The Sir Tom Finney Stadium next Saturday. Rivals Mickleover Sports do not play on that day and a Brig victory will take the Irongate side a point clear of the drop zone with 2 games to play.
Full Time: Hyde United - 0 Bamber Bridge – 2
Bamber Bridge: Rigby, Churchman, Dodd, Charnock, Lawlor (Capt.) Wisdom, Linney, Booth, Waddecar, Dudley, Harries
Subs: Doughty, McGiveron, Buchan, Forbes, Marlow
Match reporter: Alan Bateson