Visitors drew first Blood to sink Brig

A Phil Doughty half-volley was over the bar
A Phil Doughty half-volley was over the bar
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Bamber Bridge 0 Droylsden 1

Brig suffered their seventh loss in eight games, as a fortunate Droylsden came away from the Sir Tom Finney Stadium with all three points in the NPL First Division North.

In a match where genuine chances were few and far between, Brig struggled to break down the determined Bloods’ defensive line throughout the afternoon.

Neil Crowe’s side did start the better, however, with Stuart Vasey smashing the ball into the net after 10 minutes, only to be ruled offside by the referee’s assistant.

Five minutes later, a Michael Potts free-kick from the left-hand side caused more problems for the away side, as a header was blocked by defender David Artell, with Phil Doughty’s half-volley sent high over the bar.

Droylsden began to steady themselves soon after, with the deadlock broken in the 24th minute.

A high defensive line from the home side, which had caught Droylsden’s Liam Caddick offside twice already, was breached.

The ball was played forward to Caddick, who timed his run to perfection and was through on goal.

His shot was superbly saved by Brig keeper Steven James, only for the No.10 to pick up the rebound, round the helpless Glen Steel on the line and roll the ball into an empty net.

Things went from bad to worse for Brig, when midfielder Stuart Vasey was stretchered off towards the end of the first half after going down and clutching his right leg.

He was replaced by Chris Churchman.

Despite the away side leading, Brig struggled to find the rhythm to their game which has gained plaudits this season.

A penalty decision towards the end of the match was waved away by the referee, whose decision-making throughout the match was criticised by Crowe afterwards.

“I’m disappointed with the officials,” Crowe said.

“I thought we had a clear penalty and we’ve had a goal disallowed that was clearly onside.

“But that’s the way things go when you’ve got everything going against you. I thought we at least deserved a point today, definitely.”

Asked on whether he thought Vasey’s injury was serious, Crowe was a little cautious.

“It’ll have to be assessed. He’s got a knee injury, and Stuart’s not the kind of guy to go down if there’s nothing wrong,” he said.

Brig have dropped to 10th and face an away league trip to Mossley on Tuesday night.

Elsewhere in the division, Clitheroe were 3-1 winners at home to Tadcaster Albion.

Carl Stewart gave Albion a sixth-minute lead but the hosts were soon level through Dimitri Tuanzebe (13).

Daniel Brady then put Clitheroe ahead six minutes later and they held on to their advantage until Tuanzebe added his second goal in the 90th minute.

Kendal Town went down 2-0 at Ossett Town.

Both goals came in the second half, Danny Frost (51) and Tyrone Gay(59) on target for the home side.

But Burscough won 1-0 at Radcliffe Borough.

The Linnets’ winner arrived 13 minutes from time, Elliott Nevitt on target.