Brig’s loyal army taking to the road

Sam Joel impressed for Brig against Kendal Town (photo: Paul Vause)
Sam Joel impressed for Brig against Kendal Town (photo: Paul Vause)
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Neil Crowe has urged Bamber Bridge’s travelling army to be the difference in tomorrow’s FA Cup fourth qualifying round tie against Brackley Town.

Brig are expected to take more than 100 fans to Northamptonshire as the two sides battle it out for a place in the first round proper of the competition.

As well as a place in the coveted first round, £12,500 is also on the line in prize money.

For Brig, they are fresh from a 2-1 victory against Kendal Town.

Whilst last time out, Brackley were 3-2 winners against Gainsborough Trinity at St. James Park.

A crowd of just 194 watched Brackley’s latest fixture and Crowe wants the travelling Brig army to sing loud and proud.

“I think the fans can be our 12th man,” Brig boss Crowe said.

“Three years ago we averaged about 120 at home, now we could be taking that away.

“The fans were excellent when they made the trip to Kettering, they created a really good atmosphere.

“Then in the replay, it was another good atmosphere, all the lads and management want the fans to replicate that.

“A good atmosphere creates a real buzz and I know on Saturday it will help us.”

Two leagues currently separate Brig and Brackley.

Brackley sit 16th in the National League North, whilst Brig moved up to 12th in the NPL Division One North after Tuesday night’s three points.

The hosts are well fancied on Saturday, with some bookmakers pricing up Brig at 6/1.

Despite being the rank outsiders, Crowe is more than confident going into Saturday’s crunch clash.

“We’ve done our homework, we’ve got a couple of reports on them,” he added. “But we won’t look into that too much as things can change.

“Tuesday’s win has give the lads a big confidence boost, we’ve got experienced heads in the dressing room and we know how we’re going to 
play.”

Crowe boosted his squad during the week with the signings of George Bowyer and Nicky Platt.

Right-back Bowyer has previously featured for Brig, whilst Platt’s last club was Salford City.

Both however will miss tomorrow’s game, Bowyer is cup-tied and Platt has work commitments.

Talismanic striker Brett Ormerod is also missing but Crowe can welcome back Glenn Steel and Jamie Milligan.

“As much as Danny Mahoney and Curtis Thompson did well, they aren’t right backs,” Crowe said.

“George is a natural full-back and he strengthens our squad.

“When I heard Nicky was available, he was a player I couldn’t turn down.

“Brett is a big loss on Saturday but I thought Sam Joel really stepped up.”

Elsewhere, Southport travel to Salford City in the fourth qualifying round of the competition.

In the NPL Division One, Burscough are at home to Ossett Albion whilst Clitheroe host Mossley.