Curtis exit shock for Crowe’s boys

Curtis Thompson has left Bamber Bridge to join Skelmersdale United

Curtis Thompson has left Bamber Bridge to join Skelmersdale United

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Neil Crowe has saluted his Bamber Bridge side for bouncing back from their opening-day drubbing by Droylsden.

After the Bloods hammered them 7-1 at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium last Saturday, Brig got themselves back on track on Tuesday night with a 2-1 victory over Clitheroe.

Chris Marlow and Matty Kay were on target in the clash at Shawbridge, and despite the home side reducing the arrears, Crowe’s men hung on to take the three points.

Brig head to Cumbria tomorrow to take on Kendal Town, with Crowe hoping for more joy on the road to follow up the midweek success.

However, he no longer has the services of Curtis Thompson to call on, the talented midfielder having joined Skelmersdale this week.

While Brig boss Crowe was aware of Skem’s interest, he is surprised that former Blackpool player Thompson took up their offer.

Crowe told the Evening Post: “Skelmersdale put seven days’ notice on Curtis last week but I didn’t expect him to go. He dropped a bombshell on us on Tuesday morning when he said he was going.

“Curtis is a great lad, someone with a good football pedigree, and I do wish him well for the future.

“I knew that he had aspirations to go higher after being in the professional game at Blackpool.

“But I thought he would have waited to go a bit higher, rather than just jump up the one division.

“He did very well for us last season and I just wish he had decided to stay with us.”

The win at Clitheroe was achieved without Thompson, and Crowe hopes that his side are now back on an even keel after the Droylsden drubbing.

He said: “I didn’t see that defeat coming – what happened I’m still not too sure. Two mistakes saw us 2-0 down at half-time, while their keeper made some really good saves. It could quite easily have been 2-2 at the interval but we found ourselves trailing.

“For some reason we just collapsed as a team in the second half and Droylsden ran all over us.

“I did have four players missing but even so, that should not have happened.

“Fair play to Droylsden, they are a strong side and I think they have changed the squad completely from last season.

“At least the lads showed a lot of character by bouncing back and winning at Clitheroe.

“We battled well and should have been three or four up by half-time.

“Clitheroe put us under a lot of pressure in the second half but we held on. It was three points in the bag and hopefully that is us up and running.”

Crowe regards the NPL First Division North as being at its strongest ever level, hence the importance of getting some early points on the board.

“We have a tough game at Kendal tomorrow and I think I will be saying the same thing every week,” said Crowe.

“I have been involved at this level for 10 years now and this is the hardest division I have seen.

“You have got Salford, Spennymoor, Darlington, Lancaster, Northwich, Droylsden, to name but a few.

“Looking at the division there are probably 10 to 15 clubs who are really good sides, and hopefully you can include us in that group.”

Luke Atherton is set to play tomorrow despite breaking his nose against Clitheroe, while Crowe will check on the fitness of striker Andy Bell, who has been ill.