A defeat for Mac on debut

Jon Macken

Jon Macken

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Jon Macken’s debut for Bamber Bridge did not get off to the best of starts as his new team were beaten 2-1 by NPL First Division North title favourites Darlington 1883.

The former North End striker – who was joined in the Brig line-up by ex-PNE team-mate Paul McKenna – unable to inspire Brig to victory against the team, who boast former Preston skipper Sean Gregan on their coaching staff.

The loss means Neil Crowe’s men move down a placein the table.

Alistair Waddecar went close to opening the scoring for Brig early but his volley went wide and a Matty Kay strike flew over the bar.

Darlington then took the lead courtesy of a wonder strike when Thomas Portas unleashed a long range effort past goalkeeper Lee Dovey in the 28th minute.

It was 2-0 seven minutes later when Leon Scott hammered home after a corner had only been half cleared . However, Brig responded three minutes later when Andy Bell’s pass was expertly finished by Waddecar.

Brig searched in vain for the equaliser in the second half but it was the home side who came nearest to scoring but Terry Galbraith penalty, after Matt Lawlor has handled the ball, hit the post.

Brig perhaps should have been lifted by the miss but in truth it had no effect at all and the game just petered out with Darlo breaking up play at every opportunity assisted by a real homer of a referee.

Dovey then made a fine save to deny Nathan Cartman, as Brig ran out of ideas.

Elsewhere in the division, Lancaster City drew 0-0 with Scarborough and Kendal Town drew 2-2 with Clitheroe. Burscough were 1-0 winners at Brighouse Town.

Southport dropped into the bottom four of the Conference Premier with a 5-3 loss at Forest Green.They have failed to win this year. David Patrick, Luke Foster and Connor McCarthy scored the Sandgrounders’ goals and Richard Brodie missed a penalty.

time to give the score an aura of respectability.