Brig battle to maintain play-off bid

Brig drew 0-0 with Scarborough on Saturday

Brig drew 0-0 with Scarborough on Saturday

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Bamber Bridge have a major fight on their hands to secure a place in the NPL First Division North play-offs.

That is the view of defender Matt Lawlor as Brig aim to move into fourth spot in the table tonight with victory at Ossett Town.

Neil Crowe’s men can go above Scarborough Athletic – a team they drew 0-0 with at the Sir Tom Stadium on Saturday – with three points this evening.

Currently on a good run of form which has garnered 17 points from their previous eight games, Brig appear well set to finish inside the top five for the second successive year. However, the division is so tight this season that any blip in form could see them drop down to mid-table.

Only 12 points separate league leaders Salford City and Mossley, who are in ninth position.

In fact, the four teams directly below Brig are all on the same number of points, just two points behind.

And Lawlor admits nothing is guaranteed for he and his team-mates. “It’s probably between eight, nine, 10 teams for the play-offs,” he said.

“It all depends on who can put an unbeaten run together.

“You look at Mossley, they hadn’t been beaten in 12 games before we beat them but that run has put them right in contention for the play-offs.

“I think one season, it might have been the last one, we were nowhere to be seen and then we put a 17-game unbeaten run together which put us right in the mix.

“This league is about putting runs together. If you can build a bit of momentum, that can take you a long way.”

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the division, Clitheroe will be hoping to make it four games unbeaten when they travel to face Warrington Town.

The Blues recorded arguably their best win of the season on Saturday when they defeated second-placed Darlington 1883 2-1 at Shawbridge.

Blues boss Simon Garner said: “I am delighted with the victory. The fact the win has come against a side hoping to win the league makes it even bigger for us. I’m made up with the lads.

“The attitude showed from the whole team was exceptional.

“We’ve gone behind early on. You can see why Darlington are up there this season as they bully teams. However, my lads were superb.”

Southport will be keen to put more daylight between themselves and the Conference Premier relegation zone when they take on Wrexham at the Racecourse Ground.

The Sandgrounders were looking certainties for the drop after losing five of an eight-match winless run.

However, a win and a draw in their past two games has lifted them four points clear of the relegation zone.