Brig boss is wary of Storks’ threat

Andy Bell

Andy Bell

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Bamber Bridge manager Neil Crowe is hoping to build on their FA Cup success against Padiham tomorrow.

Padiham lie at the bottom of the NPL First Division North table and the Storks have lost their last six games.

But Brig boss Crowe is wary of the threat and keen to erase the memories of last season’s 6-1 drubbing.

He said: “I know it will be a tough game. We will approach the game like we do any other – aiming for three points.

“We went there last season and they beat us 6-1.

“But we beat them 5-1 at our place.”

Brig are seventh in the table and after the Padiham clash they will entertain Warrington Town on Tuesday night.

And Crowe is hoping for back-to-back successes.

He said: “It is nice to turn our attention back to the league.

“The lads know that they have two tough games ahead.

“We are hoping to get the right results from our next two games.”

Crowe’s men progressed through to the second qualifying round of the FA Cup after two tough clashes with Squires Gate.

Brig were held to a 2-2 draw at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium on Saturday.

The North West Counties Premier Division outfit fought back to cancel out two Andy Bell goals and earn a replay.

But Brig’s depleted squad edged the tie 3-2 on Tuesday night and Crowe admitted he was relieved to progress.

He said: “They pushed us hard – very hard – in both games.

“On Tuesday afternoon I only had 12 players due to work commitments and injuries.

“To get through on what we had available was great. We are relieved.

“Andy Bell and Danny Leigh were unavailable and Matty Kay was ill – but they should all be back for Saturday.

“Squires Gate were underdogs and had nothing to lose – we were expected to win on paper.

“But all that matters is getting the win and progressing.”

Brig had 25 shots on target but only converted two in their first match against Squires Gate.

And Crowe admitted he was disappointed with his side’s finishing.

He said: “We did well to get through. They pushed us but the only disappointment was that we didn’t take our chances.

“We created a lot of opportunities and we didn’t take them.”

But Crowe is looking forward to facing higher-league opposition in the FA Cup second round qualifier.

Brig will travel to Cumbrian outfit Workington and Crowe is pleased his side managed to go one better than last year.

He said: “It is good for the club – we’ve got a round further than we did last year.

“The financial rewards are good and we want to have a decent run in the cup.

“We are away to Workington and we are looking forward to the trip and testing ourselves against higher-league opposition.”

Crowe is unable to call upon Nathan Parish and George Bowyer for tomorrow’s clash.

He said: “Nathan was out for a month and he played but damaged his ankle ligaments and he will be out for a while.

“George has been given the all clear to return to training so he should be back soon.”

Elsewhere, in the Conference Premier, Southport travel to face Macclesfield.