Brig can cement position at the top

Boss Neil Crowe

Boss Neil Crowe

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League leaders Bamber Bridge have a chance to strengthen their position at the top of the NPL First Division North.

With many of the sides around them on FA Cup duty this weekend, Brig could start the process of opening up a little gap at the top with victory over Colwyn Bay at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium tomorrow.

While disappointed to go out of the FA Cup at the first hurdle – they were beaten 5-2 by Ossett Albion last month – Brig now have the opportunity to concentrate fully on the league while some of their rivals may become embroiled in long cup runs.

“Going out of the FA Cup is and isn’t a blessing in disguise,” said manager Neil Crowe.

“Other teams have FA Cup commitments and that was us last season.

“We had four replays in the FA Cup – I think we had nine games to get to the fourth round of qualifying.

“We would still like to be in the FA Cup and doing well in it. Financially a good cup run is what clubs like Bamber Bridge need.

“But there’s nothing we can do about that now.

“We just have to get on with it and we can now concentrate fully on the league.”

Brig have certainly made the most of their early FA Cup exit. Since losing to Ossett, they have registered four successive league victories – the most recent of which came last Saturday in the 1-0 win at Droylsden.

That run has propelled them to the top of the table – and while thrilled to see his side in such a lofty position, Crowe is keeping his feet firmly planted on the ground.

“It’s nice to be top,” he said. “I would much rather be there than at the other end of the table.

“But we are under no illusions. We are not daft – we know that there is a long way to go and a lot of work to do.”

This weekend’s opponents Colwyn Bay have endured a spectacular fall from grace in recent seasons – suffering two relegations.

They are currently struggling near the foot of the table after winning just one of their first five games.

Brig will be without talismanic winger Ally Waddecar, who is set to be sidelined for another two weeks with a knee injury.

Matt Lawlor will also be unavailable after breaking his nose against Droylsden.