Hats off to Brig

Brig staged their own Gentry Day at Saturday's home game against Northwich Victoria to mark the first anniversary of Sir Tom Finney's death. Pictured from left, club chairman Frank Doyle, former PNE player George Ross, PNE historian Ian Rigby, and ex-North End players Eric Jones and Leo Gornall
Brig staged their own Gentry Day at Saturday's home game against Northwich Victoria to mark the first anniversary of Sir Tom Finney's death. Pictured from left, club chairman Frank Doyle, former PNE player George Ross, PNE historian Ian Rigby, and ex-North End players Eric Jones and Leo Gornall
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Bamber Bridge’s tremendous victory over Northwich Victoria last Saturday provided a fitting tribute to the late Sir Tom Finney.

On the first anniversary of the PNE legend’s death, Brig produced arguably their best performance of the season to vanquish high-flying Vics 2-0 at home.

On the ground which bears his name, Sir Tom would have been delighted with the stylish performance produced by Neil Crowe’s men.

And the display impressed a couple of Finney’s former PNE team-mates, so much that they felt compelled to enter the home dressing room after the game to congratulate the players.

Former North End stalwarts George Ross and Eric Jones were in the crowd as part of the club’s ‘Gentry Day’ celebrations.

They donned bowler hats and the party atmosphere appeared to inspire the players on the pitch as goals from Alistair Waddecar and Simon Wiles – his first for the club – sealed the win.

Crowe said: “I think it was probably our best performance of the season so far.

“Just the way we played the game – we passed Northwich off the park and kept the ball well.

“We were clinical with our chances, scored two good goals and we were solid at the 
back.

“I don’t remember Lee Dovey having much to do, maybe just one save in the first half.

“A couple of the old North End players, George Ross and Eric Jones, were quite complimentary about our performance. They came into the dressing room after the game and congratulated 
the lads on the win, which was nice.

“I suppose it was fitting for the day with it being the anniversary of Sir Tom’s death.”

A crowd of nearly 300 watched the match and Crowe said the Gentry Day celebrations had been a success for the club and raised money for charity.

“There was a good atmosphere,” he added.

“There were 280 there – we would have liked to have had a few more.

“But the gates are creeping up, which is nice to see.

“We can’t do any more to get more people through the doors.

“Some of the football we have played this season is the best I have seen here for a long time. We are playing good, entertaining football.”

The win on Saturday means Brig have moved up to sixth in the table and they are now only six points behind the Vics – who are third – with three games in hand.

It was also Brig’s third consecutive victory in the league.

“It was like a six-pointer on Saturday,” Crowe said.

“We were nine points behind Northwich with three games in hand.

“Now we are just six points behind.

“It’s all to play for. We have hit a rich vein for form at the moment and we want that to continue.

“I think we have scored 
eight goals and conceded only three in our last three 
games

“We know that on our day, we are can beat anybody in this league.”

With a visit to fellow promotion chasers AFC Farsley on the agenda tomorrow, Crowe has not given up hope of catching leaders Darlington 1883, who are currently 12 points clear of his team.

“I think it’s Darlington’s to lose,” said Crowe.

“But I don’t think for one minute that they will win every game between now and the end of the season .

“To lose four games, it’s going to be a tall order.

“But I think you can pick 10 or 11 teams who have got a good chance of getting in the play-offs – it’s that close.

“Tomorrow is another potential six-pointer.

“Farsley are bit like us – they play the right way, they play good football.

“Their pitch should suit us. It’s a big, flat pitch and so hopefully we will get it down and pass the ball..

“They are on a bit of a bad run, but I went to watch them against Salford City and they will be a handful.”