BAMBER Bridge leap-frogged back above Lancaster City in the NPL First Division thanks to a 2-0 victory over the Dolly Blues at Giant Axe on Saturday. (writes Adam Lord)
Neil Crowe’s men exacted revenge after City had beaten them 1-0 on their own patch earlier in the month.
Chris Marlow and Alex Taylor’s goals means City drop out of the play-offs, although they are level on points with the men from Irongate, who occupy the last play-off spot.
The Dolly Blues started the brighter with Tom Kilifin testing Lee Dovey with a shot from 20 yards inside the first 10 minutes before seeing a deflected effort from the resultant corner hit the crossbar.
Gavin Clark then saw a goal-bound shot blocked but in a even first period the visitors were next to go close as Marlow blazed a volley over after being found by a deep Matty Mahoney free-kick.
Mahoney’s set pieces were to provide a real attacking threat for Brig, Gregg Johnstone clipping the post with a header from one 27 minutes in.
Garry Hunter was more often than not the man over the ball for Lancaster and his centre five minutes later was flicked on by Billy Akrigg before being fired high and wide by Jordan Connerton who had enough time to take a touch.
The Dolly Blues number nine got on the end of another Hunter free-kick 38 minutes in but could only flick his header over the crossbar.
City’s best spell came five minutes before the break, Ryan Winder breaking down the right for City before feeding Kilifin who rounded the goalkeeper only to see his effort blocked.
The visitors then went ahead in first-half stoppage time. Mike Hale appeared to have confidently claimed a Mahoney free-kick but spilled the ball allowing Marlow to slide the ball through Rob Henry’s legs and into the net.
After the break, a poor back header from George Bowyer let in Kilifin but again the Brig ‘keeper raced out to smother the striker’s effort.
Brig killed the game off 13 minutes from time. A fine counter attack down the right was finished off by former Dolly Blue Taylor from close range. The final whistle brought scenes of celebration in the away dugout as they ran out deserved winners with the Dolly Blues dropping to sixth in the table.
Elsewhere, AFC Fylde defeated Frickley Athletic 2-0 in the Premier Division, while in the division below Kendal Town were beaten 3-0 by Curzon Ashton, Burscough drew 1-1 with Ramsbottom and Clitheroe lost 1-0 to Radcliffe Borough.