Bamber Bridge 1, Basford United 0: Rob Apter on the spot to send Brig top of the league

Rob Apter scored an 87th minute penalty to send Bamber Bridge top of the NPL Premier Division with a 1-0 win over Basford United at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium.

Jamie Milligan’s side now have 41 points from 20 games this season – one ahead of Matlock Town and South Shields, who both have a game in hand. Apter himself had the first clear-cut opportunity of the contest on 12 minutes, sending his curling effort over the bar from just outside the area.

Sheldon Green then tested Adam Collin in the Basford goal when he hit a driven effort from a tight angle, with the goalkeeper able to make a good low save.

On 38 minutes, Preston North End loanee Joe Rodwell-Grant fired a well-struck effort towards goal from 25 yards out after finding some space, but saw his shot saved by the fingertips of Collin.

Rob Apter hit the winner for Brig (photo:Ruth Hornby)

Shortly before half-time, Basford had an opportunity to open the scoring when Kane Richards powered a header towards goal, with Mateusz Hewelt showing good hands to hold on to the forward’s effort.

In the second half, Green had two chances for Brig shortly after the hour mark. His first effort was a 25 yard strike which dipped and went just wide of the post.

The No. 11 then showed great movement to race beyond his man before shooting narrowly wide under pressure.

At the other end, Richards was again involved, this time forcing a good save out of Hewelt.

Brig boss Milligan then made his first two substitutions of the afternoon – and one would go on to play a major part in the only goal of the game.

Good work from the hosts saw the ball end up at the feet of Matt Dudley, who was subsequently brought down inside the area.

Apter took responsibility from the spot, and fired his penalty superbly into the top right corner of the net.

The home side saw out the remainder of the game and secured another victory – one that sees them end the weekend in the lead of the division.

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