Atherton Collieries 1, Bamber Bridge 4

Brig boss Neil Reynolds
Brig boss Neil Reynolds
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Bamber Bridge moved through to the third round of the Lancashire FA Challenge Trophy thanks to a comprehensive victory away at Atherton Collieries.

Brig made a bright start attacking up the slope and took the lead after 10 minutes when Regan Linney crossed from the right for James Boyd to score with a clinical finish.

Collieries rallied in search of an equaliser but it was Brig who went further ahead when Jamie Milligan struck a superb shot from the edge of the area that curled in off a post on 24 minutes. Unfortunately Brig’s two goal lead only lasted two minutes when Rick Smith hit a low drive into the bottom left hand corner of Lloyd Rigby’s goal after 26 minutes.

Just after the half hour mark some good pressure resulted in a couple of Brig corners, the second of which was cleared straight to Regan Linney who struck the ball beautifully into the far corner of the Atherton net to make it 3-1 on 32 minutes.

Further good work from Linney down the right wing created a chance for James Boyd in the area but his shot went comfortably over and Brig went in at half time with a fully deserved 3-1 lead.

Collieries made a couple of substitutions at half time and looked a lot livelier as they attacked up the slope to try and get back into the game. Lloyd Rigby had to make a couple of good saves but Brig’s lead remained intact.

With an hour gone Brig made their first substitution as Ally Waddecar replaced Ged Garner. Almost immediately a free kick to Brig on the edge of the area was headed in but the linesman flagged for offside.

After 75 minutes Michael Potts replaced Jamie Milligan as Brig looked to make the game safe. The second half had been a much more even affair with chances coming at both ends as the match entered its final stages.

On 84 minutes Alistair Waddecar drilled a corner into the near post which struck Sam Staunton-Turner and beat the Atherton keeper to make it 4-1. They all count! With just a couple of minutes to go Collieries attacked down the right but Ben Hardcastle curled his shot just over the bar.

That proved to be the final chance of the game and the referee blew for full time with Brig comfortably through to the next round after an excellent performance against a strong and determined Collieries side.

Bamber Bridge: Rigby; Vasey; Marlow (c); Forbes; Staunton-Turner; Boyd; Milligan (Potts '75); Dudley; Garner (Waddecar '60); Linney

Subs (not used): Carsley; Mahoney; Barton