Brig must stay one step ahead of pack

Macauley Wilson is set for a start in the centre of defence
Macauley Wilson is set for a start in the centre of defence

Bamber Bridge boss Neil Reynolds has declared this weekend’s home fixture against derby rivals Ramsbottom United as a must-win game for his side.

Brig are a point clear at the top of the NPL First Division North after a fine start to the season.

However, Reynolds is well aware that other teams – with games in hand – are beginning to circle underneath.

In order to keep one step ahead, Brig must take all three points against mid-table Rammy, who have yet to record a single victory on the road in the league over the opening three months of the campaign.

“We expect to win every game at home,” said Reynolds. “We haven’t lost at home this season. I think it’s six wins and two draws and they haven’t won a game away.

“Everybody will be expecting us to win. There will probably be another good crowd on because people are starting to see what we are about, which is great.

“But the fans will be expecting us to win and if we have designs on doing something this season, then these are the games which we should be winning.

“We should be looking to take maximum points against teams who are in mid-table.

“We have got a very important week coming up. We have got back-to-back home games against Ramsbottom and then Hyde. We have come through a tough November relatively unscathed and after these two games, we will have a good idea of where we are at.”

Brig were held to a 1-1 draw last Saturday at Trafford – a result which both frustrated and pleased Reynolds.

“On the balance of play, I’m frustrated because we were the better team, but in terms of overall, a point was the target,” he said. “They are a good team and not many teams will go to Trafford and come away with something.”

This weekend, Reynolds will be without defender Matt Mahoney so Macauley Wilson is set to come into the team.

Brig also welcome back winger Dan Mooney, who has been away on international duty with Wales Under-19s.