Charnock saves point for Bamber Bridge at Witton

Brig grab a late equaliser (photo: Ruth Hornby)
Brig grab a late equaliser (photo: Ruth Hornby)

Witton Albion 2 Bamber Bridge 2

Brig travelled down the M6 and came home with a point from the Wincham Stadium thanks to Kieran Charnock’s stoppage-time equaliser.

Brig were forced into an early change even before kick off when the referee decided there would be a clash of colours.

With the home strip being red and white stripes at the front and all white on the back, Brig entered the field wearing navy blue shirts courtesy of Witton Albion.

The home side had the edge and only great defending to block a goalbound effort kept the scores level.

Danny Roccia in goal for Bamber Bridge then made the first of several fine saves, tipping he ball around the post for a corner.

As the half wore on, Brig grew into the game. Adam Dodd tested the home keeper with a 15-yard shot, before the visitors won a series of corners.

As the third corner was cleared, Danny Forbes looped the ball back into the box, the home keeper looked to have the ball safely in his hands but dropped it only for Chris Marlow’s shot to be blocked and bundled out for a further corner.

The visitors had the chance to take the lead on 41 minutes when Matt Dudley was tripped in the box.

Up stepped Ali Waddecar, he struck what looked a fine penalty but keeper Greg Hall flung himself to his left to palm away the spot-kick.

The save lifted Albion and twice in the closing minutes of the half, Roccia was called upon to make top saves, sending the sides in level at the break.

Waddecar opened the scoring on 58 minutes. A free-kick awarded 20 yards from goal was superbly lofted over the wall leaving the Albion keeper rooted to the spot.

The lead, however, was shortlived when on 71 minutes Witton were awarded a penalty.

Chris Marlow adjudged to have brought down the home striker just inside the box. Michael Wilson stepped up and slammed the ball into the back of the net to level the scores somewhat against the run of play.

Worse was to come just 90 seconds later when Brig failed to deal with a low ball into the area, allowing Tom Ownes to crash the ball home from close range.

But Brig’s resilience was to pay dividends as they poured forward looking for the equaliser.

Goose saw a volley flash wide following a corner,

Then a Darren McKnight free-kick was blocked by the wall but hooked back into the box where Kieran Charnock rose at the back post, his fine header being well saved by keeper Hall.

Moments later Waddecar whipped over a superb cross from the right, McKnight met it with a diving header in to the ground, the ball bounced up over the keeper but also agonisingly over the bar.

Brig made a late change when striker Brad Carsley came on for Chris Churchman on 85 minutes.

Carsley certainly made his presence felt winning a free-kick at the edge of the box in the 92nd minute, that was cleared, but returned into the penalty area to the feet of Charnock, who took one touch before smashing the ball into the top corner to the delight of the Brig fans behind the goal.

The equaliser was no more than the visitors deserved, and onepoint was almost three in the last minute of stoppage time when Matt Dudley dived to get his head on a cross from the right.

The ball however stopped dead in the mud and the keeper was able to claim it.

Brig: Roccia, Spooner, Dodd, Lawlor (Capt.), Charnock, Churchman, Waddecar, Forbes, Dudley, McKnight, Marlow

Subs: Doughty, Dawson, Carsley, Argent-Barnes, Young.