Hyde United 3 Bamber Bridge 0
Bamber Bridge’s first game under new boss Mick Taylor ended in an FA Trophy exit at Ewen Fields.
Brig went down to a 3-0 defeat in a match where the scoreline flattered the victors.
For long spells, particularly in the second half Brig knocked the ball around well and did most of the pressing.
Hyde,however, were well marshalled at the back and kept the visitors at arm’s length with most of Brigs attempts on goal coming from outside the penalty area.
At the other end, the hosts were clinical, took their chances when they came and in the end they were comfortable winners.
New Bamber Bridge boss Mick Taylor will have been encouraged by a lot of what he saw, but equally concerned that the team can play so well and still be beaten by a three-goal margin.
Hyde started the brighter and took the lead on 18 minutes with a great strike from PNE loanee Connor Simpson.
A long punt downfield from the home keeper looked to have been cleared, but as the ball was returned to wards the Brig goal, it deflected off the knee of Adam Dodd in to the path of Simpson.
He took two touches before lashing the ball home from 16 yards.
Big rallied and got in several crosses from both sides of the 3Gg pitch, but in truth every ball into the Hyde box was easily dealt with by the towering home centre halves.
The half ended with the hosts in the lead from what had effectively been the only clear cut chance from either side.
Brig came out in the second half and forced the home side on to the back foot, Andy Haworth and Ali Waddecar both having half chances with shots from distance following great individual skill.
Stuart Vasey, on his return, was unlucky with a header, Waddecar was causing the home defence problems as he twice dribbled in to the box only to see his shots blocked on both occasions.
With Brig looking the more likely it was Hyde who doubled their lead with a goal against the run of play.
Adam Dodd having received the ball at left back from keeper Lloyd Rigby looked to play a square pass across the 18-yard line, the ball was intercepted and Rigby was forced into a fine save from the resultant shot, the rebound however fell kindly to ex-Brig man Nicky Platt, who smashed the ball home.
Brig pushed on undeterred and once again it was Haworth and Waddecar looking to unlock the water tight Hyde defence.
Substitute Danny Mahoney, on for Jordan Darr, rose well to meet a cross from the right but his header drifted wide.
Waddecar saw another shot blocked, then a Brig free-kick from 20 yard was struck around the wall by Waddecar but the keeper dived well to push the ball around the post for a corner.
On 80 minutes the contest was effectively ended. A free-kick from well outside the Brig area was floated in and the home striker got in a glancing header to send the ball in to the far corner and give the hosts a 3-0 lead.
Full-time and a defeat and exit from the FA Trophy, but much to take encouragement from following a traumatic week at The Sir Tom Finney Stadium.
Brig have another tough encounter on Tuesday evening with the M65 derby, when Colne are the visitors to Irongate in the League Cup.
Bamber Bridge: Rigby, Dawson, Dodd, Lawlor (capt), Charnock, Churchman, Waddecar, Forbes, Vasey, Haworth, Darr
Subs: Mahoney, Roccia, Carsley, Young, Dudley