Third time lucky for Bamber Bridge in play-off final?

Brig's on-loan Adam Roscoe could be fit for the final
Brig's on-loan Adam Roscoe could be fit for the final

Neil Reynolds felt his Bamber Bridge team had to go up a level in order to book their place in the NPL First Division North play-off final.

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Brig will take on Prescot Cables on Saturday at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium, with the winners earning place in the Premier Division next season.

However, it looked like their promotion dream was going to go up in smoke when they trailed Tadcaster Albion 1-0 in Tuesday night’s semi-final with less than half-an-hour to go.

But Brig – who had struggled to impose themselves for much of the game – found their form when it mattered the most.

Danny Forbes equalised Will Annan’s 60th-minute opener for the visitors and it was left to Lewis Nightingale to hit the winner to send the majority of the 600-plus crowd into raptures.

“It epitomises the character that we have in the dressing room,” Reynolds said.

“To go 1-0 down, we were staring down the barrel, but I just said to my assistant Simon Wiles, we have just got to trust the lads.

“That character has been here all season – we have only lost one game at home all season. I actually reminded the lads at half-time that even if we do go 1-0 down – just keep believing.

“We stepped it up a level when they went ahead and once Danny Forbes gets that goal, we were right back in it, and Lewis Nightingale got the job done.”

Brig have the advantage of playing at home this weekend as they finished a place and two points above Prescot in the table.

However, Reynolds is under no illusions as to the task facing his team.

Prescot enjoyed a 2-1 win over Brig – albeit on their own patch – last month although Reynolds’ men came out on top 1-0 when the two sides met in October at Irongate and they also beat them 4-1 in the League Cup.

“We know all about Prescot,” said Reynolds. “They carry a real threat. They beat us the other week at their place with a last-minute goal.

“We beat them 4-1 in the cup and we also had a good game against them earlier in the season at our place.

“We know it’s going to be very difficult. I know their manager Brian Richardson really well. But I have got to believe in my team and my club.

“We want to get to that next level and trust me for 90 minutes on Saturday, we will be doing everything we can to get promoted.

“We are within touching distance. I think it will be our third play-off final in the last five years.

“Is it going to be third time lucky? I don’t know. Let’s hope so.”

Reynolds is hopeful of having Chorley loanee Adam 
Roscoe available for the final, while James Boyd and Matt Mahoney could also come into contention.