Win over Shields is a must for Brig boys

Alistair Waddecar
Alistair Waddecar

It is now or never for Bamber Bridge as they bid to keep their faint NPL First Division North automatic promotion hopes alive.

Neil Reynolds’ men were beaten for the first time in the league since November on Saturday when they lost 2-1 at league leaders Hyde United.

But Brig have no time to feel sorry for themselves as they have an opportunity to redeem themselves this evening when they host title favourites South Shields – who are currently in second spot in the table – at the Sir Tom Finny Stadium.

The men from the North East are two points behind Hyde and eight points clear of Brig, who are in fourth spot.

Shields also boast the added advantage of having games in hand on all of their rivals at the top.

Reynolds accepts his team face an uphill battle to secure automatic promotion, but a win tonight could yet still see them secure a top two spot come the end of the season.

“It’s now or never,” said Reynolds. “We have a got a run of three games where we play South Shields, Glossop on Saturday followed by Hyde on Tuesday.

“To be honest, we need nine points from the three games.

“If we do that then it’s still on, but it’s going to be a tall order especially with the small squad that we have got.

“South Shields are a very good side – they have got quality in all areas. But they have got the biggest budget; they have the backing; they need to go up this season and we will be looking to ride off the back of that pressure.”

Brig’s squad is stretched with doubts over Brad Carsley, Alistair Waddecar, Adam Rioscoe, Stu Vasey and Danny Forbes. Lewis Nightingale is unavailable.