Bamber Bridge ready for the return of the old boys, as FC United head to Irongate

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Three points may ultimately be the only thing on offer to the winner, but Bamber Bridge boss Jamie Milligan concedes tomorrow’s clash against FC United of Manchester is not quite like any other game.

The Red Rebels will arrive at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium for NPL Premier Division fixture with former Brig manager and player Neil Reynolds as their boss.

In amongst their squad, they also have a plethora of former Brig players, including Alistair Waddecar, who spent more than a decade at Irongate and holds the record for appearances for the club, as well as Regan Linney, Michael Potts and Adam Dodd.

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Milligan – who was part of Reynolds’ backroom team initially when he became manager at Broadhurst Park – admits there is a little bit of extra spice to the fixture.

Nathan Pond scored for Bamber Bridge in a unfamiliar striker role on Tuesday at Radcliffe (photo:Ruth Hornby)Nathan Pond scored for Bamber Bridge in a unfamiliar striker role on Tuesday at Radcliffe (photo:Ruth Hornby)
Nathan Pond scored for Bamber Bridge in a unfamiliar striker role on Tuesday at Radcliffe (photo:Ruth Hornby)

And he believes it is going to be an entertaining game as it will pit two good footballing sides who are both looking for promotion.

While Brig have enjoyed an excellent opening five months and find themselves in second spot in the table, FC United were slow starters but are just starting to hit some form. They are currently unbeaten in five league games, winning four of them.

“Of course, there is extra spice to the game,” said Milligan. “FC United have got a few in their squad who used to be at Bamber Bridge.

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“You’ve got Regan, Pottsy, Ally, Doddy, but all that has gone now – they are at a new club and are doing well.

“They are a very good team and are on a really good run at the minute. If I was a neutral supporter, I would come and watch this game. It will be a good footballing game, it will be end-to-end and will be entertaining. Whatever happens, there will be no bad blood between anybody.

“At the end of the day, it is only a game of football. We need to win and so do they, so let’s see what happens.”

Brig moved back into second spot on Tuesday night with a terrific 3-2 win over Radcliffe at Stainton Park.

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Debutant Jake Thompson grabbed the headlines by hitting the winner but the big talking point was Milligan’s deployment of Nathan Pond as a striker.

The former Fleetwood Town defender was on target and Milligan said: “Pondy scored a great goal and he just gives us a different dimension. When teams come and try to press us because they know we like to play, we can get it over and into Pondy.

“God knows when he last played there but I remember him having a stint there for Fleetwood. He can play there, he is clever. He pulls off defenders and he know what defenders don’t like.”

Chorley have no game this weekend while AFC Fylde travel to Leamington in the National League North.

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Southport host Solihull Moors in the FA Trophy fourth round.

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