Bamber Bridge seal a Lancs FA Trophy semi-final spot after James Dean hat-trick sinks Wythenshawe Amateurs
James Dean’s hat trick helped Bamber Bridge seal a 5-1 victory over Wythenshawe Amateurs.
The win puts Brig into the hat for the semi-finals of the Lancashire FA Challenge Trophy, with the tie being played at the County Ground.
Brig lined up with three central defenders initially, with Callum Spooner, Phil Doughty and Adam Sumner in the heart of defence, and Matthew Thomson and Chris Marlow operating as wing backs.
Brig started brightly as Ali Waddecar – captain for the night in the absence of Matt Lawlor – forced a good diving stop from Wythenshawe keeper Kyle Haslam.
Gary Pett saw his effort well blocked before Phil Doughty then headed on to the roof of the net from a corner.
Brig made their pressure count on 22 minutes, Dean opening the scoring with a fine right-footed finish into the far corner.
And the hosts continued to have the best of the play, Chris Churchman’s well struck effort from distance taking a deflection before falling narrowly wide of the post.
Dean then tried the spectacular when he took down a precise, lofted ball from Churchman before flicking the ball over the defender and volleying it towards goal, a deflection sending the ball wide of the keeper’s grasp but past the post.
The visitors ended the half strongly, with Daniel Egan heading over from close range, but it was a half-time advantage that Brig fully deserved.
They also had the better of the beginning of the second half, Doughty heading straight at the keeper from a Callum Spooner free-kick.
Against the run of play, however, Wythenshawe levelled the scores on 52 minutes when Danny Crerand finished past Mike Hale in the Brig net.
As the game went on, though, Brig began to assert their dominance more frequently and captain Waddecar put the hosts back in front on 67 minutes, when he finished calmly first time into the bottom right corner, with a deflection helping the ball on its way.
Two became three just two minutes later, when a Chris Churchman shot on target struck Dean on the back of the head and looped into the bottom corner.
Waddecar then extended the advantage on 82 minutes with an inch-perfect chip over the keeper, shortly before Dean completed his hat-trick with a calm finish on the volley into the bottom corner.
Brig are next in league action on Saturday, when they take on Mickleover Sports at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium.