Bamber Bridge suffer home defeat to Matlock

Bamber Bridge suffered their first home defeat of the NPL Premier Division season after losing 4-2 to Matlock Town at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium.

Sunday, 26th September 2021, 9:13 am

The visitors – who came into the fixture in second place in the table – opened the scoring on 11 minutes through debutant Jamie Cooke, who struck the ball into the bottom corner of the net with the outside of his boot.

Brig then quickly began to grow into the game, with Harvey Gregson’s long-distance effort taking a deflection and forcing goalkeeper Shaun Rowley into a good save.

Rob Apter then saw an effort saved by the legs of the Matlock keeper.

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Ewan Bange (left) after scoring from the spot for Brig (photo: Ruth Hornby)

Brig were then awarded a penalty on 24 minutes when Gregson was brought down in the area.

Ewan Bange stepped up and calmly placed his spot-kick into the corner for his eighth goal of the season, making him the league’s joint top scorer.

Matlock, however, immediately struck back to retake the lead. A low cross came in from the right-hand side which captain Liam Hughes slotted into the net from close range.

Gregson then almost levelled the scores once again, managing to get a boot on Luke Higham’s long-range drive only to see the keeper in position to save.

On the brink of half-time, Brig stopper Mateusz Hewelt – making his home debut – made an excellent save to deny Hughes one-on-one.

The visitors then extended their advantage on 62 minutes, Cooke scoring his second goal of the game from close range.

On 73 minutes, Brig got their second goal to again reduce the deficit.

Fin Sinclair-Smith, who was signed on Friday from fellow NPL Premier Division side FC United, fired in an effort from distance into the roof of the net via a minimal deflection.

At the other end, Hewelt then made another impressive stop to parry away a Matlock free-kick from 25 yards, before later pushing Jesurun Uchegbulam’s well-struck effort wide of the post.

Matlock were then awarded a penalty in stoppage time, with Alex Byrne putting the spot-kick into the net.

Jamie Milligan’s side remain in fifth place in the NPL Premier Division despite the defeat, with a trip to Mickleover Sports on Tuesday night next on the league calendar.