Bamber Bridge’s play-off ambitions suffer a blow

Bamber Bridge 1 Stafford Rangers 3

By Ryan Smart
Sunday, 13th February 2022, 10:11 am

Bamber Bridge were unable to climb back into the NPL Premier Division play-off positions after suffering a 3-1 defeat to Stafford Rangers at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium.

The visitors opened the scoring inside just two minutes, with Tonks firing an effort beyond Brig goalkeeper James Cottam from 20 yards.

Despite the early goal conceded, it was Brig who were in the ascendency for much of the early periods.

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Brig boss Jamie Milligan (photo: Ruth Hornby)

Jacob Holland-Wilkinson tested Luke Pilling in the Stafford goal with a well-struck low shot, before Nathan Pond then fired over the ball on the half volley.

On 28 minutes, Adam Dawson then fizzed a superb ball across the face of goal for the hosts. Unfortunately for Brig, however, no player could get on the end of it to divert it towards goal.

Seven minutes later, Stafford had their second goal of the afternoon. Visiting captain Alex-Ray Harvey strode clear and calmly placed his effort into the bottom corner of the net.

The second half began in a similar way to the first for Jamie Milligan’s side. On 48 minutes, Cottam made a low diving save to parry away Tonks’s effort, but Tre Pemberton was on hand to divert the ball over the line from close range.

Brig looked to get back into the game, and the lively Holland-Wilkinson saw his right-footed effort well blocked by a Stafford defender.

However, on 54 minutes, the hosts were brought down to 10 men when Pond was shown a second yellow card.

Alexander Fletcher then had two efforts at goal for the visitors, firstly firing over the bar on the half-volley before then heading narrowly wide.

On 77 minutes, Brig managed to pull a goal back.

A defensive clearance was sliced up into the air before looping over the goalkeeper’s head and into the back of the net.

Other results – National League North: Brackley Town 1 AFC Fylde 0, Boston United 1 Southport 1; NPL Premier: Lancaster 0 Scarborough Ath 2; NPL West: Ramsbottom United 3 Clitheroe 0; NWCL Premier: Longridge Town 0 Charnock Richard 5, Litherland REMYCA 0 Burscough 1; NWCL First Division North: Garstang 1 Daisy Hill 1.