Bamber Bridge's play-off hopes ended after draw with Nantwich, while both Scarborough and Matlock win

Bamber Bridge’s bid to secure a play-off place in the NPL Premier Division ultimately ended in failure on the final day of the season.

By Ryan Smart
Saturday, 23rd April 2022, 11:22 pm
Updated Sunday, 24th April 2022, 9:33 am

Jamie Milligan’s side went into the match knowing they needed to beat Nantwich Town and results involving Matlock or Scarborough went their way.

As it happened, they were only able to draw 1-1 while both Matlock and Scarborough recorded victories to confirm their place in the top five.

It was Nantwich who had the first opening of the game, captain Joel Stair glancing his header narrowly wide from a corner.

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Mark Yeates scored for Brig

But Brig quickly began to grow into the game, and were in the ascendency when Fin Sinclair-Smith’s header crashed against the crossbar on 25 minutes.

Then, nine minutes later, Jake Thompson found himself through on goal before forcing a good save from Nantwich goalkeeper Matthew Gould.

The visitors remained a threat from set pieces, though, a well-taken 30-yard free kick struck the base of the post minutes before half-time.

Four minutes into the second half, Stair rose highest from a corner and powered his header beyond James Aspinall in the Brig net to giver the Dabbers the lead.

Milligan’s side continued to push, however, despite the setback. Gould produced a good save to deny Dan Martin on 65 minutes, before Paul Dawson volleyed over the bar.

Then, on 75 minutes, Nathan Pond got on the end of a Brig free-kick but his connection hit the post.

With just seconds left of normal time, however, Brig did get their equaliser – and it was a moment of magic. From a corner, Yeates produced an inswinger which beat everyone and flew directly into the top corner, leaving Gould with no chance.

There was no time for a winner for the hosts, however, and ex-Brig loanee Akiel Raffie forced a good save out of Aspinall.

Lancaster brought the curtain down on their campaign with a 3-1 defeat away at Mickelover Sports. In the NPL West Division, Clitheroe enjoyed a 3-2 success over Ramsbottom while Kendal Town drew 0-0 with Widnes.