Brig boss eyes up Celtic revenge mission
Neil Reynolds is hoping a week of intense work on the training ground this week will rectify mistakes made on the pitch last Saturday.
The Bamber Bridge boss was, on the whole, proud of the display last weekend despite watching his men suffer a 5-3 loss to NPL First Division North leaders Farsley Celtic.
Reduced to 10 men just minutes into the second period after goalkeeper Steven James was controversially sent off, Brig battled on gamely with captain and central defender Matt Lawlor stepping in between the sticks.
While pleased with the fighting spirit of his team – they scored all their goals while a man down – Reynolds was less than impressed with his side’s defending for Farsley’s opening two goals.
Those strikes before half-time put the home side in the driving seat and despite an eventful second half, they eventually secured all three points.
By a quirk of the fixture list, the two sides meet again this time at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium on Saturday.
And Reynolds believes his men are capable of turning the league leaders over as long as they cut out the costly errors. Reynolds said: “I think I said last week that if we have any ambitions of getting in the play-offs then we have got no chance if we defend like we did for their first two goals which came from two errors.
“We worked all week on defending set-plays because we know what Farsley do.
“They try to isolate the big No.5 at corners and Josh Heaton was told to stay with him, but he unfortunately he didn’t.
“The second goal comes from a ball over the top – Matt Lawlor goes to challenge for the ball, but nobody drops to cover and Paul Walker runs through to score.
“Every week we work on our defensive shape repeatedly in training but unfortunately we did not do what we work on during the game on Saturday.
“Apart from that, I have to say the lads were fantastic.
“We did not give up and scored three goals with 10 men.
“That shows that we have got character and I think we have got a real chance this week.
“Farsley have done fantastically this season. They are top of the league but we will go into the game confident that we can win it.”
With James set to serve a suspension, Reynolds has invited goalkeepers Jack Collins and Lloyd Rigby to train with the club this week.
Meanwhile, Brig have been deducted a point from their tally after fielding an ineligble player. An adminstrative error resulted in the club being penalised for playing Macauley Wilson.
“The first game of Macauley’s second loan spell – we had not the clearance. It’s an administrative error, but nobody is to blame. We all make mistakes,” Reynolds said.