Brig look to end bloodiest of runs
Bamber Bridge are hoping to finally leave the Butcher's Arm Ground unbloodied this weekend.
Neil Crowe’s men take on Droylsden in the NPL First Division North, aiming to collect their fourth successive league victory of the season.
However, their record against the Bloods on their home patch in recent years has not been the best.
They have yet to pick up a single point in Greater Manchester since Droylsden dropped into the division after relegation from the Premier Division in 2014.
And in that time, Brig have shipped a sizeable eight goals in two games – scoring only three goals in reply.
Captain Matt Lawlor believes it is high time that he and his team-mates ended their unenviable record at the Bloods’ home ground.
“I have actually not played there the last two times, but I think we have let a lot of goals in against them for some reason,” Lawlor said.
“They play a style which is total football. It is quite unusual in non-league football to have a team who plays like that. They like to play the ball out from the back and pass it around.
“We have got to make sure we are solid at the back tomorrow.
“I think last season, we lost there something like 4-0, but then a few weeks later, we beat them 5-1 at home.
“We obviously haven’t done too well against them on their home ground.
“Hopefully we will do better this weekend and carry on what we have been doing recently and make it four wins out of four.”
After a slow start which saw Brig pick up just a point from their opening two games and exit the FA Cup at the first hurdle, the team has really hit form over the past couple of weeks.
They exacted quick revenge over Ossett Albion – the team which knocked them out of the FA Cup – by winning 4-1 in the league.
That result was followed by a hard-fought 1-0 win over derby rivals Lancaster – with Lawlor heading home the winner – and last weekend’s 3-0 away win at managerless Goole.
“I was speaking to one of their lads and he was saying that they all received a text at 10pm on Friday night from the manager to say he was leaving for Frickley Athletic,” Lawlor said.
“To be honest, they were not a very good team and it was a pretty convincing win.
“It was 3-0 but it could have been anything really.
“They had one shot all game and it was a good performance by all the lads.”
Last weekend saw the return of midfielders Jamie Milligan and Michael Potts to the fold.
Milligan has missed the start of the season after getting married and then going on holiday, while Potts was banned for two games after getting sent off in the FA Cup defeat to Ossett.
With players such as Chris Churchman and Stuart Vasey impressing this season, Lawlor admits there is plenty of competition for places in midfield.
“There can’t be that many teams in non-league which have the number of options that we have in midfield,” Lawlor said. “We have got about five central midfielders who are fighting it out for three midfield places. It’s headache for the manager but a good one to have.”
One player who will be missing this weekend is Alistair Waddecar. The talismanic winger could be out for up to six weeks after suffering a knee injury against Lancaster.