Crowe urges Brig to be more clinical
Bamber Bridge boss Neil Crowe cut a frustrated figure after his side were dumped out of the LFA Challenge Trophy by Charnock Richard in midweek.
The Villagers enjoyed one of the greatest nights in their history by defeating Brig 2-0 at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium on Tuesday.
It was only last season that Charnock were plying their trade in the West Lancashire League.
The dominant club in that particular league for many years, Andy Westwell’s men were accepted into the North West Counties’ First Division for the start of this campaign.
They have adapted well to life in the higher league and are currently placed in fifth position in the table.
Even still, Brig – who are two divisions above in the football pyramid – were expected to have too much for their lower-league opponents, especially on home turf.
However, the Irongate men paid the price for failing to convert a succession of chances as they succumbed to two late sucker-punches.
“I think it’s a bit harsh to say it’s an embarrassing result,” said Crowe.
“On paper we are expected to beat teams from the lower leagues, but it doesn’t always work out that way.
“I rotated the squad and made four changes, but I wouldn’t say it weakened the team at all.
“We felt that the 11 players who started the game were good enough to win and they weren’t. At the end of the day, it was their cup final and they did up their game.
“They are not a bad side and they have dominated the West Lancashire League for the last 10 years.
“They are not a West Lancs team – they have always been a Counties side.
“They worked hard on Tuesday and fair play to them.
“But the story of the game is we dominated and should have won the game comfortably.
“We didn’t take our chances and if you don’t take your chances, you’re not going to win games of football.”
Brig were also left slightly disappointed on Saturday after they let slip a 2-0 lead at Hyde United and were forced to settle for a draw.
Sam Livesey and Michael Potts put them two goals to the good after 12 minutes, but United quickly pulled a goal back and then equalised in the dying seconds of the match.
“We were 2-1 up with two minutes to go and we concede to draw, but before that we should have been 5-1 up,” Crowe said
“It’s getting a problem now. We are creating chance after chance, but not putting the ball in the net. We haven’t got a recognised goalscorer at the moment. We are just lacking a bit of composure in front of goal and are not clinical enough.”
Despite the setbacks of this week, Brig have still made a decent start to the season.
They topped the table earlier this month and are still handily placed in third spot in the table, having won five and lost only two of their opening nine games.
This weekend they travel to Yorkshire to face newly-promoted Tadcaster Albion, who just outside the play-off places.
“It’s a big game tomorrow at Tadcaster,” said Crowe. “They are in sixth spot but have a game in hand on us.
“I am expecting a tough game because I’ve heard they are a big side but like to play football.”
On the injury front, Ally Waddecar is still unlikely to be risked as he continues to recover from a knee injury.