Last-gasp heartache in final for Bamber Bridge play-off final

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Bamber Bridge suffered NPL Premier Division play-off final heartbreak at Cantilever Park as Isaac Buckley-Ricketts’ late goal secured a 1-0 win for Warrington Town.

Brig had the first opening of the final, Isaac Sinclair seeing an effort from 18 yards deflect off a Warrington defender and loop over the bar.

Paul Dawson then headed the ball narrowly over the bar on nine minutes after a good cross from Rowan Roache.

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Warrington Town then broke on 20 minutes, with Matthew McDonald lofting the ball over Brig goalkeeper Felix Goddard before seeing his effort bounce wide of the post.

Brig boss Jamie Milligan (photo: Ruth Hornby)Brig boss Jamie Milligan (photo: Ruth Hornby)
Brig boss Jamie Milligan (photo: Ruth Hornby)

At the other end, Rhys Turner came close when he outmuscled a defender before his low shot from the angle was saved by Tony Thompson.

On 38 minutes, Goddard, who was back in the Brig team after a three-game suspension, was then called into action to make a sharp low save from Luke Duffy after the winger got in behind the defence.

The opening period of the second half saw relatively few chances, with Goddard saving from McDonald’s effort from a tight angle on 66 minutes.

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The hosts were then reduced to 10 men on 81 minutes, when Josh Amis was shown a straight red card for a incident involving Macauley Wilson as Warrington prepared to take a corner.

But the hosts continued to push towards the end of the game, and Goddard made a fine save to deny Tom Hannigan from a corner.

But in the 90th minute, Buckley-Ricketts managed to hook the ball over the line to score what proved to be the winning goal.

Bamber Bridge’s Aaron Skinner was then shown a second yellow card after play restarted as both sides finished with 10 men.

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And although Brig gave it their all, Buckley-Ricketts’ late goal proved to be the difference.

WARRINGTON TOWN: Thompson, Walker, White, Hannigan, Gumbs, Harris, Woods, McDonald, Amis, Dixon, Duffy

BAMBER BRIDGE: Goddard, Thomson, Skinner, Mariette, Wilson, Churchman, Roache, Sinclair, Turner, Dawson, Sinclair-Smith

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