Bamber Bridge 1 Matlock Town 2
Bamber Bridge fell to a narrow 2-1 defeat at home to Matlock Town, despite Alistair Waddecar’s 44th-minute strike
Marcus Marshall had earlier opened the scoring for the visitors, before Daniel Bramall scored on the counter-attack to give Matlock all three points.
Jamie Milligan named an unchanged XI from the win over Whitby Town last weekend, and Brig started strongly as Chris Marlow headed narrowly over in the early stages.
Matlock’s opener came on 20 minutes, when Marshall won the ball high up the pitch before lifting his effort over Danny Roccia and into the net.
Brig responded well to the setback, Waddecar doing well to work an opening before seeing his effort go straight at the keeper.
Adam Sumner then hit a free-kick over the bar on 40 minutes, after Joe Booth had been brought down.
Brig’s equaliser came four minutes later – Matt Lawlor’s crossfield ball found Marlow on the left-hand side, his ball finding Waddecar inside the box who fired hard and low beyond Town goalkeeper Daniel Wallace.
And Milligan’s side almost went into the break in front when Chris Churchman raced forward and unleashed an effort which Wallace held well to his left.
Brig started the second half strongly and continued to dominate possession, Waddecar’s effort flashing wide on 51 minutes. Danny Wisdom then headed the ball the wrong side of the post, before Marlow again came close to scoring after Brig pressed to win the ball high up.
Arguably against the run of play, however, Matlock restored their advantage on 70 minutes with one of the more unusual goals of the season.
Bramall ran through on goal before seeing his effort excellently saved by Roccia, but the ball looped backwards before hitting the bar and landing on the goalline, with Bramall there to nod it over.
The game opened up following that strike, Joe Booth seeing his effort parried away by Wallace.
Matlock substitute Piteu Crouz then found himself with a shooting opportunity but fired just wide of Roccia’s goal.
Roccia was called into action in stoppage time to save another Bramall effort.
Brig were unable to find the equaliser, but despite defeat there were plenty of positives to take from the game for Milligan’s men.
The Brig boss said: “Overall I’d say we probably dominated possession, we created chances, we got the ball wide, but it just didn’t seem to drop for us.
“We’ve only been in a week and we’ve worked on loads of stuff with the players and they’ve followed everything that we’ve done in training.
“It’s just that final third where we need to take care.
“We’ve said that in the dressing room and the boys know. They’re an honest set of lads and they work their socks off – I’m really confident that will come.”