Brig boss fears another wash-out

Flying high: Bamber Bridge manager Neil Crowe's team have been going well
Flying high: Bamber Bridge manager Neil Crowe's team have been going well
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Bamber Bridge’s sodden Christmas could trickle on further into the new year.

Brig’s Boxing Day match went ahead despite the weather but their last two matches have been postponed due to waterlogged pitches.

And manager Neil Crowe is fearful the rain may drown out tomorrow’s blockbuster Irongate clash against table-topping Curzon Ashton.

He said: “Apparently the weather is going to be bad tomorrow and if it rains like it has been doing then it does not look promising.”

“There will be a pitch inspection at 10.30am on the matchday and looking at the forecast, we might see another postponement.”

But Crowe was unhappy that the highly-anticipated local derby at Irongate on New Year’s day was cancelled.

“I was a bit disappointed that the Clitheroe game was called off.

“The match referee made the decision and it didn’t rain after one o’clock and the pitch was playable by three – I thought it was a bit too early to cancel the game.

“I was frustrated with the postponement. We were expecting a decent crowd as it was a local derby and Clitheroe normally bring a lot of travelling support.

“It’s not just about the football – it’s the organisation, the fact that the lads sacrificed their New Year’s Eve, and the loss of revenue for the club.

Their last scheduled match of the year away to New Mills on December 28, was abandoned due to a waterlogged pitch and so Brig’s last game of 2013 was a 3-2 away victory over Mossley on Boxing Day.

Crowe said: “We were lucky to play on Boxing Day because of the weather but I expected the game against New Mills to be called off.

“Overall, 2013 was a good year for the club on the pitch. We have done some good stuff, played some entertaining football and had some great results.

“But now we are raring to go and start 2014 with a win.

“Our aim for this year is to finish as high up the league as possible and continue our good cup runs.”

Fourth-placed Brig prepare for the match against First Division North league leaders Curzon Ashton with a weakened squad.

Greg Johnstone and Andy Bell are still out with long term injuries.

And Crowe is unable to call on two of his regular starting XI due to suspension.

He said: “We are missing two key players tomorrow – Curtis Thompson is banned for one game and Matt Mahoney is out for two.

“So we will not be at full strength but I still feel we have enough in the squad to challenge them and I’m confident that the players can get a result.”

Brig lost 3-2 away to Curzon back in September, but Crowe believes his side are much improved since the start of the season.

He said: “On the day we were unlucky to lose, but we are a different side now.

“We are a much stronger side than when we were in September.

“They won’t want to play us any more than we want to play them, so Curzon won’t be travelling to Irongate and thinking they can turn us over easily.

“We have done well at home this season and we have always said we want Irongate to be a fortress.

“And I think we have achieved that – we are in great form at home and I believe we can win any game so long as we get the simple things right.”