Class of ’92 boys next up for Crowe

George Bowyer
George Bowyer
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Bamber Bridge boss Neil Crowe will not be pitting his wits against Manchester United legends Paul Scholes and Phil Neville tomorrow.

Brig host Salford City, who are part owned by United’s Class of ’92 – Ryan Giggs, Nick Butt, Scholes, Neville and his brother Gary.

After Phil Power was sacked as manager, Scholes and Neville took control of team affairs for City’s 2-1 win over Kendal Town on Saturday.

Howver, the club have now appointed former Ramsbottom United boss Andy Johnson and he will be in the dugout at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium tomorrow.

“We have been in training Tuesday and last night ready for the big one against Salford tomorrow,” Crowe told the Evening Post.

“They started off really well this season but have tailed off a little bit. But they are still a strong side and been in the top five all season and they will be there or thereabouts at the end of the season.”

Meanwhile, Crowe lamented two ‘killer’ goals his men gave away, which dented his new year celebrations.

The Brig boss watched his men concede twice in the dying moments of their last two matches as they drew 2-2 at home to Radcliffe Borough on New Year’s Day and then lost 1-0 at Lancaster City on Saturday.

Failing to shut up shop with just seconds of the two matches remaining cost the Irongate men three valuable points in the race for promotion.

It saw them slip to eighth spot in the NPL First Division North table – nine points behind leaders Darlington 1883.

The loss to the Dolly Blues was all the more galling as a defensive error contributed to City’s last-minute winner.

Crowe said: “The two last-minute goals killed us. It was really disappointing to concede especially on Saturday against Lancaster.

“To be fair, the game had 0-0 written all over it – it was a pretty poor game.

“Whether the goal is a defensive mistake or a keeper mistake, they both left it to each other – neither of them have gone for it and their lad just tapped it over the line. That was in the 93rd minute.

“That and the Radcliffe Borough one, were games that we felt we could have won.

“Against Radcliffe, we dominated really but conceded in the 92nd minute.

“It’s becoming a bit of a concern. I think it’s five or six games now that we have conceded in the last couple of minutes.

“We are not keeping hold of possession in the right areas when it’s 1-0 or 0-0 or whatever the score may be.”

Despite the setbacks, Brig are still only five points outside the play-off positions and Crowe has been buoyed by the fact that many of their rivals also slipped up.

“All the other teams around us have been dropping points as well,” Crowe said.

“There is only really Darlington at the top of the table who are pushing on.

“There’s still a long way to go – we just have to make sure we stay in touch.”

The Brig boss will be glad that his players have had no midweek game this week as they prepare for tomorrow’s game.

Matt Mahoney has a nagging hip injury and is unlikely to feature against City, while Glenn Steel is unavailable.

Phil Doughty has a slight hamstring problem but 
should be fit while George Bowyer is back in the squad after injury.