Matt’s ban leaves Crowe feeling low

Matt Lawlor
Matt Lawlor
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Bamber Bridge will be hoping Matt Lawlor’s imminent suspension will not be too costly in the final run-in to the season.

The experienced defender was handed a straight red in the 1-0 defeat at Ossett Town two weeks ago.

And now the 25-year-old has been slapped with a four-match ban, which begins with tomorrow’s trip to Harrogate Railway Athletic.

“We will lose Matt Lawlor now,” said manager Neil Crowe.

“He was sent off at Ossett Town for a reckless challenge and will be suspended for the next four games, which is a massive blow to us.

“It’s one of those things. I didn’t see the incident when it happened to be honest.

“But from what I’ve been told it was reckless.

“I just hope it’s not too costly for us because Matt has been immense for us.

“But we lose him now for four games and it’s a big blow.”

Three points from this weekend’s trip to Yorkshire is vital for Crowe and his men as they look to stay in touch with the play-off places.

Last weekend’s narrow 1-0 defeat to derby rivals Lancaster City at Irongate saw Brig slip six points behind the Dolly Blues, who currently occupy the final play-off position.

However, a huge 2-0 victory for Brig in their game in hand on Monday night at New Mills cut that particular deficit to three points.

In fact, just six points separate Brig – who are in seventh spot – and fourth-placed Farsley.

And Crowe believes that his men have every opportunity of catching the West Yorkshire outfit with just under a quarter of the season left to play.

He said: “We’ve been saying this for the last week or two but I think there are two play-off spots up for grabs. The top three – Curzon Ashton, Warrington Town and Darlington – look like they are away.

“But Farsley have been dragged back into it and if you look at their run-in, they’ve got some tough games.

“I think they’ve still got Curzon Ashton to play twice, Ramsbottom to play twice.”

For Brig, their run-in does not look too daunting.

They have Rammy to play on the final game of the season and have the chance to gain quick revenge over Lancaster when they meet them again at Giant Axe later this month.

It was City’s Jordan Connerton who took advantage of a mistake by home goalkeeper Lee Dovey after three minutes which proved decisive on Saturday.

But it was a match which Crowe felt his side deserved a point from.

“I think probably a draw would have been a fair result on the balance of play,” he said.

“It was always going to be tight and it was an individual error on our part which cost us the game. It’s gone now. I am not going to hold it against Lee – he’s saved us plenty of times this season.

“It’s just the nature of his position – if a goalkeeper makes a mistake, it usually ends in a goal.

“I was pleased on Monday night. It was a game we needed to win and we I think we could have won it more comfortably with the chances that we created.”

Tomorrow’s opponents Harrogate are in a comfortable mid-table spot but they have lost their last two including a thumping 5-0 defeat at Rammy in midweek.

“They are not a bad side but we will be going there looking for the win,” Crowe said.