Pressure off Brig says Reynolds

Neil Reynolds says Brig are under no pressure
Neil Reynolds says Brig are under no pressure
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Bamber Bridge assistant manager Neil Reynolds has cranked up the pressure on his side’s NPL First Division North play-off semi-final opponents Warrington Town.

The two teams meet tonight at the Cantilever Stadium with the winners of the one-off encounter going through to this weekend’s final against either Darlington 1883 or Ramsbottom United.

Although only four points separated third-placed Town and Brig, who finished fourth, in the final league standings, the clubs are polar opposites in terms of finance.

Backed by big money, Town targeted the league title at the start of the season but despite leading the table for a time, they have fallen well behind eventual champions Curzon Ashton.

It means they will have to win promotion to the NPL Premier Division the hard way – and Reynolds believes the pressure is all on Warrington tonight.

“I’d be really disappointed not to have won the league if we had Warrington’s wage budget,” Reynolds said. “But money does not always buy you success.

“They have come up against a really good Curzon Ashton side who deservedly won the league. Curzon beat both Warrington and Darlington, who have got the most money in the division, to that top spot.

“So the pressure is firmly on them – it’s their manager who will have to explain to the chairman or whoever if they don’t win promotion.

“But tonight, it’s a game of football – 11 versus 11 – and we are more than capable of causing an upset.”

Reynolds believes it is a remarkable achievement that Brig have finished fourth and are just two wins away from NPL Premier Division football next season.

They are also glad that they are travelling to Warrington, rather than making a long journey to face Darlington.

He said: “We wanted Warrington. It means we have just got a 40-minute trip down the M6 rather than a three-hour journey to the North East.

“We are looking forward to the match. I know Warrington inside out. They are a very good side – big and physical and quite intimidating. They don’t play a great deal of football but I’ve got a lot of respect for their manager Shaun Reid.”

Brig will be without Matt Mahoney this evening through suspension.

But Ally Waddecar and Matty Kay return after slight knocks and Greg Johnstone faces a late fitness test.

AFC Fylde face Worksop Town in the Premier Division play-off semi-finals at Kellamergh Park tonight. The winners will face FC United or Ashton United in Saturday’s final.