Reebok awaits for Brig

Lennie Reid
Lennie Reid
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Underdogs Bamber Bridge are hoping to upset the applecart this evening when they take on AFC Fylde in the semi-finals of the Lancashire FA Trophy at the County Ground, in Leyland.

A mouthwatering final against Chorley at Bolton Wanderers’ Reebok Stadium awaits the winners of tonight’s encounter.

The Magpies, of course, booked their place in the showpiece final last week when they defeated Darwen 2-0 courtesy of goals from Adam Roscoe and Simon Wiles.

The contrast between tonight’s opponents could not be more different in terms of finances.

Although on a much sounder financial footing, Brig are light years away from Fylde, who are backed by millionaire businessman David Haythorntwaite.

The Coasters, who are the competition’s reigning champions, are making a concerted effort to win promotion to the Conference North this season and are firmly in the hunt for a 
play-off place in the NPL Premier Division.

They are currently on an impressive run of eight consecutive wins in all competitions, including last weekend’s thumping 4-1 win over Chasetown in the Doodson Sports Cup .

Brig, though, are enjoying a fine season themselves in the First Division North and are one point behind a play-off spot with a game in hand. They have lost just four times in their previous 22 games.

They suffered a set-back at the weekend by losing 1-0 to third-place Farsley but Brig boss Neil Crowe is looking forward to another shot at reaching the final.

The men from Irongate won through to the Reebok Stadium in 2011 – where they were beaten 1-0 in the final by Fylde.

Crowe, who was previous Brig boss Tony Greenwood’s right-hand man on that occasion, said: “It would be great to get to the final against Chorley.

“We went to the Reebok a few years ago and it was a really enjoyable night even though we lost the final to Fylde.

“Just to get to the final would be great because Fylde are a very good side.

“I watched them on Tuesday last week and they are a very good side and will be a very good test for us.

“But I try not to worry about other teams.

“If we play to our capabilities, we are capable of giving anyone a game.”

Injured trio Paul Alexander, Lennie Reid and George Bowyer could come into the equation after being absent from the squad over the last few weeks.