Testing festive schedule for Brig

Brig boss Neil Crowe
Brig boss Neil Crowe
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Bamber Bridge face a trio of testing Christmas matches as they look to put their season back on track.

All three of their opponents are in the top six, hence Brig boss Neil Crowe expecting his side having to dig deep to put points on the board.

On Boxing Day, they make the short trip to Shawbridge to face an in-form Clitheroe side.

Two days later, weather permitting, Crowe’s men have a clash with Burscough at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium.

Brig’s first game of 2016 is away at third-place Ossett Albion on January 2.

Crowe told the Evening Post: “The Boxing Day game at Clitheroe will be a tough one, they are going well this season.

“I watched them a couple of weeks ago at Chorley and they impressed me.

“We are looking to respond to back-to-back home defeats and need a good result.

“The lads were a bit despondent after losing to Radcliffe Borough last Saturday, so it is important we bounce back.

“Three individual mistakes gifted Radcliffe their goals.

“We hit the post and had some good chances, so it could have been a lot different.

“If we can cut out these mistakes, we are a match for anyone – no one has battered us this season.

“After playing Clitheroe, we are scheduled to play Burscough at our place.

“But our pitch after the Radcliffe game looked the worst I have seen it in 10 years here. It poured it down all game and the pitch cut up.

“The forecast is for a lot of rain over Christmas and I would say it is touch and go.

“On January 2, we have Ossett Albion away, they are another side going well.

“It is a tough schedule but I’m confident we will pull through and do well.

“The lads are sticking together and the team spirit is as strong as ever.”

Elsewhere in the NPL First Division North on Boxing Day, Burscough have a home game against Prescot Cables.

Meanwhile, Southport will be eager to extend their good form into Christmas.

Dino Maamria has certainly got the Sandgrounders going since taking over as manager last month.

They have won five of their seven games under him, the latest victory being a 3-2 success at Worcester in the FA Trophy – setting up a visit to Dover in January.

Southport are away to Wrexham on Boxing Day.