Prescot Cables 1, Bamber Bridge 4
Bamber Bridge progressed to the second round of the NPL First Division Cup with a comfortable 4-1 victory at Prescot Cables on Monday evening at Volair Park.
Brig are the holders of the competition having beaten Grantham Town in the final back in April, and on last night's showing, have no intention of loosening their grip on the trophy.
The game started quietly for both sides, with the only effort on goal in the early stages coming from a Jamie Milligan free kick from 20 yards which curled over the wall but was comfortably collected by former Brig keeper Marcus Burgess in goal for The Cables.
On 20 minutes Matt Mahoney tried his luck with an overhead bicycle kick following a corner, but the spectacular effort landed just wide of the post.
Brad Carsley then came close on 27 minutes racing on to a through ball as the keeper charged out of his goal, Carsley reached the ball first and his lobbed effort over the goalkeeper dropped agonisingly wide of the goal.
However, the opening goal arrived just moments later, Dan Mooney was body checked in the box as he tried to turn inside. Milligan stepped up and calmly stroked the ball into the bottom right of the keeper's net.
Virtually straight from the kick off, Bamber Bridge won back possession, Adam Dodd played a one two with Alistair Waddecar sending the Brig left back clear. He made no mistake as he smashed the ball under the advancing Burgess.
Two nil at the break and Brig looking very comfortable, the second half started with Prescot on the front foot, trying to get a foothold in the game. That duly arrived on 50 minutes, A swift Cables break saw Klein Davies on hand to halve the deficit for the hosts.
With their tails up, Cables went in search of an equaliser but on 55 minutes Cables striker Harry Cain received a second yellow card and subsequently a red after going down in the box.
The referee felt the striker had dived and the home side would have to play the remaining 35 minutes with 10 men.
The game now swung from end to end, with Brig having the bulk of the chances. Twice Carsley found himself through on goal only to see both efforts creep narrowly wide.
Prescot responded and a fine Lloyd Rigby save was followed by a headed clearance off the line.
On 75 minutes, Linney charged down a hopeful forward ball forcing the keeper to kick the ball out. From the subsequent throw-in, Waddecar ghosted into the box from the right, rolled the ball back in to the path of Carsley who this time made no mistake, slamming the ball home from 10 yards.
The goal clearly deflated Cables and Brig went on the hunt for more.
Burgess in the Cables goal made two fine saves before he was beaten for a fourth time, James Boyd drilling the ball in to the back of the net from six yards after a great move down the left and a superb low cross from Brad Carsley.