Strike duo look the business for Brig

Bamber Bridge manager Neil Reynolds believes Regan Linney and Ben Wharton have the makings of being a potent strikeforce.

Friday, 23rd December 2016, 6:37 am
Updated Thursday, 29th December 2016, 2:57 pm
Regan Linney (photo: Stefan Willoughby)

The pair have combined to good effect over the past couple of weeks to help the new boss get his managerial reign off to a fine start.

Linney has notched four times in three games as Brig picked up four points in the league and also progressed in the League Cup.

The 19-year-old scored a wonder goal against Colwyn Bay to earn a draw in Reynolds’ first game in charge.

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He then struck twice the following Tuesday as Marine were despatched 4-1 in the cup.

Linney was on target once more on Saturday as Brig battled back to beat Hyde 2-1 at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium – their first win in the league since the middle of November.

Reynolds has been mightily impressed with the form of the youngster, who first burst on to the scene a couple of seasons ago when he hit the winner against Northwich Victoria in the play-off semi-final.

But the manager believes he is benefiting from playing alongside Wharton, who the club recently acquired from Colne.

“Regan’s got himself on the scoresheet in the past three games and he’s bubbling with confidence,” Reynolds said. “He and Ben Wharton are strking up a good partnership.

“They are two different types of players, but Ben will score goals for us. He’s a big, strong centre-forward and we’ve not really had that before.

“He’s helped Regan because Regan’s got somebody to take the hits for him.

“I am not saying Regan can’t take the hits but he can play off Ben and he is very clever player. We’ve worked hard with him off the field and he’s always willing to learn.

“He’s got a great attitude and I want to make him a better player. I think he will be able to play at higher level if he adds a bit more to his game, which he will do.

“He’s enjoying his football and has the makings of being a really good centre-forward.

“I’ve no doubt Regan will help Ben score goals – they both have been playing really well.”

Reynolds was thrilled to watch his men overcome the disappointment of conceding just before half-time to fight back against Hyde on Saturday.

“My team-talk at half-time was easy because they were annoyed,” said Reynolds. “We were on top and were much the better side, but I told them if we get one, we will score again and that’s what happened.”

Brigh aim to continue their unbeaten run when they face strugglers Prescot Cables on Boxing Day at home, before trips to Colne the following Thursday and Lancaster City on New Year’s Day.

“It’ll be tough against Prescot,” said Reynolds.

“It’s never easy to play a team down near the bottom. They will come here with nothing to lose, but we will be looking to get the three points to set us up for two away games at Colne and Lancaster.”

On the injury front, Michael Potts and Adam Dodd could be fit, while Glenn Steel is available after missing last weekend’s game due to a family commitments.

Reynolds has also snapped up former PNE centre-back Josh Heaton, who trained at Brig during pre-season.