Bamber Bridge 2 Clitheroe 0
Improved performance but another away blank
A feisty encounter went the way of the home side, but this was a vastly improved Clitheroe away performance, where slightly more composure in front of goal might have reaped dividends.
Unsurprisingly, given their playoff aspirations, Brig were first out of the blocks. The impressive Brady was tested early on as he conceded a dangerous free kick after seven minutes, but on ten minutes, a skimming cross was misjudged by Palffy as he spilled the ball invitingly at the feet of Johnstone and he needed no second invitation. Two minutes later, Brady was called upon to make a fine sliding tackle to snuff out a dangerous cross, and on 16 minutes a snap volley from a Brig forward skimmed the bar. However, one minute later the play swung to the other end and Barker was slipped through to be one on one with the keeper. His shot was saved and Danny Morton could only just screw the parried ball agonisingly wide of the post. This started a good period of play by the Blues and Morton made two penetrating bursts down the right flank and pulled the ball back into dangerous positions, but with no end product. On 26 minutes, Barker was again sent through one on one with the keeper, but his soft shot posed few challenges, whilst on 38 minutes great interplay between Barker and Morton freed Mulkerrin but he pulled the trigger too early as he forced a solid save from the Brig stopper.
The Blues started the second half in the ascendancy and in the first five minutes, Simon Garner floated in two tremendous free kicks, which went agonisingly past the queues of Blues players looking to convert. Clitheroe were punished for their profligacy when on 54 minutes a driven free kick was expertly volleyed home at the near post by danger man Waddecar. A flurry of unnecessary yellow cards followed in the next passage of play including the odd sight of a Brig forward being booked for being kicked in the head in the Blues penalty area. Former Blue Tom Williams was brought on to add extra spice to the Brig line up and he went close on 80 minutes after Palffy had parried a cross. The last few minutes were all Brig, but whilst the away day points column still looks bare, there were positives to be taken from the game, not least the centre back pairing of Freeland and Brady, which suggested more promising days ahead.
Alex Palffy, Simon Nangle, James Walker, Danny Brady, Adam Freeland, Ross Dent, Simon Garner, Danny Wilkins, Danny Morton, Dalian Barker, Dominic Mulkerrin. Subs Scott Byrom, Charlie Collinge, Matthew Hindle, Ryan Parr