Two old faces return to boost Crowe’s Brig side

Steven James
Steven James
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Bamber Bridge boss Neil Crowe has been boosted by the return of two ex-Brig players.

Goalkeeper Steven James enjoyed a loan spell at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium from Preston North End two years ago, but the 21-year-old, who has since been released from North End, has rejoined the club from North West Counties side Nelson, while ex-York City and Wycombe Wanderers striker Andy Bell has also returned to Brig.

The striker enjoyed a three year spell at Neil Crowe’s men from 2012 and has now returned to bolster the attack.

Crowe said: “Phil Eastwood left Nelson and said Steven could be available.

“He jumped at the chance of coming back and he has kept two clean sheets and saved a penalty.

“Steven did well with us when he was here before and he has done really well since he has come back, we could not turn down the chance to have him back.

“And Andy Bell has rejoined the club.

“He has not played for around six months, he has been training with us over the last month or so and he wanted to play again. On his day he is a great footballer and we are happy to have him available.

“Ally Waddecar is still injured (knee) and Sam Livesey had tonsillitis so it is good to have more options up front.

“Ally’s recovery is being slow. I was hoping he would be back with us by now but he is improving slowly and we do not want to rush him.”

Crowe thought his men were solid as they beat Ossett Town 1-0 in the FA Trophy thanks to a Stu Vasey goal: “I thought we were solid. It was a horrible pitch, it was not easy to get the ball down and play.

“Apart from the penalty save Steven did not have much to do our back four were solid.

And Crowe is preparing for a tough away test at Trafford in the NPL First Division North on Saturday: “Trafford will be a hard game, they have started well and have some quality footballers, it should be a good game of football.”