Wadd a great way to bounce back for Brig

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Bamber Bridge secured a much-needed three points in a dominant display against Merseyside outfit Cammell Laird.

Ali Waddecar was Saturday’s hero as his calm finish sealed a 1-0 win in a game that where 6-0 wouldn’t have flattered the Irongate outfit.

Brig handed an Evo-Stik Division One North debut to on-loan Preston North End goalkeeper Steve James.

And the youngster impressed throughout the 90 minutes, showing excellent handling and distribution.

Brig, still struggling with injuries, started well and forced visiting keeper Kevin Atherton into an excellent save from a Paul Alexander free-kick.

Atherton clawed back the curling effort when half of Irongate thought the pinpoint set-piece was in.

Brig continued to press, with Greg Johnstone put through one-on-one, but Atherton smothered the ball at the big striker’s feet.

The home side continued to dominate seeing plenty of the ball, with young Curtis Thompson pulling the strings in the middle of midfield.

Atherton was again called into action as Danny Wilkins had an effort pushed wide after excellent link-up play from Johnstone and Waddecar.

It took until the 25th minute for on-loan James to have to make his first save of the game.

Liam Hollett found himself worryingly free in the penalty area, but his header was comfortably saved by the young keeper.

With the game being played at a very quick pace, Brig raced up the field and Atherton beat Waddecar in a 50-50 challenge in the six-yard area.

The clearance landed straight at the feet of Lennie Reid, but his 30-yard effort just missed the outside of the post.

Laird then arguably had their best chance of the entire game.

Former Brig striker Jamie Henders broke the defensive line and with James rushing out, he tried a deft chip but Alexander came to the rescue and headed clear.

Wilkins then found himself with acres of space in the area after slick passing from Reid and Waddecar.

But the winger blazed over knowing he should have hit the target.

Brig continued to press in the second half and in the 48th minute, the deadlock was

broken.

Waddecar took advantage of a defensive mix-up and despite his first effort being saved, Atherton could only palm straight back into the path of the winger, who slotted the ball into the back of the net to give Brig a much-deserved lead.

The goal seemed to spark the visitors into life, but it was again Brig more opportunities.

Johnstone headed wide from an Alexander cross and then Matt Lawlor headed wide off a corner with the goal gaping for the experienced defender.

Jack Webb was then controversially booked for an apparent foul on Waddecar when it seemed that Waddecar had simply tripped over the ball.

Phil Doughty saw his effort just sail wide of the post.

Webb then saw a second yellow for dissent after disagreeing with a decision, leaving the away side were down to 10 men and seemingly out of the game.

But the red card didn’t get Laird’s spirits down.

Their manager Tony Sullivan encouraged his side to go on the attack and Daley Woods saw his effort well saved by James.

For Brig, Mark Buchan then replaced Johnstone and the frontman instantly made an impact.

He latched on to a Wilkins throughball and Atherton could only palm the ball back into the danger area, but Buchan could only head straight at the sprawling Atherton.

Brig managed to see out the final minutes of the game comfortably despite a late Laird free-kick, allowing Neil Crowe’s men to seal all three points, which was well greeted by the home support.

Brig now sit eighth in the table and they face Ossett Town at Irongate this Saturday, with a scheduled 3pm kick-off.

Bamber Bridge: James, Mahoney, Doughty, Lawlor, Alexander, Thomson, Wilkins, Kay, Johnstone, Waddecar, Reid. Subs: Barton, Maddock, Buchan (Johnstone 77), Bell