Jamie Milligan’s Bamber Bridge up to third in table

Stafford Rangers 1 Bamber Bridge 2

Sunday, 7th November 2021, 8:04 am

Brig went third in the NPL Premier Division after a superb second-half turnaround at Marston Road and goals from Rob Apter and Sheldon Green.

The home side pushed Brig back in the early exchanges.

Mateusz Hewelt in the Bamber Bridge goal was under constant pressure as the ball was launched into the Brig box at every opportunity.

Jamie Milligan (photo: Ruth Hornby)

The home side forced a series of corners before their pressure told in the 13th minute when following another corner, this time from the right, the ball was stabbed home from close range by Jake Charles.

Brig were struggling to gain any kind of foothold in the match.

The first chance for the Lancashire visitors arrived on 25 minutes, Apter shooting from the right of the area, his low drive was parried by the keeper and cleared for a corner.

Ewan Bange met the corner with a powerful header but it flashed wide of the post.

Bange again, with his back to goal, turned and got in a great effort which went wide.

A second half change saw Danny Forbes replaced by Joe Rodwell-Grant and it was the visitors who were now on the front foot.

On 55 minutes Brig boss Jamie Milligan made two further changes as Chris Churchman and Matt Dudley entered the fray to replace Bange and Akeil Raffie.

The visitors were immediately level when play resumed with Apter lining up a free-kick.

The Blackpool loanee strode forward and smashed an absolute beauty over the wall and into the back of the net off the underside of the bar.

Brig poured foward and just a minute later Nathan Pond found himself unmarked eight yards out, his header being well held by the home keeper.

Minutes later, Pond came close again, this time bringing down a looping Matt Dudley cross from the left before shooting, a superb last ditch tackle saw the shot deflected behind for a corner.

That was headed behind for a second corner which was met by Pond with a superb header, the ball just going over the bar and landing on the roof of the net.

The Bamber Bridge fans behind the goal didn’t have much longer to wait for the winner, which arrived in the 80th minute.

Again terrific work wide on the right from Rob Apter, as he raced clear before striking a shot towards the far post, the keeper parried the ball but only as far as Green who slid in to force the ball over the line to put Brig in front.

A late free kick for the home side was headed over the bar and the majority of the home support in the 643 crowd headed for the exits.

The game ended with another fine attacking move from Brig, man of the match Apter again involved, this time playing in Joe Rodwell Grant who’s shot from the edge of the area whistled just wide.

Bamber Bridge: Hewelt, Thomson, Coulson, Spooner (capt), Pond, Raffie, Apter, Forbes, Bange, Carey, Greem. Subs: Dudley, Rodwell-Grant, Gourley, Churchman, Sinclair

Attendance: 643