NON-LEAGUE: Home triumph for Bamber Bridge with first-half goal salvo
Bamber Bridge recorded a superb 3-0 victory over South Shields at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium to move up to fourth position in the NPL Premier Division table.
Jamie Milligan’s side scored all their goals in the first half, with Ewan Bange, Fin Sinclair-Smith and Sheldon Green all getting on the scoresheet.
For Bange, it was his ninth league goal of the season, giving him the outright lead as the current top scorer in the division thus far.
It was Bange who got Brig off and running on 14 minutes, with the forward rising highest to power a header into the net from Mark Yeates’s corner.
At the other end, Callum Spooner produced a superb sliding tackle on Conor Tee, with the South Shields midfielder about to take a shot in the penalty area.
From the resulting corner, Luke Higham made a good block from close range to deny the visitors.
Brig then went two goals ahead on 22 minutes, Sinclair-Smith receiving the ball before finding space and slotting the ball underneath former Blackpool goalkeeper Myles Boney.
It was his second goal in two home appearances since joining the club last month.
Yeates then hit an effort from outside the area which deflected off Bange, but Boney was able to collect the ball.
Milligan’s side then got their third goal on 30 minutes, Green latching on to a lofted through ball before firing the ball beyond Boney into the corner of the net.
Yeates then had another opportunity, with Boney sticking out a boot to deny Brig’s No.10 and send the ball behind.
Brig had another chance to score before half-time, with Sinclair-Smith superbly controlling a lofted pass from Yeates before shooting narrowly wide of the post.
The visitors would have the first major chance of the second half, Ntumba Massanka firing the ball wide of the post from 20 yards out.
Massanka then hit an off-balance effort which Mateusz Hewelt in the Brig goal was able to comfortably get behind.
Sinclair-Smith then did well to beat his man on the edge of the area before cutting the ball back to Bange, who saw his deflected effort go behind for a corner.
At the other end, Shields striker Darius Osei headed straight at Hewelt, before later firing an effort narrowly wide of the target.
Brig substitute Danny Forbes then saw Boney get in the way of his well-struck effort from point-blank range, with Hewelt then producing a good save to deny Alex Kempster.
The full-time whistle would sound from referee Barry Lamb shortly afterwards to end what was a superb display from Brig at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium.
Elsewhere, Lancaster City went down to a 2-0 home defeat to Stafford Rangers, Jon Moran and Joe Kenton on target for the visitors.
In the NWCFL Premier Division, Burscough were held 2-2 at home by Skelmersdale, while Longridge Town’s scheduled trip to Ashton Athletic was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.