Brig Come Unstuck In Durham

Durham City 3 Bamber Bridge 0

Northern Premier League 1st Division North

Saturday 1st October 2011

At New Ferens Park

Bamber Bridge made the long trip back from County Durham with their tails between their legs following this 0-3 defeat at the New Ferens Park against Durham City in the First Division North. The venue has never been a happy hunting ground for the South Ribble side who have now lost all three of their visits there. This latest disappointment has seen ‘Brig’ tumble into the lower mid-table rankings in the league.

This was not a good day for Bamber Bridge who lacked imagination or guile from start to finish in a game that they will be only too glad to forget. Indeed, ‘Citizen’s’ goalkeeper, James Winter, was hardly discomforted throughout. A distinct lack of astuteness and a tendency to allow Durham far too much room in which to operate, resulted in the visitors being regularly pushed back on their haunches. The truth is that if it hadn’t been for the heroics of Brig’s excellent goalkeeper, Lee Dovey, especially in the first quarter of the game, the margin of defeat could have been much wider. For their part, hardworking City took full advantage of Brig’s apparent malaise and controlled proceedings with reasonable comfort all afternoon. Without being particularly outstanding, their play remained effective.

City kicked off on a warm and balmy October afternoon at their New Ferens Park ground and went straight onto the offensive. Indeed, they almost got themselves on the score-sheet within two minutes of the start, when Brig goalkeeper, Lee Dovey, made the first of many spectacular saves, by diving to his left to keep out a Stephen Thompson header at the back post following an excellent cross from the left by winger Amar Purewal.

The early sparring saw some neat football, as both sides moved the ball about with speed and accuracy, but Durham were creating the most openings. City striker, David Dowson, was allowed to advance on goal menacingly on 12 minutes unimpeded and brought a well fielded catch from the alert Dovey. The same player almost took advantage of some sloppy defending by the visitors five minutes later and having dispossessed a defender, put in a worthy effort, but Dovey once again proved too good and made another important stop.

Brig looked ill at ease with Durham’s constant probing but almost sprung a surprise on 22 minutes when a lob from distance by Alex Porter forced Citizen’s goalkeeper James Winter into tipping the in-swinging sphere onto the crossbar.

Dovey kept the score at 0-0 after making two fine saves from the increasingly dangerous City striker Thompson, as the homesters continued to build up the pressure.

Bamber Bridge came back at the City defence in defiance on 36 minutes, and a Luke Atherton header was well saved by Winter, following a well flighted Danny Mahoney free-kick. Moments later, a fine drive from Ryan Salmon, after another Mahoney cross from the right, was stopped by Winter following a good piece of grafting and crafting by Alistair Waddecar.

Two minutes later, Durham City got the goal that had so frustratingly alluded them earlier when STEPHEN THOMPSON scored a fine individual goal. The diminutive inside-forward dribbled past a couple of defenders as he moved across goal from left to right before sending Dovey the wrong way with a neat side foot.

Bamber Bridge kicked off the second-half but were soon pushed back onto defensive duty. However, the visitors at last seemed to be making a little more headway. Waddecar was unlucky with a speculative overhead kick following a Porter cross on 49 minutes and from a Mahoney cross a minute later, Salmon headed wide at the back post.

Dowson had Dovey at full stretch at the other end with a rasping effort from the edge of the box, as City resumed their offensive and then on 59 minutes Thompson put Amar Purewal in on goal, but Dovey came out quickly to smother the shot.

Durham were finding openings in the visitors defence, leaving Dovey exposed time and again. Their endeavours were not to go unrewarded for long. It was no surprise therefore, when the former Football League side ran in two goals within a three minute spell to kill the game dead. A superbly placed through-ball from Andrew Stephenson on 63 minutes, caught the Brig back line completely square and AMAR PUREWAL stole in and rounded the beleaguered Dovey before pushing the ball into the empty net. Before any of the home supporters had time to settle back into their seats, their heroes were three up. Once again Brig were torn apart as Thompson this time put DAVID DOWSON through on goal. The City marksman drew the marooned Dovey from his line, before firing home with confidence.

Their was little left in the tank for the fully deflated Lancastrians, as they faced up to the long and fruitless journey back home.

Bamber Bridge : Dovey, Bowyer, Marlow, Atherton, White, Lakeland, Waddecar, D Mahoney (Reynolds 76mins), Salmon, D Green (Bonaminio 66mins), Porter. Unused Sub : Cass.

Attendance : 104.