AFC Fylde 0 Bamber Bridge 3
Northern Premier League
League Challenge Cup 1st Round
Tuesday 27th September 2011
At Kellamergh Park
Bamber Bridge won through to the Second Round of the League Challenge Cup with this excellent 3-0 success at Kellamergh Park over derby rivals AFC Fylde. By so doing, the South Ribble side avenged the 1-2 defeat that they suffered at the same venue, and in the same round, in the same competition, back in the 2009-10 season. The victory also saw ‘Brig’ get back on track following the disappointment of two successive home defeats recently. This turned out to be a really good and entertaining game of football, which was played at a brisk pace and in the right spirit throughout.
Both sides had made changes from their respective league encounters at the weekend and ‘Brig’ kicked off on a balmy autumnal evening at Kellamergh Park and looked eager to impress from the word go.
The customary early bout of sparring produced little, as each side tentatively probed their opponents rearguard for openings. However, the visitors created the games first opportunity on 6 minutes when centre-forward Ryan Salmon found Alistair Waddecar on the edge of ‘The Coasters’ penalty-box. ‘Brig’s’ mercurial wingman laid the ball into the path of Darren Green, who fired over the crossbar from about 20 yards out.
The sides knocked the ball around well, playing neat touch football; a feature that was to adorn the game for the rest of the evening, much to the appreciation of both sets of supporters.
Fylde created a fine sweeping three man move on 14 minutes which almost paid dividends. Lively midfielder, Paul Jarvis picked up the ball deep inside the visitors half and found Rob Turner in space on the left. The centre-forward sent in a fine cross which was met full-on at the back post by the inrushing Keigan Parker, but ‘Brig’ goalkeeper, Lee Dovey, spread himself and saved with his feet.
A minute later at the other end, Alex Porter found Waddecar with a fine through-ball, but the winger fired over from the edge of the box.
Jarvis was desperately unlucky for ‘The Coasters’ on 24 minutes when picking up a loose ball some 25 yards from goal before curling an exquisite shot just beyond the goalpost as Dovey came out to narrow the angle.
It was end to end stuff as ‘Brig’s’ Danny Mahoney sent in a ‘daisy-cutter’ minutes later, but Fylde’s young goalkeeper, Craig Unsworth was alert to the danger and saved low to his left.
It was turning out to be an intriguing tie and became more so on 39 minutes when ‘Brig’ got their noses in front with a fine headed goal from ALISTAIR WADDECAR who rose to direct the ball beyond Unsworth from a well directed Porter cross, despite the close attentions of a home defender.
Fylde responded quickly and Dovey made a fine stop from a Jarvis drive following some handy spadework by Joe Booth on the right.
Bamber Bridge opened the second period with a second goal on 46 minutes when Porter made room for himself deep on the left before firing in a dangerous centre across the face of goal. JOHN CASS, who had come on as a substitute at the interval, turned quickly and clipped the ball past Unsworth, despite being tightly marked inside the box. It was what football folk call a ’real strikers goal’.
This setback flattened the young Fylde side as much as it galvanised the visitors and ‘Brig’ began to grow in confidence as they poured forward in numbers. Danny Mahoney was unfortunate to see his effort deflected just wide of an upright by a defender before he turned provider with a neat through-ball to the eager Cass. Cass in turn, knocked the ball back towards Darren Green who’s spectacular shot from 35 yards out, struck the top of the crossbar.
The visitors were now looking increasingly more dangerous with each attack. It was little surprise therefore, when the South Ribble side added a third goal on the hour mark. There was no denying DARREN GREEN on this occasion, when he scored, what was arguably, the goal of the game, with a rasping drive from fully 25 yards out; the ball flashing into the roof of the net before Unsworth had time to move.
Five minutes later Danny Mahoney shot across the face of the gaol following some good work by Waddecar as ‘Brig’ continued to dominate proceedings.
To their credit, Fylde, who most certainly had next Saturday’s FA Cup game against Conference North high-flyers Gainsborough Trinity on their minds, continued to play their neat controlled football, and almost pulled a goal back on 82 minutes. Jarvis fired in an unsuccessful shot from distance, following a superb through-ball by Rob Wilson.
However, this was Bamber Bridge’s night and the team had shown commendable character following recent disappointments.
Bamber Bridge : Dovey, Lakeland (Reynolds 73mins), Marlow, Atherton, White, M Mahoney, Waddecar, D Mahoney, Salmon (Cass 45mins), D Green (Bowyer 62mins), Porter.
Attendance : 121