Draw for Chorley and Brig in Easter Monday derby

editorial image

Chorley made it four draws in a row in an entertaining Easter Monday derby with Bamber Bridge.

Garry Flitcroft now knows his side will play Curzon Ashton in the play-offs- although he won’t know if it’s at home until the last league game of the season at Salford City.

If the Magpies remain in third spot they’ll have home advantage but they need to ensure their final result is better than Curzon’s game at Wakefield.

As for Bamber Bridge, Monday’s game at Irongate was their first at home since Tony Greenwood quit as manager and was replaced by Neil Crowe.

All the chances fell to Brig in the opening period. Martin Crowder fired narrowly wide at the back post on eight minutes following an Alistair Waddecar cross and minutes later Stephen Green shot inches past an upright.

A free-kick from Brig skipper Michael White was headed across the face of goal by Luke Atherton on 18 minutes as the home side continued to force the pace.

There was little surprise when Bamber Bridge got their noses in front on 21 minutes when Stephen Green, who has been prolific in the championship-winning reserve side, tucked away his 30th goal of the season from a Waddecar cross.

Chorley responded positively and goalkeeper, Ben Hinchliffe, brought off a superb save to deny former Brigger Tom Ince.

Then Chorley missed a golden opportunity when skipper Andy Russell nudged the ball wide from close in following an Ince corner-kick from the left.

Adam Roscoe, on for the injured Mark Houghton, was unlucky on the half-hour mark when his header from another Ince corner came back into play off the crossbar.

Despite this Brig continued to threaten a second and Taylor’s piledriver was saved by Chorley goalkeeper Chris Howarth.

The Magpies came out fired up for the second half and were soon level.

After 51 minutes Andy Russell’s header put Steve Foster in and the prolific marksman fired home with confidence into the far corner of the net beyond the despairing dive of Hinchliffe.

The visitors almost got their noses in front on the hour mark when Foster nearly got his second.

He shot narrowly over the crossbar following a neat touch-on from the industrious Ince.

Chorley came close again shortly afterwards when Roscoe headed just over from another dangerous Ince corner.

Bamber Bridge kept the visiting defence on their toes with some probing runs and almost got their noses back in front on 76 minutes when White headed on a Waddecar corner and Peter Wright was blocked on the six yard line as he turned to shoot.

However, Chorley finished the stronger with Whitham, Jansen and Russell all going close with chances in the last few minutes.

Bamber Bridge : Hinchliffe, Bowyer, Crowder (M Atherton 73mins), L Atherton, White, Reynolds (Galliers 49mins), SW Green, Clark, A Taylor (Wright 70mins), Waddecar, Marlow. Unused Subs : Jones and Dovey.

Chorley : Howarth, Woodyatt, Walker, Ross, Russell, Fairhurst, Dorney (Jansen 76mins), Whitham (Payne 80mins), Houghton (Roscoe 15mins), Foster, Ince. Unused Subs : Stepien and Vermiglio.