Brig gearing up for big week in season

Ally Waddecar in action against Glossop
Ally Waddecar in action against Glossop

Bamber Bridge boss Neil Reynolds is set to ring the changes for this evening’s NPL First Division North fixture against Colne.

Mid-table Brig travel to Holt House looking to put a spanner in the works of the home side’s push for a play-off place.

But while they will head to East Lancashire looking for all three points against the Reds, Reynolds admitted he will have Thursday’s League Cup semi-final against Buxton very much in mind when he names his team tonight.

In the middle of a brutal run of fixtures which could see Brig play eight games in just 17 days, Reynolds will prioritise the cup as it represents their only realistic opportunity of claiming some silverware at the end of the season.

“To be honest, I have already got the team in my head which will play tonight and the team which will play on Thursday,” said Reynolds, who labelled this week as one of the club’s biggest in recent memory .

“There will be four or five changes against Colne from the team which drew 1-1 on Saturday at Glossop.

“The priority is the League Cup semi-final game against Buxton, although the team which I will put out tonight will be really strong.

“If you look at our run of fixtures, it is ridiculous.

“We play Saturday-Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday this week, then we ‘ve also got a game the following Tuesday and if we beat Buxton in the cup, the final will be played the following Thursday.

“Then we have a game on the Saturday and the following Monday, so you’re looking at just one rest day between games over the next two weeks

“Eleven players can’t play that amount of games over that amount of time.”

Fifth-placed Colne will be a tough proposition especially as they defeated title favourites Lancaster City 2-1 away from home on Saturday.

“I have been texting Colne’s manager Steve Cunningham; they were down to just 13 players on Saturday – he had to name himself on the bench,” Reynolds said.

“But that’s what non-league football is all about, in the face of adversity they went and got a great win over Lancaster.

“We go there with confidence high. Our performance against Glossop was up there on the same level as the one against Ashton in the cup the week before. We are playing really well.

On the injury front, Chris Marlow was not risked in the starting XI on Saturday after suffering a knock to his ankle the previous week, while Stuart Vasey will miss tonight but should be available for Thursday.

Meanwhile, goalkeeper Steven James has left the club after losing his place to Lloyd Rigby. The former PNE youth star lost his place in the team to Rigby after getting sent off against Farsley Celtic.