Brig handed Boro trip on opening day

Neil Crowe will take his men to Scarborough on the opening day of the season
Neil Crowe will take his men to Scarborough on the opening day of the season

Bamber Bridge will begin the new NPL First Division North season with a trip to Scarborough Athletic.

Neil Crowe’s men will head to the east coast on Saturday, August 13, before welcoming Colne to the Sir Tom Finney Stadium the following Tuesday.

On the face of it, the opening two fixtures look kind on Brig as Boro finished third from bottom last season, while Colne are inexperienced at this level after winning promotion.

However, they will be wary of the fact that Colne defeated Brig in the LFA Challenge Trophy last season and head into the new campaign full of confidence after winning the North West Counties Premier Division title.

Boro will also be looking to repeat their exploits of the season before last when they agonisingly missed out on a play-off place.

To complete the first month of the campaign, Brig travel to Ossett Albion on Saturday, August 27, before hosting old rivals Lancaster City on Bank Holiday Monday.

A run of three consecutive derby matches should whet the appetite of the club’s supporters during the months of October and November.

First, Burscough travel to Irongate on Tuesday, October 18, before Clitheroe arrive at Brig the following Saturday. The first day of November sees Crowe’s men travel to Parkside Road to take on Kendal Town.

Over the Christmas period, Brig are away to Colne on Christmas Eve and at home to Prescot Cables on Boxing Day. The return fixture against Lancaster City is the first game of 2017. The penultimate game of the season sees Brig travel to Prescot on Easter Monday before the curtain comes down on the regular season on April 22 with a home fixture against Ossett Albion.

Crowe has been relatively pleased with his side’s displays during pre-season.

In the big derby clash against Preston, the players gave a good account of themselves to lose by the narrow margin of 2-1.

Since then they conceded two late goals in a 3-0 defeat to League Two outfit Morecambe, before drawing 2-2 with Blackburn Rovers Under-21s on Saturday.

The team’s preparations during pre-season have been slightly hampered by player unavailability due to work commitments and holidays.

“It’s been a bit hit and miss so far,” said Crowe. “With holidays and work commitments, we have not been going at full strength during pre-season.

“It’s just about getting our fitness levels up and getting ourselves ready for the first game on August 13.”

This evening, Brig are set for their fifth pre-season friendly when they travel to Charnock Richard, who begin the new season in the North West Counties’ League after spending the past 23 
years in the West Lancashire League.

August

Sat 13 (A) Scarborough Athletic

Tue 16 (H) Colne

Sat 27 (A) Ossett Albion

Mon 29 (H) Lancaster City

September

Sat 10 (A) Droylsden

Sat 17 (H) Colwyn Bay

Tue 20 (H) Mossley

Sat 24 (A) Hyde United

Tue 27 (A) Radcliffe Borough

October

Sat 1 (H) Tadcaster Albion

Sat 15 (A) Trafford

Tue 18 (H) Burscough

Sat 22 (H) Clitheroe

November

Tue 1 (A) Kendal Town

Sat 5 (A) Ossett Town

Sat 12 (H) Goole AFC

Sat 19 (H) Glossop North End

Sat 26 (A) Farsley Celtic

December

Sat 3 (H) Droylsden

Tue 6 (A) Mossley

Sat 10 (A) Colwyn Bay

Sat 17 (H) Hyde United

Sat 24 (A) Colne

Mon 26 (H) Prescot Cables

January

Mon 2 (A) Lancaster City

Sat 7 (H) Brighouse Town

Sat 14 (A) Ramsbottom United

Sat 21 (H) Radcliffe Borough

Sat 28 (A) Burscough

February

Sat 4 (H) Trafford

Sat 11 (A) Tadcaster Albion

Sat 18 (H) Ramsbottom United

Sat 25 (A) Clitheroe

Tue 28 (H) Kendal Town

March

Sat 4 (H) Ossett Town

Sat 11 (A) Goole AFC

Sat 25 (H) Farsley Celtic

April

Sat 1 (A) Glossop North End

Sat 8 (A) Brighouse Town

Sat 15 (H) Scarborough Athletic

Mon 17 (A) Prescot Cables

Sat 22 (H) Ossett Albion