Crowe: Hands off our players

Bamber Bridge Vs Curzon Ashton ''Pixs by Stefan Willoughby ''Pix of Luke Atherton
Bamber Bridge Vs Curzon Ashton ''Pixs by Stefan Willoughby ''Pix of Luke Atherton

Bamber Bridge defender Luke Atherton has turned down a move to a mystery Evo-Stik Premier League club.

The former Lostock St Gerard’s centre-half has been turning a few heads at the QED Stadium side with his performances.

However, boss Neil Crowe is delighted that the 24-year-old has opted to be part of his plans.

He said: “Luke has been here for about 18 months and some clubs were keeping an eye on him.

“He told me that he didn’t want to leave and to be honest I didn’t want him to go.

“I think that he is growing as a player and developing a good understanding with Michael White at the back.

“Michael talks a lot to him and brings him on.

“I think he will play at a higher level in the Conference North, but I tracked him about four years ago when he was at St Gerard’s and wanted him to join Bamber Bridge.

“He needs to get a bit more experience here and then if the right move comes along we will wish him all the best.”

Crowe has been given a further boost as goalkeeper Lee Dovey has recovered from an injury to travel to FC Durham on Saturday.

He said: “We have got a good team spirit. It is great to have Lee back ahead of schedule as he has been a good keeper for us.

“Our only injury concern is Mike Galliers, who hurt his ankle in a reserve game about a month ago.”

Bamber Bridge lost 2-0 against promotion chasing Curzon Ashton on Saturday – a result that saw them slip to 15th in the Evo-Stik First Division North table.

However, Crowe believes there is no reason to panic.

He said: “If we have beat Curzon then the three points would have lifted us a couple of places.

“All the top teams, AFC Fylde and Lancaster lost at the weekend, and a lot of the sides are beating each other.

“I would be worried if we were not creating chances and not scoring.

“However, it is not like that and we will just have to see how things go.”

Crowe was impressed by the contribution of Darren Green on his return to the club after leaving Clitheroe.

He said: “I thought he was our man of the match.

“He contacted me a couple of weeks ago saying that he wanted to come back but I told him that he would start off in the reserves.

“He did a good job there and I asked him to fill a position – attacking midfield – and played well.”