Crowe proud of players after sterling cup effort

Darren Stephenson and Matty Kay battle it out for the ball
Darren Stephenson and Matty Kay battle it out for the ball

Neil Crowe said individual errors proved costly for Bamber Bridge in their FA Cup defeat against rivals Chorley.

Brig were defeated 4-1 by the Conference North outfit at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium in the third-qualifying round tie.

The home side impressed throughout playing a tidy passing game, but a lack of quality in the final third ultimately cost them.

Despite the defeat, Crowe was far from downbeat and insisted he and his players could hold their heads high.

He said: “The difference was their front three – James Dean, Josh Hine and Darren Stephenson all scored for Chorley.

“Chorley deserved their win as they didn’t gift us chances.

“But I’m not going to have a go at our lads as they gave it their all and I’m proud.”

Referee Joseph Johnson was card friendly on Saturday, issuing five yellow cards to Bamber Bridge and two to Chorley.

Crowe criticised the Merseysider’s performance.

He said: “How we got five yellow cards I do not know – if we had received one more booking we would have been fined £500.

“I thought he was very picky – for example, Greg Johnstone got booked for a perfect challenge. I honestly couldn’t believe it.

“Yet Dale Whitham could easily have been sent off for Chorley – it was cynical what he did to Paul McKenna, standing on his Achilles.”

Former Preston North End midfielder McKenna was forced to limped out of the rest of the match and he will miss the next two weeks.

And goalkeeper Lee Dovey was substituted at half-time, also due to injury, and it means he will miss tomorrow night’s league fixture against Harrogate Railway Athletic.

He added: “Paul will miss two weeks and Lee is definitely out for tomorrow.

“We are now doing our best to bring in a goalkeeper for that game.

“Harrogate will be a solid side, and the pitch isn’t great but we are confident.

“On the plus side, Matt Mahoney came through unscathed and we can welcome back Glenn Steel.”

This Saturday, Brig travel to Lancaster City in the second qualifying round of the FA Trophy and Crowe is hoping for another cup run.

He said: “It’s excellent money in the FA competitions and it would be great if we can win.

“We have made excellent money from the FA Cup and hopefully we can make a bit extra in the Trophy.”