Last gasp goal breaks Brig hearts

Paul McKenna, scored Brig's second against Radcliffe Borough on New Year's Day
Paul McKenna, scored Brig's second against Radcliffe Borough on New Year's Day

Bamber Bridge missed a golden chance to close the deficit at the top of the Evo Stik League Division One North table after conceding a last minute goal against Radcliffe Borough.

Substitute Jack Hindle broke Brig hearts as his 92nd minute goal sealed a point for the Stainton Park outfit.

Earlier, Brig had come from behind to lead for the majority of the second half, the prolific Ally Waddecar equalised on the stroke of half-time before a moment of brilliance from Paul McKenna put Brig in front.

Prior to Waddecar’s strike, Dave Sherlock had given the home side the lead.

There was a sour moment in the game when Radcliffe’s Richard Smith was sent off for an apparent elbow on Brig’s Chris Marlow.

Boss Neil Crowe opted to make one change from the Boxing Day side that defeated Burscough, in came Stuart Vasey with the experienced Andy Bell dropping to the bench.

With not even 30 seconds on the clock, goalkeeper Harry Campbell was called into action.

Frontman Elliott Rokka latched onto a through ball, after the beating the offside trap but the on loan Bolton Wanderers shot stopper diverted the ball wide with his legs.

The wet conditions started to flood the Stainton Park pitch and it made it near impossible to play a slick passing game.

Brig’s first chance came shortly after the five minute mark when Vasey blazed over from inside the area and then ‘keeper Chris Cheetham to keep out a Waddecar header from six yards.

Despite the sodden conditions, Brig continued to play, the pace of Vasey, Waddecar and Marlow causing plenty of problems.

Despite all the pressure that Brig were piling on the home side took the lead against the run of play.

Bevan Burey found space on the edge of the box, he squared the ball to Sherlock and his drilled effort took a slight deflection wrong footing Campbell and rolling over the line.

The home side were clearly buoyed by their goal and created further chances in the half.

Fullback Sam Howell struck a shot over the bar from 30 yards and Chris Mason saw his shot deflected wide for a corner.

Brig almost got a leveller with just under 10 minutes left of the half, winger Simon Wiles curled in a cross but a combination of Cheetham and skipper Danny Lafferty hacked a Waddecar shot off the line.

Brig continued to look fragile at the back, the pace of Burey told and he soon found himself one-on-one with Campbell but after hesitating he eventually shot horribly wide.

On the stroke of half-time, a fine team move saw the away side pull themselves level.

McKenna, Matt Mahoney and Wiles all exchanged several passes down the right wing, the latter eventually sent in a cross and unmarked was Waddecar whose shot struck the chest of Cheetham and rolled into the net.

The early stages of the second half were a non-event, both sides struggled to keep hold of the ball as the rain worsened.

After seeing severall crosses run through the Radcliffe box it took a moment of brilliance to put the home side in the lead shortly after the hour mark.

Marlow saw his cross cleared but lurking on the edge of the area was McKenna who drilled an effort which rose into the top corner leaving Cheetham rooted to the spot.

Brig didn’t even have chance to settle as Radcliffe responded but fortunately Burey could only shoot wide from two yards.

Borough continued to press for a precious equaliser, goalscorer Sherlock thought he drew the sides level but his cross rebounded off the inside of the post and sub Ryan Hibbert curled an effort inches wide from the edge of the box.

The home sides search for a leveller was made even harder with just four minutes remaining, Smith and Marlow tangled in a challenge and after a scuffle which contained several players, the referee opted to send the centre-half off for an apparent elbow.

Despite being reduced to 10-men, Borough continued to rally, putting Brig under pressure at any given opportunity.

Burey headed wide from a cross and mid way through stoppage time the home side grabbed a deserved equaliser.

Rokka sent a cross deep into the Bamber Bridge area, the back pedalling Lawlor cleared the cross off the line but picking up the loose ball was sub Hindle who made no mistake tapping in from inside the six-yard box.

With seconds remaining Cheetham scrambled across his goal to push a 30-yard McKenna free-kick wide but the resulting corner came of nothing.

Bamber Bridge: Campbell, Mahoney, Steel, Lawlor, Doughty, Kay (c), Wiles (Green 82), McKenna, Vasey (Bell 72), Waddecar (Pickup 72), Marlow

Subs not used: Parish, Reynolds