Reserves get 1st team offer

Radcliffe Borough Vs Bamber Bridge 'September 10 'Photos by Stefan Willoughby ''Sefton Gonzales on the attack
Radcliffe Borough Vs Bamber Bridge 'September 10 'Photos by Stefan Willoughby ''Sefton Gonzales on the attack

Bamber Bridge manager Neil Crowe has promised his reserves that they’ll get their chances in the first team if they perform.

He was speaking after Sefton Gonzales scored on his debut against Radcliffe Borough on Saturday.

The manager said the 19-year-old grabbed his chance after Ryan Salmon was unavailable.

Crowe said: “I’ve said to the reserves that if they do well they’ll get brought in.

“On Saturday Ryan Salmon couldn’t get back from Colchester in time and Sefton was the only forward I had on the bench and he did really well.

“He could have scored two or three goals on his debut.”

Saturday’s 2-1 win ended Brig’s five-match winless streak but Crowe said he wasn’t panicking even before Saturday’s win.

“Some people said we hadn’t won in five matches and but we looked at it as being unbeaten in three,” he explained. “On Saturday we could have been 4-0 up by half-time but for four world class saves from their keeper (Nicky Culkin).

“You’ve got to put the chances away but they were all on target.”

Bamber Bridge needed a penalty save from Dave Stevenson to secure the win.

Crowe said the spot-kick awarded against Luke Atherton was as controversial as the Radcliffe goal.

“I felt their lad was five yards offside,” said the manager. “As for the penalty, Luke felt he was the one being pulled down. He thought the ref was blowing for a free-kick.

“As for the penalty it was a good save because it was going in the bottom corner.”

On Tuesday night Bamber Bridge were due to play their FA Cup replay against Curzon Ashton - which got postponed seven days earlier because of a waterlogged Irongate pitch.

It means Crowe’s men are due to play on Tuesday, Saturday, Tuesday and Saturday.

If Crowe beat Curzon they’ll be back in FA Cup action at the weekend - and face a backlog of league fixtures. The manager said: “As well as the financial point of view we’d like to have a good cup run.”

Saturday’s win was Brig’s first since they demolished Clitheroe 6-0 and Crowe admitted he was enjoying being the man in charge. “It’s more enjoyable when you win,” he said. “You can go from hero to zero in two games.”