Things looking up for refreshed Brig

Unconventional defending from Michael Muscat
Unconventional defending from Michael Muscat

Neil Crowe felt a few fresh faces were exactly what his squad needed after their poor start to the year.

Bamber Bridge recorded their first victory of 2015 against Padiham on Saturday after falling short in their previous four fixtures.

Crowe had dubbed the fixture a ‘must-win’ and has adopted the same attitude ahead of Saturday’s clash against Brighouse Town.

The Bamber Bridge boss last week signed Fleetwood Town’s Michael Muscat on a work-experience deal as well a re-signing midfielder Curtis Thompson from Skelmersdale United.

Crowe has also brought in youngster Regan Linney.

Linney, a product of Bamber Bridge’s newly-formed academy set up, signed first-team forms last week.

Ahead of Saturday’s trip to Brighouse, Crowe told the Guardian: “I do think the new faces have helped up, and it was something a bit different for us.

“I thought we played very well against Padiham and dominated the game, the pitch was terrible but I was really pleased with how we played.

“I don’t remember Lee Dovey having to make a save in the second half.”

The new signings brought about a new system for Crowe’s side.

The Brig boss ditched his favourite 4-4-2 and lined up with a 4-2-3-1 formation.

The new system accommodated midfielder Curtis Thompson as well as an attacking front line of Ally Waddecar, Kieron Pickup and Simon Wiles.

Brig relished the new system and Crowe was delighted with the impact it made.

“We really benefitted from the changes,” he said.

“I want to be more clinical and aggressive at home and this new system helped.

“We should have scored five or six on Saturday, and we are creating plenty of chances which is good to see.

“We still passed the ball around and that’s something we will always encourage the lads to do.

“I think that’s why the lad from Padiham got sent off, it was purely frustration.

“It was a definite red card and it could have been a lot worse if he connected with Simon Wiles’ knee.”

Brig now make the trip to Yorkshire on Saturday to face Brighouse.

Town had their fixture against Droylsden called off on Saturday because of a waterlogged pitch.

With no new signings expected this week, Crowe hopes Saturday’s victory can inject confidence throughout the side.

He added: “At the moment I won’t be bringing anybody else in, although if the right person becomes available, then things may change.

“I hope Saturday can help us a lot.

“We aren’t playing badly at the moment and we are creating chances, so hopefully we can build on the win.

“I’ll be looking at Brighouse this week and I’ll see what they are about.

“On paper they look a big strong side and I recognise a few of their players.”

Two players who won’t be featuring on Saturday are Paul Alexander and Nathan Parrish, who have joined West Lancashire Premier Division side Longridge Town on loan to get some much needed game time.