Luke blow to Brig’s hopes

Bamber Bridge star Luke Atherton
Bamber Bridge star Luke Atherton

Bamber Bridge defender Luke Atherton faces a spell on the sidelines after picking up a serious knock to his left knee.

The young centre-half, who has been a revelation at the QED Stadium since joining from Lostock St Gerards in 2010, is set to miss their forthcoming matches against Farsley, Prescot, and possibly even Garforth on November 5.

However, Bamber Bridge assistant boss Neil Reynolds believes the club will not need to rush out searching for a replacement.

He said: “Luke has been outstanding for us, but he has a problem when he tries to kick the ball.

“Our physio has had a look at it, and he says it would be better to rest it.

“He wants to play on, but I think he is not doing himself any good by doing that.

“There is no point making a serious injury any worse at this stage of the season, because we might need him later on if we are challenging for promotion.

“It is now up to the other lads we have in the squad to step up and show what they can do.

“Matty Jones can fill in at centre-half, and has done that before, and then we can look at other players coming into the midfield.

“It is going to be tough, but I know that our captain Michael White will help Matty through it, just as he has done with Luke.

“He is a great skipper, and leads by example with a lot of experience.”

Brig take on Farsley at the weekend, after a disappointing 3-0 defeat to one of the country’s oldest clubs, Sheffield FC, in the FA Trophy.

Reynolds said: “Apart from their goals I don’t think we were outplayed, because there were long spells when we controlled the games but didn’t score.

“It was really disappointing to lose, but we were a bit under strength with Luke out and then Danny Mahoney had other commitments.

“They were a similar side to Skelmersdale United in our league, but we were not out-classed by any means.”

Reynolds has enjoyed a long spell in the Brig line-up, playing in the last couple of matches, and the player-coach believes he is not ready to hang up his boots just yet.

He said: “I want to play as long as I can, because they always say you are a long time standing on the sidelines as as a manager.

“I am only 34 and I keep myself fit.

“I think I add a bit more experience to a young team and I want the club to succeed.”