Away days are so much fun for Brig

Striker Andy Bell has returned to Bamber Bridge
Striker Andy Bell has returned to Bamber Bridge
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Happy wanderers Bamber Bridge aim to keep their unbeaten away record intact this weekend when they meet Trafford at Shawe View.

Brig have yet to taste defeat on their travels so far this season, winning three and drawing two of their league games on the road.

There was more away-day success last Saturday as they moved through to the first qualifying round of the FA Trophy by getting the better of Ossett Town 1-0 at Ingfield.

Bizarrely, all of Brig’s defeats this campaign – two in the league and two in cup competitions – have come in front of their own supporters at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium.

Captain Matt Lawlor believes that a greater sense of camaraderie sub-consciously invades the team when they play away, contributing to their good record.

“We have got a great team spirit,” Lawlor said.

“I think when we go on away trips, particularly long away trips, we all have a really good time. It just feels a lot more settled because we don’t have to worry about anything.

“The club provides everything for us in terms of the coach, food, drink and when we go away, we know who is in the squad for the game.

“I think it kind of galvanises us. We report at the ground for the game, we then talk about football on the coach, play football and then have a good time together on the way home.

“It just feels a little bit more straightforward and hopefully that will be the case on Saturday when we go to Trafford and we can get another three points.”

Lawlor felt his side thoroughly deserved their victory over Ossett last weekend and is hoping they can embark on long run in the Trophy.

“We have been knocked out of two other cup competitions so it was good to win on Saturday,” Lawlor.

“It’s important to do well in the cup because it’s nice to have a break from the league but also financially, it’s raises much-needed funds for the club.

“Every year when we play in the FA Cup, our assistant manager Neil Reynolds says that there is always one team which causes a shock and goes a long way in it – the same applies to the Trophy.

“I think it was Nantwich who had good run in it last season and they are from the division above us which is not too dissimilar in terms of standard to our division.

“They went a long way in it and I don’t see any reason why that team can’t be us this year.

“We have got players who are more than capable of matching teams who play in leagues above us.

“We also have two lads who have won it before at Wembley.

“Simon Wiles, who is our first-team coach, won the Trophy when he played for Barrow, and Michael Potts won it at York.”

Manager Neil Crowe has bolstered his squad over the past week by the acquisitions of goalkeeper Steven James and striker Andy Bell.

Former North End youth star James spent time on loan at Irongate while at PNE and has played in the past two games, keeping clean sheets.

Bell needs no introduction to supporters after spending three years at the club between 2012 and 2015. However, he is unavailable for this weekend’s fixture.

Long-term injury casualty Alistair Waddecar is edging closer to fitness but is unlikely to be risked against Trafford.