Bamber Bridge boss Jamie Milligan expects another huge test

Alistair Waddecar was on target for Brig last weekend despite requiring hernia surgery (Photo: Ruth Hornby)
Alistair Waddecar was on target for Brig last weekend despite requiring hernia surgery (Photo: Ruth Hornby)

Bamber Bridge boss Jamie Milligan is expecting a huge test for his side when they take on in-form Gainsborough Trinity at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium on Saturday.

Trinity have won six out of their last 10 games in the NPL Premier Division and sit two points and two positions ahead of 13th-placed Brig in the table.

And after Brig were narrowly defeated by league leaders South Shields last weekend, Milligan says this weekend’s clash will be another good challenge.

He said: “I know their manager Curtis Woodhouse, I played with him when we were younger.

“They’re on a great run themselves, they’re up there in the form table, but it’ll be another great test for the lads.

“Even though we got beaten against Shields, I see that we’ve passed a test and we’ve competed against the top of the league, so I’m pleased with the lads.”

After taking a first-half lead against Shields thanks to Ali Waddecar’s stunning strike, Brig were pegged back by Josh Gillies’ second-half goal before Jason Gilchrist’s header sealed the three points for the visitors.

And Milligan said that he was pleased with how his players competed.

He said: “They came into it quite a bit, I knew they’d have a little patch where they’d have 10 or 15 minutes, and when they had that 15-minute spell they were just clinical.

“They’re a full-time team, they’re training every day and the performance our lads put in, I’m proud of every one of them and they didn’t disappoint me one bit.

“Ali’s waiting on surgery for a hernia and he’s still running like that and performing like that, so every credit to him.”

In terms of injuries, Richie Allen is a doubt for the game after pulling his hamstring in the first half on Saturday.

Macauley Wilson is back fit having featured off the bench in the Lancashire FA Challenge Trophy victory over Prestwich Heys last week, whilst Matt Lawlor is nearing a return following a knee injury suffered in December.

A win for Milligan’s men would see them move back into the top half of the league with eight games of the season remaining.

Meanwhile, Brig have discovered the identity of their opponents in the LFA Trophy final. They will play derby rivals Lancaster City, who beat Atherton Collieries on Wednesday night, at the DW Stadium.