Bamber Bridge face must-win clash with Stafford Rangers

Bamber Bridge midfielder Joe Booth returned to action on Tuesday after a spell out injured (photo: Ruth Hornby)
Bamber Bridge midfielder Joe Booth returned to action on Tuesday after a spell out injured (photo: Ruth Hornby)

Bamber Bridge’s bottom-of-the-table clash with Stafford Rangers has taken on ‘must-win’ proportions as far as boss Joey Collins is concerned.

Brig are stuck at the bottom of the NPL Premier Division North having accumulated just nine points from their opening 14 league games.

That is the same number as this weekend’s visitors to the Sir Tom Finney Stadium, Rangers, who are just a couple of places higher by virtue of having a superior goal difference.

Alarmingly, Stafford have two games in hand on Brig and Collins is all too aware that his men cannot afford to lose ground on one of their fellow strugglers.

His men last tasted victory in the league two months ago when they got the better of Atherton Collieries 3-0 at Irongate at the beginning of September.

Since then they have picked up just three points from nine games – their last defeat came against Scarborough via a last-gasp winner.

And they suffered more agony in midweek when they went out of the FA Trophy, losing 2-1 away to Nantwich Town.

“Tomorrow is must-win,” Collins told the Lancashire Post.

“We have got to start picking up points especially at home.

“We were unlucky against Scarborough in the last game, losing in the last 10 seconds.

“But we have got start making things count – the season starts now.”

Brig have bolstered their squad with the addition of experienced striker James Dean, who looks set to make his debut against Stafford Rangers.

The former AFC Fylde and Chorley frontman agreed to move to Irongate from North West Counties League outfit Padiham.

“He is somebody we looked at last year to be fair, but he wasn’t available at the time.

“But he’s agreed to come in and give us a hand. He will give us something different and will allow people to play off him. He’s experienced, a winner and will give us a bit more know-how.”

Ryan White comes into contention for a place in the squad after suspension and Joe Booth could be in line for a start after playing 25 minutes against Nantwich.