Bamber Bridge spot-on in their penultimate pre-season friendly against Clitheroe

Bamber Bridge manager Joey Collins
Bamber Bridge manager Joey Collins
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Bamber Bridge manager Joey Collins took encouragement from his side’s penultimate pre-season friendly against Clitheroe.

Brig battled back from 2-0 down to earn a 2-2 draw at Shawbridge last Saturday, Ali Waddecar on target with two penalties.

It was just the kind of test Collins was looking for, with the season starting a week on Saturday at Matlock.

Before then, they head to North Yorkshire this weekend to face Tadcaster in their final warm-up game.

Collins said: “Clitheroe was a really good test for us.

“We have played quite a few of the pro sides in recent weeks, but Clitheroe are in the division below and more at the level we are used to.

“Phil Brown had them well organised and they sat a little bit deeper behind the ball to make it hard for us.

“They went 2-0 up and we changed our shape during the second half which helped us.

“We were awarded two penalties, one which I thought we deserved and the second as a result of the change in the handball rule.

“That rule will be hard to take for some sides and we will all fall foul of it at some point.

“To be fair to the referee, he explained before the game what the new rule was.

“Ali Waddecar put both of the penalties away which was good to see.”

Collins is keen for the new season to come but Brig still have the Tadcaster friendly to sharpen their fitness.

“It has seemed a long pre-season when you think we played Preston at the start of July,” said Collins.

“We’ve had lads away for different parts of it but now the season is nearer everyone should be available. They are all raring to go.”