Bamber Bridge take on Cleethorpes Town in an FA Cup replay this evening

Neil Reynolds
Neil Reynolds
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Neil Reynolds believes his Bamber Bridge team will be better prepared this evening for Cleethorpes Town’s unique way of playing.

The Brig boss had been pre-warned about the Owls’ direct style, but even he was taken aback at how quickly they were eager to get the ball forward when the two sides met in the FA Cup second qualifying round on Saturday.

Cleethorpes’ tactics looked like they would pay dividends after they took a 3-1 lead with only 20 minutes of the tie to go.

But two late goals from Brad Carsley – who scored a hat-trick – mean the two teams will have to meet again this evening at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium.

“They have got a very direct way of playing,” said Reynolds, whose team will play Guiseley at home in the next round should they get past Cleethorpes.

“They really just have two touches all over the park and the second touch is a 60-yard punt forward to their big centre-forward Scott Vernon, who used to play for Blackpool.

“Even though I knew about it, their style did shock me – not that I am being critical. It’s the way they play. We have got to be ready for that tonight – be more prepared, whether that means providing more of a screen with Michael Potts or Danny Forbes dropping a bit deeper.”

Reynolds felt the second-half introductions of ball players Jamie Milligan and Hyuga Tanner, coupled with the pace of Jordan Darr, turned the game Brig’s way and that has given him plenty of food for thought in terms of his team selection tonight.

The boss has fitness worries over goalkeepers Lloyd Rigby and Danny Roccia, but expects at least one of them to be fit. Chris Marlow is available after hurting his Achilles.