Brig strengthen in time for vital week

Greg Johnstone holds of his marker
Greg Johnstone holds of his marker

Neil Crowe’s recruitment drive at Bamber Bridge is reaping its rewards as the club bid for glory on two fronts this week.

Highly promising left-back Jake Gregory is the latest to strengthen the ranks, and he goes straight into the squad for tonight’s Evo-Stik North clash against Mossley at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium (kick-off 7.45pm).

The youngster has signed on an indefinite loan from Conference North side AFC Fylde, and follows in the footsteps of fellow 18-year-old Joey Mullen , who arrived from the same club last week.

“It’s really numbers that we are short of at the moment,” explained Crowe.

“We have the nucleus of a really good squad here but the injuries to Nathan Parish and George Bowyer came at a bad time.

“Luckily I’ve got a good relationship with AFC Fylde boss Dave Challinor and I’m pleased to be able to bring these lads in.

“Jake has looked impressive from what we’ve seen so far and he will be in the squad for tonight.”

Brig are unbeaten since the opening day of the season and Crowe said he had been delighted at the commitment and belief in the last few games, citing in particular the excellent win at Clitheroe last month as a result which gave the rest of the league notice of Brig’s upwardly mobile intentions.

After tonight’s game, Brig have another home date on Saturday when Squires Gate arrive for an FA Cup first qualifying round tie.

Victory will bring the reward of £3,000 from the competition’s sponsorship fund, a significant sum for a club of Brig’s stature and a great incentive to succeed.

But Crowe pointed out that both the cup game and tonight’s league game were important in their own way.

“There are financial rewards if we get through in the FA Cup so obviously that is important, but we want to do well in the league too,” he said.

“This division is even tougher than last year because there are a few clubs with financial backing, but we showed last season that we are a match for anyone in the league and we want to aim as high as we can.”

Neither Parish or Bowyer will face Mossley tonight, though the former is expected to be back in around two weeks with Bowyer due to return in three to four weeks.