Radcliffe Borough 1-1 Bamber Bridge

Radcliffe Borough vs. Bamber Bridge
Radcliffe Borough vs. Bamber Bridge
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Sam Joel’s second goal in as many games was not enough as Radcliffe Borough fought back to earn a point against Bamber Bridge.

The on-loan Blackburn Rovers striker showed his quality pouncing on a loose ball in the 19th minute to hand the visitors the lead.

But an out of sorts Brig conceded in the 67th minute despite protests from several defenders.

Sam McMahon looked to be in an offside position when receiving the ball but the linesman kept his flag down and the midfielder finished well from six yards.

A point at Stainton Park was a fair result as Brig spurned several chances in front of goal.

In the first three minutes, a searching cross from Tom Hulme found an unmarked McMahon but he was unable to steer his header on target.

Brig responded and loanee Joel shot into the side netting from the right side of the box.

Borough were the better of the two sides in the opening stages, Brig were struggling to retain possession and their backline was inviting pressure.

Hulme was proving a real threat down the right and another high cross found McMahon but he again headed over with the goal at his mercy.

Somewhat against the run of play and with Brig still struggling to find their feet, they took the lead in the 19th minute.

Joe Booth’s low shot was palmed wide by Chris Cheetham and sweeping home the loose ball was Joel.

Borough still looked dangerous and goalkeeper Lee Dovey kept the sides level acrobatically tipping over Steve Foster’s half-volley from six yards.

At the other end, Brett Ormerod should have doubled Brig’s lead but he headed agonisingly wide from a pinpoint Stu Vasey cross.

Just before half-time, Jamie Milligan had two free-kicks cleared and a Nathan Valentine cross flashed across the Brig box.

Brig had first sight of goal in the second half, Cheetham catching Ormerod’s goal bound header.

In the 54th minute, Vasey’s header from a Paul McKenna free-kick was cleared off the line and from the rebound Matt Lawlor prodded wide.

Shortly after Ormerod spurned another opportunity this time shooting wide from the edge of the box after being played through by Joel.

Dovey then had to save at the feet of Hulme and prior to that, the Brig backline had to be alert to clear three Radcliffe corners.

Space opened up for Hulme in the left back position after he got the better of Darren Green but his snap shot whistled wide of the post.

The hosts were enjoying a good spell in the game and in the 70th minute they equalised in controversial circumstances.

A cross was whipped into the box, McMahon, who appeared to be in an offside position trapped the ball at his feet and from six yards, he kept his cool to slot past Dovey and atone for his earlier misses.

Radcliffe were buoyed by their goal and Brig boss Neil Crowe reacted by introducing Dave Hankin and Regan Linney at the expense of Darren and Ormerod.

‘Keeper Cheetham kept the sides level in the 75th minute superbly pushing wide Milligan’s free-kick.

Both sides had plenty of defending to do in the final stages and with almost the last touch of the game, Hulme headed over.

Bamber Bridge: Dovey, Mahoney, Green (Hankin 71), Lawlor, Alexander, Booth, Vasey (Thompson 79), McKenna (c), Ormerod (Linney 71), Joel, Milligan

Subs not used: Kay, Wiles

Referee: Michael Barlow (Bolton)