Bamber Bridge’s huge NPL League Cup final clash with Grantham Town this evening will be like David versus Goliath.
Bamber Bridge’s huge NPL League Cup final clash with Grantham Town this evening will be like David versus
That is according to Brig boss Neil Reynolds, who will be hoping to guide the club to its first piece of silverware since winning the now-defunct President’s Cup in 2004.
In terms of history the two clubs are poles apart, while on current standings within the football pyramid, Grantham go into the game as overwhelming favourites.
Founded in 1874, the Gingerbreads are a long established name in non-league circles and once reached the third round of the FA Cup in the 1970s.
This season, they are making a concerted effort to win promotion to the National League North and go into the final weekend of the season with a play-off spot in the Premier Division very much within their grasp.
By contrast, Brig were founded exactly 100 years later than their final opponents and tonight represents their only opportunity to finish the season on a high, as they are well outside the First Division North play-off places.
“I have been doing a lot of homework on Grantham and they are a big club with a good following and a good set-up,” said Reynolds, who has
noted that Town have won 20 and lost only two of their last 30 games.
“There’s a lot of history there – a lot more than ourselves, who have a relatively short history.
“It really is David versus Goliath in terms of where the two clubs have come from.”
Brig’s glory days in their 43-year history came in the 1990s under the management of Tony Greenwood and Phil Entwistle.
Among the many honours the club achieved during that era was a League Cup success in 1995 thanks to a 2-1 victory over Bishop Auckland at
Bolton Wanderers’ old
Burnden Park ground.
Reynolds admits he dreams of rekindling those golden days at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium.
“I was in the clubhouse on Monday night looking at some of the pictures on the wall,” Reynolds said. “There’s one of Tony and Phil with the League Cup trophy the last time the club won it 22 years ago.
“I was looking at that really enviously. I’d like to do what they did and bring some
silverware back to Bamber Bridge.”
Brig have had a hectic fixture schedule over the past few weeks, but Reynolds has been careful to give his key players plenty of rest so that they arrive for tonight’s final – which takes place at Leek Town’s Harrison Park (kick-off 7.45pm) feeling fresh.
However, one player who will definitely miss the game is Phil Doughty, who pulled his hamstring against
Clitheroe. Fellow defender Josh Heaton also faces a race against time to be fit after a bout of tonsillitis.