Unexpected rest could be perfect timing says Brig boss

Bamber Bridge goalscorer Glenn Steel goes into a challenge with Burscough's Will Jones
Bamber Bridge goalscorer Glenn Steel goes into a challenge with Burscough's Will Jones
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Neil Crowe feels the postponed fixture against Mossley on Sunday will only benefit his squad in the long term.

Bamber Bridge’s scheduled Evo-Stik Division One North trip to Tameside was abandoned due to a frozen pitch.

Despite wanting to build on the 2-1 Boxing Day victory over Burscough, Brig boss Crowe admits having an unexpected day off is not a problem.

Brig would have been without key man Ally Waddecar, while several squad players were struck down by flu.

“I’m quite happy that the game was called off,” admitted Crowe. “A few lads were ill and I wasn’t too good either.

“I think the extra rest will help everybody.

“I think four games in eight days is a bit too much, especially with the size of the squads in this league.”

This Thursday on New Year’s Day, Brig make the trip to Stainton Park to take on Radcliffe Borough.

Paul McGuire’s side currently sit 18th in the table and were defeated 2-1 by Salford City on Boxing Day.

Brig will be able to welcome back talisman Waddecar, while Crowe also expects the majority of his players to have shrugged off the illness.

He said: “I know my starting 11 for Thursday and I’d like to think we are confident in every game we go into.

“But what we can’t do is underestimate Radcliffe.

“We need to have respect for every team in this league.

“As I’ve said previously, this is the toughest Division One North that I have ever been involved in.

“I honestly think it will go down to the wire come April.”

Glenn Steel and Stuart Vasey were on the scoresheet on Boxing Day in the home victory over Burscough.

The Linnets had been on a three-match unbeaten run since Mark Beesley combined his roles as both player and manager.

A crowd of 299 turned out at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium and the three points pushed Brig up to fifth and in the play-offs.

Crowe said: “We played some good football on a tricky surface.

“They were a good side and I thought it was a good game to watch.

“It was a good all-round display from us.

“Stu Vasey was unlucky not to start, but he showed what a good team player he was by coming off the bench and scoring what proved to be the winning goal.

“He’s got a great attitude and he’s fitted straight in since he joined in the summer.”

On Saturday, Brig travel to the Giant Axe to take on Darren Peacock’s Lancaster City.

The Bluebirds are in terrible run of form, having just won three of their last nine league fixtures.

But despite that, Crowe again won’t take City lightly.

He said: “These sort of games aren’t easy to win, but we’ll be going all out to win and I’m confident we can do that.”