Villa helping Greg in his return to action

Greg Johnstone scores a penalty
Greg Johnstone scores a penalty

Boss Neil Crowe has praised West Lancashire League outfit Euxton Villa after they stepped in to help the rehabilitation of one of his Bamber Bridge players.

The men in orange have taken big striker Greg Johnstone on loan for a number of games to help the striker’s comeback from a broken leg.

Johnstone is just the second Brig player to go out on loan to Euxton Villa, after goalkeeper Lee Dovey played a number of games for Villa prior to the Christmas break.

And Crowe is delighted with the relationship the sides have.

He said: “It’s great that we can link up with somebody like Euxton Villa.

“Obviously we don’t have a reserve side so I can’t have a huge squad as it’s hard to keep people happy.

“Using Euxton it benefits both sides and now Greg has the chance to go out get games under his belt and then come back fit and ready for us.”

Assistant manager Neil Reynolds echoed Crowe’s views and he feels the relationship Brig have with Lostock

St Gerard’s is also beneficial.

He added: “Like Crowey said, we don’t have a youth or a reserve team so having somebody like St Gerard’s or Villa to link up with is excellent.

“We had a friendly against Lostock this Saturday as both sides had their fixtures


“We won the game 10-2 but it just shows how key relationships like this are.

“They rang us at midday and, of course, we would say yes to having a game.

“The fixture was a real benefit and it ensures we got a proper game in before our next league fixture.”

This Saturday Brig take on strugglers Padiham in the Evo-Stik Division One North but Crowe insists his side cannot take them lightly.

Earlier in the season, the East Lancashire outfit thrashed Brig 6-1 and the Irongate outfit will look to seek revenge for the defeat this Saturday.

Crowe added: “I don’t even think I need to give a team talk this Saturday.

“It was a big turning point for us as that defeat left everybody embarrassed.

“Padiham deserved the victory but the way we lost was terrible.

“So I know this Saturday our lads will be geared up and raring to go.”

Crowe also confirmed he is expecting to welcome a new face into the squad for the weekend’s encounter and can also welcome back a number of key players into the first-team frame.

He said: “I’m meeting with a player this weekend who can play wide left or up front which is a position we will benefit from.

“Also I think Lennie Reid will be fit after he picked up a knock in training and we can also welcome back Matt Mahoney from suspension so we will have a much stronger squad this week.”

The kick-off at Irongate this Saturday is at 3pm.