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Match Report Lancaster City - Lancashire Trophy Quarter-final

Macca cullen and scarbs

Bamber Bridge stormed past Lancaster to earn themselves a Lancashire Trophy Semi-final place in an enthralling 11 goal thriller at The Giant Axe. Running out 7- 4 victors away at the local rivals.

With Danny Edwards scoring for the second consecutive game, while Harry Scarborough marked his 50th appearance for Brig with a brace. Chris Churchman headed home his third of the campaign and Mark Cullen bagged a twenty-minute hat-trick off the bench.

Brig opened the scoring extremely early on in the game when Sky Sinclair's pinpoint pass over the hosts backline found Edwards’ darting run in behind before he calmly slotted past Mendes. Netting his third goal in the last two games.

Chances to double the lead followed for Brig, with Adam Dodd’s teasing ball being taken away from Scarborough as he lurked at the back post, primed to head home. Stopping him from adding to the early advantage.

As the game passed the quarter of an hour mark Lancaster found themselves growing into the game and soon found a leveller. Moments after Nic Evangelinos’ ball to the back post should have resulted in an equaliser, David Norris poked home from close range, when he found himself just inside the 6-yard-box.

Less than five minutes later the hosts had the lead, as Jake Connelly showed a burst of pace down the right hand side, before firing in a low cross for Evangelinos to tap home at the back post.

Less than 60 seconds later Scarborough pounced on an error at the back from Lancaster, that meant he could slot home the equaliser into an open goal. Meaning the scores were level once again, with just over 20 minutes played.

The game then seemed to be calming down with slightly less goalmouth action for the next 10 or so minutes. That was until a quick 1-2 between Scarborough and Dodd set the latter away down the left hand side, who in turn swung an inviting cross in towards Churchman who made no mistake when heading home to give Brig the lead for the second time in the game.

The hosts seemingly reacted well and created several chances, equating to a goal kick for Brig, following Jack Connelly’s headed effort off target, as well as a remarkable save from Pradic, after Connelly’s close range strike.

A couple of minutes from the interval the game was even once more. With Bradley Carroll heading home from a corner. Before being dismissed following an altercation in the aftermath of the goal.

That was that for the first 45 and the scores were somehow level at 3 apiece, with the hosts also being reduced to 10, late in the half.

Just over five minutes into the second half Brig found themselves in front once again. An excellent corner was played to Dodd at the back post who guided back across goal in the direction of Scarborough who headed home his second of the evening, and ninth of the season.

Sam Bailey’s dangerous free-kick effort forced Pradic to make a remarkable save down low to his left, moments before Scarborough tried his luck from distance when he spotted Andre Mendes scurrying back towards his line. Who managed to save his own blushes, denying Scarborough his third as he claimed the arial effort.

Three minutes before the 70th the hosts had a penalty, when Danny Forbes was adjudged to have brought down substitute Thomas Kilfin in the area. Bailey made no mistake from the spot as he fired hard and true down the centre of the goal.

Mark Cullen replaced Forbes with twenty left to play and made an instant impact as he headed home Brig’s fifth of the evening, with his first touch of the ball. No more than Brig deserved, as they saw plenty of possession throughout the entirety of the half.

Minutes later Brig came agonisingly close to a sixth. Jack Baxter found himself with time and space inside the box, but heroic defending from Charlie Barnes saw his strike blocked on the goaline.

Mark Cullen found himself racing through on goal after shrugging off pressure from the Lancaster backline and slotted home his second of the evening, despite being on the pitch less than ten minutes. His sixth of the season, with half of those goals coming in the Lancashire Trophy.

With just two minutes left to play Lancaster rattled both the post and the crossbar when Connelly struck the post from close range before it fell to Kyle Brownhill who also struck the woodwork.

With Brig controlling possession and looking to see out the remaining moments, Mark Cullen grabbed his third. Reacting first and hammering home when Mendes parried out a dangerous ball in from a wide free-kick.

With the tie settled and the next round status secured by Brig the referee blew for full-time and ended the remarkable 11 goal thriller.

Brig have now scored 10 in the last two games, with the 7-4 phenomenon following on from the 3-1 win away at Morpeth Town 10 last time out. The side will be looking to build on back-to-back wins this weekend where a trip to Worksop awaits.

By Matt Grimshaw

Published Wednesday 21st February 2024