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Bamber Bridge 1
Cullen (90')
7 Marine
Grant (7', 38', 68'), Sass (11', 54'), Doyle (41'), Sinclair-Smith (74')
Mark Cullen in action against Marine

Bamber Bridge 1 - 7 Marine

Bamber Bridge succumbed to a very heavy defeat to Marine at The SFC Stadium this afternoon.

Marine were quickest out of the blocks, just six minutes in a long ball broke for Bobby Grant who waited for Aidan Hunt to come out of his goal, before coolly rolling the ball into the bottom corner to give the visitors the lead.

Just four minutes later that lead was doubled with Grant turning provider, putting in an inviting left footed cross for Freddie Sass to head into the top left corner. 

The pressure on Brig's goal would continue. A defensive error broke kindly to Owen Robinson who unleashed a goal-bound volley only to be denied by Hunt in the Brig goal, who rose like a salmon to tip it around the post.

Hunt would be busy again moments later after a Josh Wardle header was again tipped round the post by the stretching left palm of the Brig’s goalkeeper. From the resulting corner Marine were to be denied again but by the crossbar this time after a Nolan header bounced off the frame of the woodwork. 

The pressure would eventually bring a third for Marine on 38 minutes.  A wicked deflection saw Grant's free kick wrong foot Hunt before trickling into the net. 

Four minutes later a Sass long throw led to a goal-mouth scramble, resulting in Chris Doyle scoring Marine's fourth. The visitors heading back in to the Irongate dressing room 4-0 to to the good.

The second half began slower than the first with both sides failing to create any clear-cut opportunities until the 54th minute. Harvey Gregson broke down the right-hand side before unleashing a dangerous cross that would be turned in by Sass for his second of the match. 

Marine came close again as a Robinson cross found Grant in the middle, whose header hammered off the post.  Just one minute later a Harvey Gregson shot was parried away by Hunt but pounced upon and finished by Grant, who had timed his run perfectly to claim his hat-trick.

Perhaps a little too late with 70 minutes gone, but Brig rallied and had their best opportunity of the game.  A long-range shot from centre back Nathan Pond which forced the Marine keeper Luke Hutchinson into a diving save.

Moments later Marine had a seventh, Excellent work from ex-Brig man Finlay Sinclair-Smith who rounded Hunt before firing into the roof of the net. 

Brig would get a consolation goal with two minutes left on the clock, after two Brig subs combined. Billy Bould finding Mark Cullen who fired in to the back of the Marine net.

Despite a more than comfortable lead, Marine were determined to have the last shout of the game, but substitute Sol Solomon couldn’t find the target from six yards out and saw his effort bounce off the outside of the post.

Final score Bamber Bridge 1, Marine 7.  A result Brig will look to bounce back from next week when they take on league leaders Radcliffe at The SFC Stadium.

Match reporter: Noah Mills

Published Saturday 20th January 2024