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Bamber Bridge 1
Forbes (49')
5 Radcliffe
Dudley (19', 24'), Oyibo (57'), Sargent (63'), Bange (70')
Danny Forbes scores against Radcliffe 27 Jan 24

Bamber Bridge 1 - 5 Radcliffe

Bamber Bridge suffered a heavy defeat against the league leaders Radcliffe at the SFC Stadium.

The game started end to end with Brig having most of the ball in the opening minutes, but failing to create any clear-cut chances. 

The breakthrough came in the 19th minute after a scramble of blocked shots and tackles the ball broke for Anthony Dudley who calmly slotted home to give Radcliffe the lead.

The lead would be doubled two minutes later. An Oliver Thornley free kick found Jordan Hulme whose shot was parried by James Pradic, the ball would fall for Dudley whose first shot was blocked on the line by Brig'sChris Churchman only to go straight back to Dudley who fired home his and Radcliffe’s second.

It could have been three immediately from the restart. Jude Oyibo pounced on a loose ball and broke down the left into Brig's box and squared it for Dudley on a hat trick, but Pradic was there to deny the striker with a stunning stop.

Brig’s best chance came just after the half hour mark, Rhys Turner danced down the left-hand side beating his man and cutting back for Danny Edwards whose shot ballooned over the bar and out. 

Radcliffe rallied from the close call and found Oyibo free on the left who drew another save from Pradic trying to sneak the ball in at the goalies near post. Two goals to the good Radcliffe seized control of the game and looked to end it before half time, but were time and again thwarted by Brig's centre backs and would go in at half-time 2 goals to the good.

The second half commenced with Bamber Bridge manager Jamie Milligan taking a seat in the stand. An incident in the tunnel at the end of the first half led to him being shown a red card by the referee.

Brig started the half brightly and grabbed an early goal. A Danny Edwards corner was only cleared as far as Jack Baxter who sent an inviting cross in to be met by the rising Danny Forbes to flick it in and halve the deficit just 3 minutes into the second half.

Dudley thought he had completed his hat trick in the 51st minute but saw his header cleared off the line by debutant Simon Grand. Brig sensing the tide had shifted went for the equaliser. Turner coming closest with a speculative effort flying over the bar. 

Radcliffe however had other plans and would soon restore their 2-goal lead. Another long ball over the top was flicked on by Hulme to Oyibo whose shot across goal found the bottom corner and breathing room for his side. Any hopes of a Brig come back were dashed on the hour mark after an in-swinging corner from Nicky Adams was bundled in by Mathew Sargent at the near post to score Radcliffe’s fourth.

Brig continued to search for a second goal, but Radcliffe were resilient in defence and almost scored a fifth when Oliver Thornley’s long range effort took a heavy deflection but the shot trickled wide of a helpless Pradic’s goal.

The fifth would come 3 minutes later after a string of one-touch passes through Brig's half, Radcliffe found Luca Navarro on the right whose low cross put the ball on a plate for substitute Ewan Bange to tap home.

Despite the scoreline the game did not peter out,  with chances for both sides in the final 15 minutes. The first fell to Brig from an Edwards free kick Grand broke free from his man only for his header to rattle against the crossbar and bounce away. 

The final chance of the game would be Radcliffe’s substitute Jamie Morgan thought he had added a sixth with a flick on header but the fast reactions of a full stretched Pradic would deny him with a fine save.

A full-time score of 5-1 Brig will look to bounce back next week when they travel to Macclesfield.

Match reporter: Noah Mills

Published Sunday 28th January 2024