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Hyde United 2
Fearnley (14'), Redshaw (90')
2 Bamber Bridge
Churchman (38'), Bange (48')
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Match Report: Hyde United 2-2 Bamber Bridge

Report by Matt Grimshaw (@MattGrimshaw_)

Bamber Bridge were subject to a late leveller as they drew 2-2 away at play off chasing Hyde United.

It was a game where Brig will feel hard done by not to have travelled home with all three points.

The first minute of the game almost saw the opener for the hosts, when Matthew Fearnley lofted the ball over the onrushing James Pradic. Chris Churchman was there to save to clear the ball off the line. 

Brig had plenty of the ball inside the opening 10 minutes, but no substantial chances came from their possession. 

Baxter’s inviting cross, that was claimed by Sam Waller in the Hyde goal, was the most notable of early chances. 

Just shy of the 15 minute mark the hosts had the lead. Fearnley found himself free in the box and made no mistake as his side footed effort nestled its way past the outstretched arm of Pradic. 

Jamie Milligan's side reacted well to the opener, as they managed to find more purpose for their possession by winning several free kicks in dangerous areas. 

Debutant Lamine Toure had the ball in the back of the net, following a seemingly well placed free kick into the box by Baxter, but the celebrations were cut short as the assistant’s flag was up for offside. 

Brig continued to build the pressure and eventually found an equaliser when Churchman’s 25 yard free kick effort found its way into the bottom left corner, leaving Waller rooted to the spot to level the game with just over five minutes of the half to go.

Just three minutes into the second 45 Brig had the lead. Adam Dodd broke down the left hand side, before whipping an inviting ball into the feet of Ewan Bange whose first effort was saved. However, he made no mistake at the second time of asking, firing home from just outside the six yard box. 

Milligan’s men didn't let up after taking the lead as they had several efforts on goal in quick succession. Both Harry Scarborough and Billy Bould tested Waller with strong strikes on goal. 

After an abundance of substitutions for both sides the hosts began to build momentum and their persistent pressure had Brig on the back foot. The defensive unit had to dig deep and make several vital interventions. 

Early into the five minutes of added time the hosts had a penalty. Toure mistimed his last grasp challenge on the Hyde forward as he raced through one on one with Pradic. 

Pradic saved the spot kick, diving down to his right, but penalty taker Jack Redshaw was able to head home the rebounded effort, levelling the game for Hyde right at the death.  

With seconds to go Michael Potts saw a straight red card with a lapse of judgement, following his mistimed sliding challenge.  

That was it and the spoils were shared - a gut wrenching end to proceedings for Brig, who would have felt they had done enough to win the game. But the resilience and determination of Hyde meant they were able to salvage a point. 

Bamber Bridge will be hoping for a win next weekend, when they host Matlock Town at the SFC Stadium. 

Published Sunday 10th December 2023