The Silkmen return to action at the Leasing.com Stadium as Bamber Bridge travel from Lancashire.
Alex Bruce’s side will be looking to carry on from Saturday’s victory against play-off rivals Guiseley.
Brig will be looking to bounce back from back-to-back heavy defeats at home and currently sit 15th in the Northern Premier League.
We take a closer look at our Lancashire opposition.
The modern club was established in 1952. The new club joined the Preston & District League, progressing to the Senior Division. In 1974 they merged with Walton-le-Dale, continuing in the Preston & District League. They went on to win the league’s Guildhall Cup in 1978–79, before completing a Premier Division and cup double in 1980–81. After winning the Lancashire FA Amateur Shield in 1981–82 and another Guildhall Cup win in 1984–85, they won back-to-back Premier Division titles in the next two seasons, before winning a league and cup double in 1989–90.
In 1990 Bamber Bridge moved up to Division Two of the North West Counties League. Their second season in the league saw them win the division, resulting in promotion to Division One; they also reached the semi-finals of the FA Vase, where they lost 2–0 to Wimborne Town. After finishing as runners-up in Division One in the following season (1992–93), a second successive promotion was achieved when the club moved up to Division One of the Northern Premier League.
In 1999–2000 Bamber Bridge reached the first round of the FA Cup for the first time. After beating St Albans City 2–0, they lost 1–0 at Cambridge United in the second round. The club remained in the Premier Division until the end of the 2001–02 season, in which they finished bottom; although they beat Radcliffe Borough 3–2 in the promotion/relegation play-off semi-final, they were beaten 2–1 by Ashton United in the final.
Although Bamber Bridge returned to the Premier Division as a result of league restructuring following the creation of the Conference North and South, their stay was short-lived as they were relegated to Division One at the end of the 2004–05 season. However, the season did see them win the President’s Cup. When the league added a third division in 2007, the club were placed in Division One North.
A fourth-place finish in 2013–14 saw Bamber Bridge qualify for the promotion play-offs. After beating Warrington Town 1–0 in the semi-finals, they lost 3–2 to Ramsbottom United in the final. In the following season they finished third, again qualifying for the play-offs, this time losing 2–0 to Darlington 1883 in the final after beating Northwich Victoria 2–1 in the semi-final. A fourth-place finish in 2017–18 saw the club reach the play-offs, in which they defeated Tadcaster Albion 2–1 in the semi-finals and Prescot Cables 1–0 in the final to earn promotion to the Premier Division. The club qualified for the play-offs again in 2022–23 after finishing third in the league; after beating Gainsborough Trinity 5–3 on penalties in the semi-finals (after a 1–1 draw), they lost the final 1–0 to Warrington Town.
Bamber Bridge have only won one of their last five games losing each of their last three games. Two difficult home results against the league’s form sides Radcliffe and Marine are their most recent games with an aggregate of 12-2 across the two games.
A narrow 2-0 defeat away to Guiseley preceded this at Nethermoor Park before a coming back from 2-0 down away at Workington to take a point away from Borough Park. A late Boxing Day victory at home to rivals Lancaster City saw Brig pick up four points from an available 15.
ONE TO WATCH
Danny Forbes is a man to watch for Bamber Bridge. Forbes is a utility player and has so far scored six times for the visitors this season. Forbes has scored in three of their last five and will be looking to add to his tally.
The sides have met before in the Isuzu FA Trophy last season. A 6-1 win at the Leasing.com Stadium saw the Silkmen progress into the First Round of the trophy. An Alex Curran brace, plus goals from Lewis Fensome, Neil Danns and Nicky Maynard saw Macc seal the deal.