Vics' extended the current unbeaten run to an outstanding thirteen matches with a battling 1-1 draw away at promotion contenders Bamber Bridge. It was the fourth match in eight days in a punishing fixture schedule.
Josh Amis handed Vics' an early lead, heading home in the tenth minute - only for ex-Vics' hit-man Alex Taylor to blast home an equaliser mid-way through the first half.
The result sees Vics move up one place to tenth in the EvoStik NPL Division One North table.
Saturday 5th April 2014. Irongate, Bamber Bridge.
EvoStikNPL Division One North.
Bamber Bridge Dovey, Mahoney, Bowyer, Alexander, Marlow, Kay (C), Waddecar, Thompson, Johnstone, Taylor, Williams. Subs - Watt, Buchan, Reid, Clark, Reynolds.
Vics Deasy, Smalley, Henry, Schofield, Wisdom (C), Greenwood, Hadfield, Summerskill, Amis, Stott (Harries 83'), Clarke (Sanogo 60'). All subs used.
Bookings - Vics' - Henry 56', Hadfield 58'. Bamber Bridge - Alexander 61'.
Unavailable for Vics' Daniel Meadowcroft (thigh strain), Marc Joseph (suspended), Gary Burnett (family).
Vics' opened the match brightly and with a real spring in their step - despite an arduous fixture list in the last week. Brig' had the best opportunity of the first half though; Greg Johnstone skied a shot over the cross-bar when well placed following a corner by Ally Waddecar in the 9th minute.
Vics' took the lead in the next minute however; Josh Amis heading home powerfully following a fine free-kick delivery into him on the edge of the 6 yard box from centre-field - after Brian Summerskill had been upended by Brig' midfield man Curtis Thompson. Vics' midfield and Brian Summerskill in particular - were now repelling the home side's attacks at will and were in no danger whatsoever; until Brig' wide-man Ally Waddecar played a one-two on the right edge of the box with Greg Johnstone, Johnstone's header was parried well by Deasy to ex-Vics' striker Alex Taylor ten yards out and he struck an instant shot right-footed that crashed into the net off the underside of the cross-bar. Taylor's celebration was almost muted, out of respect for his former team-mates and employers.
The game ebbed and flowed until the 43rd minute - Ally Waddecar shooting from 25 yards out , the ball only just clearing the Vics' bar. Half-time arrived with the score locked at 1-1.
The second half started with Vics' on the attack immediately - Ashley Stott’s sliding shot six yards from goal was saved superbly by 'keeper Lee Dovey - after the ball had deflected to him.
From the resulting corner Amis very nearly put his name on the scoresheet again – but his header fell just wide of Dovey’s right-hand post.
In the 60th minute, Schofield headed in Greenwood's deep free-kick from the left - but the linesman harshly chalked the effort off for offside. Abou Sanogo then replaced Mike Clarke - and two minutes later he picked up a threaded through-ball into his feet by Brian Summerskill; and blasted a screamer just wide of Dovey's far-post. The rest of the half was somewhat uneventful; Vics' had a real scare three minutes from time - Brig' sub Jerome Watt volleyed into the grateful hands of Vics' ‘keeper Tim Deasy from 6 yards out when unmarked – after a superb free-kick was floated into the box by Matt Mahoney.
Vics' saw out the additional four minutes at the end of the game with considerable ease and collected a valuable point and remain undefeated since the Prescot Cables away reverse on 11th February.
Vics M.O.M Brian Summerskill - Energetic performance - broke up the hosts' attacks at will and kept the engine room ticking over all game.
Vics' manager Jim Gannon's reaction to the game -
Match report by Jamie Dewsbury.