Bailey Conway immediately starting in the centre of the park, in place of Tuesday night's Man of the Match, Habib Makanjuola. The Nigeria World Cup Winner settling for a place on the bench. The man missing out on his place in the sixteen, was Jack Goodman, who had been called up by Doncaster earlier in the week, due to an injury crisis at the Keepmoat.
With the visitors journey delayed, and a late kick off, this one really struggled to get going, as clear cut chances were at a premium for both sides. Trinity looked threatening from two set pieces in quick succession, Will Flint seeing his header blocked as he attacked Bobby Johnson’s flag kick well. From the resultant corner on the other side, Lewis Butroid’s corner was met by Dylan Cogill. But he didn’t trouble the keeper with his effort.
Visiting number ten, Danny Forbes had the best chance of the opening 45, tamely firing straight at Dylan Wharton, after he had ghosted into the box to meet a lofted ball in. A let off for the Holy Blues, but one that spurred the side on.
Trinity hitman, Liam Hardy spurned a great chance for Gainsborough when he was denied by the legs of visiting 'keeper James Pradic. Racing clear through on goal, you would have fancied Hardy to find the finish, but Pradic stood up well.
Soon after George Hornshaw, Bobby Johnson and Joel Holvey combined to good effect down the right, with Holvey picking our Harry Lovick on the edge of the box. His low placed finish gathered down to his right by Pradic. The strike just lacking that bit of power to really trouble the ‘keeper, with Hardy lurking for any spills.
Bamber Bridge came back at Trinity, but Forbes couldn’t find the target with a header, before Holvey did well down the left this time for the hosts, getting to the by-line, his cross flashed across the six yard box. Conway retrieved, and Hornshaw centred from the right. Straining every muscle, Hardy climbed highest to guide a header towards the top corner, but Pradic was again just about equal to the effort, and clung on underneath his crossbar.
Half time: Gainsborough Trinity 0 Bamber Bridge 0
Neal Bishop was forced into a change at half-time, as Bailey Conway was withdrawn, to be replaced by midweek Man of the Match Habib Makanjuola, however it was the visitors that started the second half sharper.
Quick reactions from Dylan Wharton saved the blushes of his skipper Dylan Cogill when the Trinity centre back diverted a ball in from the Gainsborough right, back towards his own goal. The swift reaction keeping the scores level, but Trinity’s sluggish start to the second period was soon punished when Harry Scarborough opened the scoring just two minutes later, curling a first time finish past Wharton.
Going behind sparked a response as Hornshaw found front man Hardy, who made the ball stick. Finding Makanjuola the talented play-maker immediately opened up the park, inviting Holvey to attack his full back. Confidence was high in the Rotherham youngster as he tricked his way past the Bridge full back, but could only ruffle the side netting. Promising signs from the Blues.
Danny Edwards scuffed an effort wide of the far post for Bamber Bridge, when Trinity only partially cleared the danger. The ball falling invitingly for the winger, who rather snatched at the opportunity.
As Makanjuola settled into the game, his presence in the middle of the park began to have more of an impact, as he tirelessly looked to knit the defence and attack together, with an ever willingness to get on the ball and desire to make things happen. One audacious attempt was only half a yard wide of the upright, a quickly taken free-kick allowed Makanjuola half a yard or so, and his disguised finish had the ‘keeper rooted to the spot and fearing the worst.
Twenty minutes from time, Bobby Johnson stung the palms of Pradic with an attempt from distance before Hardy & Lewis Butroid combined. Butroid’s cultured ball in from the left- undefendable - with the Brig defender Adam Dodd, turning the ball past his ‘keeper to level things up.
Makanjuola tested Pradic, but shortly after, with the Blues looking to up the tempo, their plans were thwarted when the half time substitute saw his game crudely ended early. The midfielder leaving the pitch on a stretcher to the concern of those in the ground.
Youngster, Will Flint defended strongly as the game became stretched, making a good recovery to track back, before at the other end Jorome Slew could have won it for Trinity. Holvey on the left stood up a good ball into the box, - and neither Hornshaw or Hardy could turn a header goal-wards, but they were able to set the ball for Slew arriving from deep, but his rushed finish sailed over the bar.
As the game moved into overtime, Lovick rounded Pradic, who dangled a leg. The former Hull City youngster doing his best to stay on his feet, but off balance, lacked the composure to pick out Holvey, who was free in the centre.
All eyes were on Pradic again when he gathered marginally outside the box. Staring down the barrell, Mr Pontin was unmoved, as the visitors turned defence to attack. Firing straight at Wharton, in what would have been a controversial way to earn all three points.
Wharton again had to be alert to tip over Mark Cullen's header at the death, as Trinity defended a couple of late corners bravely, to ensure the first Bank Holiday points of the weekend were shared.
Attention now quickly switches to Monday, when the Holy Blues head along the A57 to Worksop Town. Kick off at 3pm, at The Windsor Foodservices Stadium, off Sandy Lane. So get yourselves along, and cheer on Bish & the Boys. With local pride at stake, anything can – and invariably will happen!
Dylan Wharton, George Hornshaw, Lewis Butroid, Harry Lovick, Dylan Cogill, Will Flint, Harrison Poulter (Jorome Slew 53) Bailey Conway (Habib Makanjuola 46) Liam Hardy, Bobby Johnson, Joel Holvey
Subs not used: McCauley Snelgrove & Jack Moore-Billam
Trinity Goal: Adam Dodd, Own Goal 69'
James Pradic, Zak Kempster-Down, Lewis Thompson, Sky Sinclair, Adam Dodd, Jordan Butterworth, Harry Benns, Michael Potts, Harry Scarborough, Danny Forbes, Daniel Edwards
Sub not used: Christopher Churchman
Brig Goal: Harry Scarborough 47
Officials: Macauley Gibson, Harry Atkin & Andrew Pontin
Report by Rob Hughes (@AATM_Media)
Photos by Russell Shepherd - Off the Bench Media (@offthebenchpics)