North End started their pre-season campaign with a win, thanks to an own goal and Eoin Doyle’s second half finish.
The home side scored late on when substitute Chris Churchman fired in from 25 yards, but the Lilywhites held on to claim the inaugural Gerry Lawson memorial trophy, named after the Brig stalwart who sadly passed away in the summer.
Simon Grayson mixed his team throughout the 90 minutes, using all of his 26 players available players – only Stevie May not fit to play his part in the first run out of the 2016/17 preparations.
Vasey, later to be the unlucky own goal scorer, made a fine block to deny North End and early opener, keeping out Alan Browne’s effort from 15 yards, after a head down by Jordan Hugill.
All the chances came the Lilywhites way in the opening period. Tommy Spurr showed his attacking intent from left back running from the half way line and forcing home keeper Marcuss Burgess into a fine low save and then an even better follow up to deny Paul Gallagher from a snap shot 18 yards out that had been heading into the bottom left hand corner until the stopper’s intervention.
But the visitors, wearing their newly unveiled navy change strip took the lead on 28 minutes. Tom Clarke put over an excellent cross for Jordan Hugill to head goalwards. The keeper made a fine low stop, but the ball came back in from the skipper aiming at Danish new boy Simon Makienok, however, it came off the unlucky Vasey and ricocheted into the bottom left hand corner.
On the half hour mark the first lot of changes by North End, saw Liam Grimshaw make his long awaited bow, replacing Chris Humphrey at right back, who himself had just returned from ten months on the sidelines.
At the interval another set of alterations and one of those changes, Joe Garner, curled an effort just over from 20 yards after a cushioned pass from strike partner Jermaine Beckford.
Bamber Bridge skipper Matt Lawlor then denied Callum Robinson, getting his head in the way of a curling shot from the young forward, who had cut inside from his left wing berth to shoot from a left hand channel 20 yards from goal.
Beckford himself was close with an effort as Joe Garner returned the favour, nodding down Greg Cunningham’s driven cross from the left.
The second came with 14 minutes left as Greg Cunningham found Ben Pearson in the middle of the park and the No.4 split the home defence with a superb ball for a well-timed Eoin Doyle run. The Irishman took one touch and fired low into the bottom corner.
The home side pulled one back during a minute’s applause, in tribute to Gerry Lawson, Chris Churchman firing a fine shot from 25 yards into the bottom left hand corner giving Mat Hudson no chance.
There was still time for Adam Robinson to find Joe Garner with a well-weighted long ball, the striker trying to lift the ball over substitute custodian Tom Goodwin, but his effort was dragged wide and the game ended 2-1.
Referee: Mr N Swarbrick