BAILEY LIGHTS 74’S BONFIRE by Garry Clarke
IRLAM 0-1 1874 NORTHWICH
HALLMARK SECURITY LEAGUE PREMIER 5/11/16
A 12th minute Tom Bailey goal was all that separated the sides at the Ambitek Stadium in this Hallmark Security League Premier Division fixture. It was a deserved first ever three point haul for 5th placed 1874 Northwich as their previous three encounters against mid-table Irlam all ended in draws.
Both sides created half chances as play switched from end to end in the initial “feeling out” period before Bailey struck his 15th goal of the season. He fizzed a rocket from the edge of the area over the head of Irlam goalkeeper Lee White, after White’s attempted clearance had been charged down by the hard-working Scott McGowan.
1874 dominated the first half of an entertaining game, with the home side only offering an occasional threat with Shaun Sherwood firing a shot over the bar and Greg Hall saving well from Christian Lawlor.
Paul Connor caused panic in the Irlam defence with a dangerous cross, which following a scramble Sam Hind forced just wide of the target. Soon after, Joe Woolley drifted a fee kick inches wide of the Irlam goal and Ryan Mitchell also headed just wide from a Bailey cross.
Irlam’s custodian White fumbled a free kick, but then he managed to scramble the ball clear and Irlam tried to launch a counter attack but this was quickly cut off by Matt Woolley who returned the ball into the Irlam area. McGowan, who had spent the afternoon whizzing around the Irlam defence like a Catherine Wheel, latched on to the ball firing in a shot which was well saved by White.
1874 continued to hold the upper hand in the second half but their hard working hosts came more into the game after the break and perhaps would have been disappointed at not getting a point from the game having created several opportunities to draw level.
In the opening minutes of the second half Hall, making his 50th appearance for 1874, saved at point blank range to deny Connor Braithwaite after the Irlam centre half’s initial effort from a corner had been blocked.
Moments later a Connor cross was only half cleared to Hind, whose shot from the edge of the area was deflected wide for a corner, which was well taken by White under pressure from 1874 attackers. Joe Woolley flashed a free kick in across Irlam’s goal but the effort was thwarted at the expense of a corner which was well dealt with by White as he eventually gathered the ball following the resultant corner.
Irlam’s Marcus Perry fired a shot wide of 1874’s goal before Joe Woolley did the same at the other end after combining with Bailey in a move which covered three quarters of the pitch.
Braithwaite went close to doubling 1874’s advantage in the 69th minute. Under pressure from Bailey he lofted a back pass over White’s head and watched with relief as the ball struck the outside of the post and trickled away for a corner.
A few minutes later an Irlam free kick found Jordan Icely unmarked in the 1874 area but the Irlam substitute Icely lifted his shot over the bar. Irlam kept on attacking, pushing forward in search of an equaliser to douse the flames of 1874’s bonfire, but could not find a way past an 1874 rearguard superbly marshaled by Mark Jones.
In the 80th minute White produced the save of the game as he palmed away a Ryan Jackson free kick from the left, as the ball was heading in to the top corner of the goal.
As the clock ticked to 90 minutes, Jones won the ball in a tackle deep inside his own half, played an inch perfect long diagonal ball into the path of Jackson and the 1874 substitute carried the ball forward to the angle of the Irlam area but could not produce a last minute memorable firework as his effort shot across the face of the goal and wide of the target.
IRLAM – White, Lomas (Cassell 75), Peters, Sherwood (Bickett 67), Braithwaite, Mills, Perry, Illedge, Lawlor, Parker, Xavir (Icely 69). Subs not used Barlow, Grimshaw.
1874 – Hall, Connor, Russell, Mitchell, M Jones, Chappell, Hind, M Woolley, McGowan (R Bailey 5), T Bailey, Joe Woolley (Jackson 68). Subs not used Jack Woolley, Lever, Tulloch.
GOALS 1874 T Bailey 12
|Sat 5 Nov 2016||3:00 pm||Hallmark Security League Premier||2016/17|
|The Ambitek Stadium|
|77-85 Silver St, Irlam, Manchester M44 6JJ, UK|
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals|
|#||Player||Yellow Cards||Red Cards||Goals|
|9||Scott McGowan 12||0||0||0|
|10||Tom Bailey||0||0||1 (12')|
|11||Joe Woolley 14||0||0||0|
|12||Rick Bailey 9||0||0||0|
|14||Ryan Jackson 11||0||0||0|