FIRST DEFEAT AT IRLAM
BY GARRY CLARKE
IRLAM 1-0 1874 NORTHWICH
Losing for the first time in their history at the Ambitex Stadium, 1874 Northwich allowed Irlam, 4-2 winners at St Luke’s Barton Stadium in January, to complete a HSL Premier Division double over their visitors.
A disjointed scrappy game in which both sides gave the ball away too easily and frequently has a distinct end of season feel to it, and although it was decided by a single goal both teams had their moments.
1874 started the game the brighter with a Taylor Kennerley header drawing a good save from Irlam goalkeeper Lee White in the 4th minute. Ten minutes later Kennerley delivered a cross into the Irlam area which fizzed along the six yard box and was met by Callum Gardner sliding in at the far post; unfortunately he could not direct the ball on target.
The games decisive moments arrived in the 19th minute. Irlam’s Jordan Buckley picked up a loose ball on the left, cut inside and drilled a shot past Tony Aghayere from 20 yards.
A minute later 1874’s No.1 saved well to keep out another Buckley shot from distance and also reacted well to pull off a save from point blank range in the 28th minute to deny the same player when a free kick floated into the 1874 area found him in space.
Mike Koral had a couple of shots which were just off target, Matt Woolley had an attempt from a corner bundled off the line and Sam Hind was denied a shooting chance by a last ditch tackle as he bore down on goal.
Aghayere blocked a shot from Matt Boland and five minutes before the break tipped a long range Boland shot over the bar.
After a quiet opening to the second half in which neither goalkeeper was really troubled as both sides were limited to firing in shots from distance both went close to scoring in the final ten minutes.
In the 80th minute a long range Irlam shot was deflected wide for a corner from which Aghayere made a brilliant save at point blank range to keep out a Ryan Ledson shot.
A few minutes later White turned a Mark Jones shot from the edge of the area over the bar. Irlam only managed to half clear the resultant corner but were given the ball back by another wayward pass allowing Buckley to race clear from in his own half chipping the ball over Aghayere and the bar.
IRLAM – White, Stweart, Bolton, Doyle, Ledson (Farrelly 75), Caswell, Perry, Morrison, Buckley, Boland, Pollitt. Subs not used Griffiths, Foulds.
1874 – Aghayere, Hind, L Jackson, Pritchard, Meadowcroft (Russell 75), Jones, Gardner (Parker 70), M Woolley (Hare 62), Koral, Smith, Kennerley. Subs not used Ormrod, Johnston.
GOAL – Irlam Buckley 19