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
MAC THE KNIFE CUTS OPEN IRLAM
BY GARRY CLARKE
IRLAM 0-3 1874 NORTHWICH HSL PREMIER 7TH APRIL 2018
Three second half goal clinched maximum points at Irlam as 1874 Northwich ticked another game off their backlog, only 16 more Hallmark Security League games to go now.
1874 maintained their unbeaten record at Silver Street gaining revenge for the 2-1 defeat inflicted on them ten days ago by their opponents with a thoroughly professional performance against one of the league’s in form teams.
The home side worked hard to frustrate their visitors, blocking the channels preventing 1874 from advancing forcing them to play square or backwards to retain possession. 1874’s patience was rewarded in the second half as Irlam tired and gaps started to appear in their defence.
Despite 1874 enjoying the greater share of the ball in the opening stages it was the hosts, who were content to sit back pick up loose balls and counter attack which looked the more dangerous.
Jordan Iceley’s shot from distance was comfortably held by 1874 goalkeeper Greg Hall in the 15th minute, while five minutes later Hall pulled off a good save to keep out a Connor Martin shot, while the Irlam man pulled a further shot wide of the target a few minutes later.
As the first half progressed 1874 started to make inroads into the Irlam ranks with Sam Freakes at the centre of the action. In the 25th minute he floated a corner towards the far post where Matt Woolley headed over.
A few minutes later he raced onto a Jack Pritchard pass which cut open the defence for his cross to be defused by a combination of Irlam defender Joel Amado and goalkeeper Lee White, another dangerous Freakes cross was cut out by Irlam’s Liam Morrison.
In the closing stages of the first half White did well to keep out a long range shot from Freakes, who also saw the Irlam custodian dive full length to turn a free kick around the post, and on the stroke of half time Scott McGowan curled a free kick inches over the bar.
1874 dominated the second half as Irlam started to fade although they never gave up they posed little threat to the 1874 goal.
McGowan broke the deadlock with his 30th goal of the season striking in the 51st minute. Mark Jones threaded the ball through the Irlam defence to McGowan, whose first attempt was blocked by White. Reacting first, McGowan kept his composure, collected the rebound and slotted the ball into the net.
Two minutes later, McGowan struck again delightfully chipping the ball over White from 30 yards out.
Freakes completed the scoring with his first goal in Northwich colours in the 74th minute. Matt Woolley drilled a low angled free kick across the face of goal; Freakes arrived at the far post with the simple task of knocking the ball into the net from close range.
IRLAM ; White, Harewood (Bolton 58), Amado, Morrison (Meredith 71), Braithwaite, Mills, Perry, Boland (Illedge 62), Foulds, Martin, Iceley. Sub not used Doyle.
1874: Hall, Connor, Russell (Payne 76), Pritchard, Mitchell, M Jones, Hind, M Woolley (Jack Woolley 82), McGowan (Riley 71), Freakes, Woods. Subs not used Lever, Waite-Jackson.
GOALS- McGowan 51, 53 Freakes 74
REFEREE Mike Ainsworth ATTENDANCE 91
74 SURVIVE STORM BRIAN AND IRLAM COMEBACK
BY GARRY CLARKE
IRLAM 1-4 1874 NORTHWICH BUILDBASE FA VASE 1ST ROUND 21ST OCTOBER 2017
Both teams deserved all the plaudits for battling away in atrocious conditions to entertain the 174 strong crowd as Irlam’s Silver Street ground was battered by “Storm Brian”, having taken an early lead 1874 Northwich always had the edge.
Playing into the driving ran which swept down the pitch, 1874 almost fell behind in the second minute but Matt Boland could only fire into the side netting. However, 1874 soon got on top with Paul Connor setting up Scott McGowan whose shot from twelve yards scrapped the top of the cross bar.
In the 10th minute McGowan found Taylor Kennerley on the far side of Irlam’s penalty area with a cross from the right. Kennerley hit a low angled drive, which took a slight deflection off a defender on its way into the net despite Irlam keeper Lee White getting his hand on the ball.
Six minutes later Adam Whitlock flashed the ball across the face of Irlam’s goal, a diving McGowan made contact with the ball but failed to force it home as it came off his chest and went inches wide.
Marcus Perry shot into 1874’s side netting and a Boland effort from distance went wide as the home side searched for an equaliser.
Kennerley doubled 1874’s advantage in the 38th minute with a well taken goal. Whitlock and Jake Parker combined to set Connor away down the right flank, his cross found Kennerley on the far side of the box, steadying himself he blasted the ball high into the net.
In the 41st minute Connor swung in a cross from the right which White was unable to gather, the ball glanced off the cross bar into the path of the following up McGowan who nodded the ball over the line from close range.
During the half time break the wind got stronger, the rain became heavier, but it seemed to inspire the home side who pulled a goal back a minute after the break. Perry skipped round the back of the 1874 defence, his cross from the left was not cut out allowing Gareth Rooney to smash the ball home from eight yards.
Minutes later Boland’s dangerous cross landed on the roof of 1874’s net, while Greg Hall had to react smartly to push an Isaac Illidge cross/shot away from danger.
Having weathered the Irlam storm, 1874 hit back a break and cross by McGowan set up Kennerley whose low drive from the edge of the area was pushed around the post by White.
1874 made the game safe in the 65th minute when McGowan raced on to a ball played over the top of Irlam’s defence, he pulled the ball back to Parker who struck the ball from the edge of the area through a crowd of players into the bottom corner.
In the closing stages Mooney twice threatened 1874’s goal without hitting the target and White did well to cut out a dangerous Whitlock cross before referee Richard Holmes, who in the conditions controlled the game well, blew the final whistle allowing the players to escape the elements.
IRLAM – White, Harewood, Holt, Morrison, Mills, Ledson, Mooney, Illidge, Iceley, Boland (Hughes 73), Perry (Greene 80). Subs not used Cassell, Barlow, Pollitt.
1874 – Hall, Connor, Woods, Pritchard, Mitchell (Lever 83), Jones, Whitlock (Houghton 80), M Woolley, McGowan, Parker (Riley 75), Kennerley. Subs not used Waite-Jackson, Spencer.
GOALS – IRLAM Mooney 46 1874 Kennerley 10,38 McGowan 41 Parker 65
ATTENDANCE 174 REFEREE R Holmes
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
A LAST gasp equaliser from Liam Pennington denied 1874 Northwich a first ever competitive win in this midweek encounter.
The central midfielder’s goal came with one minute of normal time to spare and cancelled out Dean McGregor’s penalty that had given 1874 the lead.
Manager Ian Street made one change from the team that drew at home to Oldham Boro with Phil Coffin coming in for the injured Lee Hendley.
The game started with 1874 controlling possession and playing with a high intensity.
Four minutes had gone and 1874 could have taken the lead when a long ball from Dean McGregor found Adam Foy in space on the right-hand-side.
Foy charged towards goal and rounded the keeper before producing a low cross which was met and struck towards goal by Anthony Marshall, only for full back Connor Braithwaite to get back and bundle the ball off the line.
On 20 minutes, another chance was presented to 1874 when an unmarked Danny Thomas should have done better than shoot narrowly wide after being picked out at the back post from Foy’s corner.
After early pressure from 1874, the game became scrappy in the midfield with Irlam settling into the match a little with a number of corners comfortably dealt with by the 1874 defence.
However, 1874 were presented with two golden opportunities as the half-time whistle approached.
First, Lee Duckworth’s long ball caught the Irlam defence out and picked out Phil Coffin.
One-on-one with the goalkeeper, Coffin attempted to round the keeper, only to be taken out by Brewer on his path to goal.
A yellow card was presented to the goalkeeper and a free kick awarded to 1874, the source of another chance.
The resulting free kick from Anthony Marshall swung in from the left-wing evaded everyone but Brandon whose flick-on towards the goal rebounded back off the post.
The last action of a half 1874 will feel they should have led.
The second half started in the same fashion with 1874 on top and five minutes in Brandon was presented with a glorious chance to give the away side the lead.
The move came when Irlam were again caught out by a through pass from Marshall, and Brandon with only the keeper to beat could only shoot into the side netting.
At the other end, Irlam came close to taking the lead on 53 minutes when wideman Gary Prescott beat Duckworth for pace and produced a dangerous cross which had to be diverted away by Stewart just as Jordan Icely was about to get a header in towards the goal.
Irlam began to control the game and 1874 nearly went behind on 56 minutes when long-throw expert Braithwaite’s throw into the box was flicked on towards the goal, leaving Marshall to clear the ball off the line.
With an hour gone, Irlam continued to look the more likely team to break the deficit, and a fine 25 yard effort from Icely curled narrowly over the bar in another move for the home side.
However, despite Irlam seemingly having a foothold in the game, it was 1874 who took the lead on 70 minutes when a penalty was awarded.
The spot-kick was given after Pennington handballed from Stewart’s free kick.
McGregor stepped up and fired a classy penalty kick into the top left hand corner for 1-0 to the delight of the 150 strong 1874 faithful.
With the lead in the bag, 1874 began to play with more comfort and could have added to their lead when Brandon powered through on goal, only to strike over the cross bar.
But there was to be a twist, a cruel twist from an 1874 perspective when Irlam equalised with a minute to spare.
The equaliser came when a free kick swung in from the right-hand-side was met by Pennington, who was given the space to control the ball and hit a low shot into the bottom corner from the edge of the box past the despairing dive of Conkie.
The midfielder’s celebration was ecstatic whilst 1874 fans were left feeling dejected.
The result means 1874 have drawn their first two games ahead of their away match against Daisy Hill on Saturday.
Irlam: Brewer (GK), Braithwaite, Barlow, Haggis, Mills, Pennington (C), Mooney, Burgess, Prescott, Icely, McGreevy
Substitutes: Lynch, Smith, Main
1874 Northwich: Conkie (GK), Mitchell, Stewart, Thomas, Duckworth, Foy, McGregor, Crane, Brandon, Marshall (Wilding 70), Coffin (McKay 81)
Substitutes: McKay, Leake, Wilding
Goal: McGregor (70)