BURSCOUGH 1 IRLAM FC 2 report by Neil Leatherbarrow
BURSCOUGH LACK THE FIREPOWER TO WIN
Burscough dominated the possession in first half-hour on Tuesday night but a failure to convert their advantage into goals in the end cost them the game. Gradually Irlam climbed into the match and in the second-half were the best team before almost inevitably turning their time in possession into a couple of goals that won the game. Although Burscough pulled a goal back in added time it came too late to save them with an equaliser.
The game began to get going in the fifth minute when Peter Henerty had a shot saved by Irlam goalkeeper David Jones whose quick clearance almost caused Burscough a problem but Burscough goalkeeper Max Povey thwarted Irlam number seven Marcus Perry with a comfortable diving save.
Off an Alex Parkes throw-in Ward headed over the crossbar on fourteen minutes, then five minutes later Irlam right-back Sam Bolton missed a Parkes cross but Ward was kept out by a another good save by keeper Jones, who went on the put in an impressive performance.
In the 24th minute there was a right old scramble in the Irlam goalmouth, first Terry Cummings brought a superb save out of Jones and although the rebound fell to Will Doherty his attempt was charged down before the ball was eventually cleared.
There was a general thought that Burscough had to make use of all the possession they were getting or they might pay for it as Irlam were starting to look dangerous on the breakaway and on one occasion it was only some sharp defending that kept them out after Perry created mayhem with a cross.
In the 37th minute many Burscough supporters thought they would get a penalty. One was actually awarded for handball but referee Luis Griffiths was persuaded to consult his assistant and the Linnets were denied, Irlam restarted with a free-kick, presumably given for offside earlier in the move.
Irlam had set their stall out to takeaway a point a theory strengthened by the time wasting and deep defending they employed from the off, but they got encouragement that they might achieve more when Burscough made a lacklustre start to the second-half.
The game started to turn Irlam’s way and Povey made a good save from a Haydn Foulds on 51 minutes and by the hour mark they were the better team.
Dan Eyres won a challenge with Cameron White only to see Povey save his effort from 20 yards out, then on 67 minutes they struck. Burscough over committed up front and Irlam counterattacked swiftly, Jordan Buckley ran the ball into the home penalty area and looked set to beat Dan Brady when the Burscough defender tripped him, a penalty was given, immediately followed by a chat between referee and assistant before a yellow card was administered to Brady. Karl Cassell driving the penalty kick straight down the middle to make it 0-1.
It was now difficult to see anyway back for a tired looking Burscough, who it could be said had also run out of ideas up front.
Buckley fired over the Burscough bar on 72 minutes, then had another shot saved by Povey on 83 minutes, but Irlam looked fairly comfortable and when Liam Pollitt broke clear and ran at the threadbare Linnets defence before slamming the ball home on 88 minutes it was finished.
Burscough did salvage some pride via a Brady free-kick in added time, sending a low shot from an acute angle into the net, but it was too late.
The best team on the night had won, the visitors had based their tactics on defence, they are a big strong organised team but no world beaters, so why did Burscough struggle after such a good start?
You can only speculate but they have had a series of cup ties recently and will have more on both the next two Saturday’s, maybe it was difficult to raise themselves on the night? Maybe they were feeling the effects or the cup ties in their legs? They will have to lift themselves for Saturday at Warrington Town in the FA Cup, but in many people’s thinking they will.
BURSCOUGH: Povey, Parkes, Clark, Henerty, Brady. White, Cummings, Dunroe (Grier G., 78), Doherty (Canache, 70), Ekpolo, Ward Subs (not used) Eumessi, Hodge
IRLAM: Jones, Bolton, Amado, Doyle ©, Ledson, Cassell, Perry, Eyres (Pollitt, 78), Buckley, Morrison, Foulds Subs (not used) Griffiths, Nixon
Referee: Luis Griffiths Attendance: 82