Bears come unstuck at Irlam
The Bears went into this game on the back of a 7 game undefeated run, whilst Irlam were undefeated in 6 games.
The game started in a lively manner and the Bears almost opened the scoring in the opening minutes. Bevan Burey played a ball to Mini Adegbenro just inside the box, he wriggled around a defender, turned and hit a lovely shot which brought out a fine save from White the home keeper, whose fingertip save turned the ball over the bar.
Irlam made a number of strong runs at the Bears goal and Craig Ellison had to be sharp to keep out a couple of low shots. A home free kick to the left of the Bears box was curled In but Tom Stephens was on hand to head it out for a corner. The ball was played in from the corner and Cassell headed over when well placed.
The Bears goal was finally breached on 20 minutes. Cassell played in a perfect pass to Perry, he pulled the ball down, took two touches and hammered it past Ellison, giving him no chance. It was almost 2 on the half hour, when a free kick just on the edge of the Bears box was deflected out for a corner.
The Bears almost equalised when a free kick was played into the Irlam box, the defender got a head to it, but straight onto Dan Cope’s head and the ball rebounded just wide of the post.
The Bears did up the ante and they won a couple of corners in quick succession but could not capitalise. Anthony Griffith was on hand inside the Bears box with a timely tackle to block another home attack.
Half Time Irlam 1-0 Congleton Town
Five minutes into the second half Ellison made a superb save when Stewart charged at him but could not beat the Bears custodian. A couple of long range efforts from the Bears saw shots both high and wide. It was Irlam again coming close on the hour when Boland hit a thunder strike which crashed off the Bears crossbar and away.
The Bears made a triple sub on 70 mins, with Dean Warburton, John Main and Steve Foster coming on. Warburton in particular brought added Bears pressure as he battled in midfield and looked to spread the ball around. Foster almost got onto the end of one Warburton/Main combination, but the ball just eluded him.
It was not looking like the Bears day as they struggled to create any meaningful chances. Adegbenro made a good run but fired into the side netting and Main got his head to a Stephens cross but put it straight at the keeper. The final minutes saw lots of Bears pressure and in the dying seconds they won a free kick out on the left. Warburton curled it in, the ball deflected off a defender and Morris at the back post could only head the ball inches wide.
The final whistle brought an end to the Bears winning run and they must now look to two huge games in the next seven days. First a trip to Winsford on Monday night and then they host their title rivals City of Liverpool next Saturday.
Team: Ellison, Stephens, Peters, Ryder, Morris, Griffith, Burey (Warburton), Schofield, Henderson (Main), Cope (Foster), Adegbenro.
Unused: Disney, Williams