2 weeks ago
By warren dodd
Unstoppable IRLAM take the three points under the Friday night lights
IRLAM FC displayed a scintillating display on Friday evening as they kicked off the weekends Hallmark Premier Division fixtures with a 3-0 defeat of West Didsbury and Chorlton. The win moved IRLAM up to 10th spot in the early league standings.
With a good crowd assembled for Friday night under the lights at the Ambitek Stadium, and IRLAM manager Michael Dodd welcoming back skipper Steve Mills and Liam Morrison back into the team meant the home side arguably had their strongest side out so far this season
A disappointing 2-0 defeat against AFC Liverpool on the Tuesday night, Irlam going down to 10 men after just 15 minutes was soon forgotten as Irlam were out of the blocks the quickest.
After just 2 minutes a whipped in IRLAM corner was met by a thundering header from IRLAM'S Ryan Ledson, off the underside of the bar and away to safety. Minutes later, full back Jacob Holt went on a raid all of his own before flashing a low drive across the visitors goal, a sign of trouble to come down West’s right flank.
The game only had to wait a couple more minutes before Irlam would open the scoring; a strong run from Marcus Perry led to the Irlam no11 cutting inside his marker before rifling home an unstoppable shot from a tight angle that was past Ashley in the West goal before he could react.
Up front for the visitors, in form West striker Bailey was feeding off half chances, a ball fed through to him was smothered by IRLAM keeper White, followed soon after by an intercepted back pass that the no9 couldn’t get a decent connection on.
At the other end, Irlam’s Joe Icely was nearly in at the near post, flicking the ball just wide with no room to spare. A couple of long range shots from the visitors came to nothing, Henderson and Lilley both wide of the mark as the visitors searched for a way back into the game.
As the half drew to a close, two quick fire chances for Irlam, Holt and Illidge were both denied by Ashley in the West goal. West countered on the stroke of half time as Bailey was again put through but was thwarted as the ball wouldn’t drop in time for him. On the death, IRLAM would go in fortunate to have their one goal lead intact as Matty Kay headed inches wide for the visitors.
HT IRLAM FC 1 WEST DIDSBURY FC 0
The action continued as soon as play resumed, Mooney doing enough to get behind the West defence only to see the ball evade him at the last second. Soon after the action swung the other way, West’s Evangelinos cutting a ball back into the IRLAM area, hurriedly cleared out of danger as Bailey looked to pounce on a loose ball. Matty Kay got into a good position for the visitors, but his volley lacked power and was collected by White in the Irlam goal.
On 61 minutes, IRLAM full back Harewood worked hard to win the ball from a couple of West players before releasing Illidge, the IRLAM no8 flashing his shot goalwards, Ashley spilling it in the West goal before quickly recovering.
The moment of the match for West came via skipper Gary Lilley, the midfielder unleashing a magnificent strike from 25 yards that struck the underside of the IRLAM bar before landing safely in Whites hands.
With possession changing hands quickly, IRLAM had a header cleared off the line, whilst at the other end Marcus Perry sprung the offside trap to go one on one with the keeper, only for the ball to take a bobble as the winger struck it, a seemingly easy chance going over the bar.
As the game entered the last ten minutes, tonight would prove not to be the visitor’s night and a high line going in search of the equaliser would be exposed on two occasions.
A lifted ball into the path of Irlam striker Tim Kinsella gave the striker virtually half a pitch to run into before striking unchallenged, cleanly past a stranded Ashley to make it 2-0.
With the visitors given no choice but to push high, it was Kinsella again who raced through in carbon copy fashion to latch onto a through ball and fire confidently past a frustrated Ashley in the visitors goal.
The final whistle sounded to great applause by the home support, and showed the strength of IRLAM’S side as they prepare for an FA Vase trip to nearby Atherton LR next Saturday
FULL TIME IRLAM FC 3 WEST DIDSBURY AND CHORLTON 0
Man of the match: ISSAC ILLIDGE
Updated 11:47 - 2 Sep 2017 by warren dodd