SATURDAY 14TH MARCH 2020
North West Counties Premier Division
IRLAM FC 4 Whitchurch Alport 2
Icely at the double as Irlam fly past Alport
A virtuoso performance by two goal Irlam striker Jordan Icely , aided with a goal apiece from Oscar Campbell and Callum Nicholas would effectively blow away Shropshire side Whitchurch Alport with just 20 minutes gone, played out in front of a large audience at the Ambitek Stadium. The win consolidates Irlam's current position in 8th in the Noreth West Counties Premier Division.
A disastrous start from an all at sea Whitchurch Alport defence handed a four goal start to an Irlam side that would become a little more generous to the visitors in the second period, although by that stage the damage had long since been done. Oscar Campbell gave the Irlam a sixth minute lead and a double from Jordan Icely followed by a quickfire Callum Nicholas strike saw Irlam four nil up inside 20 minutes! Nicholas was unfortunate not to double his tally on the day,striking the upright with just the keeper to beat as Irlam poured the pressure on a disorganised Alport defence. Atkinson in the Alport goal was basically a bystander as the ball flashed past him four times,cruelly exposed for each of the goals, although it would be noted that the quality of Irlam's goals were certainly out of the top drawer.Credit where credit is due, Irlam’s finishing was exemplary, Campbell opened the scoring, breaking through a dangerously high defensive line before curling the ball around Atkinson for the first. Icely was next up as the Irlam forward lobbed the second Irlam goal with 15 mins gone,Atkinson out of position and off his line, giving Icely the option to lift the ball skilfully into the net.Three minutes later and Icely would strike again, in a similar position to his first goal, Icely again lifted the ball over Atkinson for his second goal of the game,equally precise and from a lot further out with the Whitchurch defenders too slow to react . Within 60 seconds of the restart a deflected slot from Nicholas sailed over Atkinson and Alport looked like they were facing an impossible task with 70 minutes still to play. At the other end Tom Russell in the Irlam goal made two saves in quick succession to deny Dan Skelton and Ryan Allcock who both fizzed in goal bound efforts from outside the box. The closest Alport would come was a Dylan Bath effort for the visitors, a decent chance that would flash just wide of the Irlam goal.
The second period began, with Alport, as expected taking the game to Irlam as they looked to give their decent travelling support something to cheer about. A couple of early shots, one saved by Russell and one over the bar signalled the away teams intention as the visitors started brightly. Russell’s best stop came as he flew across goal to push Ellis’ 25 yard strike over the bar and two minutes later Alport found the side netting as the visitors grew into the game. Irlam were guilty of switching off from an Alport corner as Dickin got a goal back for the visitors, unmarked at the far post to volley home on 65 minutes. Icely was nearly in again soon after, Atkinson with a brave save at the Irlam forwards feet with 20 minutes remaining. Alport continued to push Irlam back at times,a comeback unlikely but not for want of trying. On 80 minutes Alport would gain a second goal, Alports Danny Lokko quickest of the mark as the Crewe Alexandra loanee rounded Russell before firing home with 10 minutes left to play to make it 4-2.
The final minutes of the game produced an inevitable stalemate as Irlam saw the game out for what would be a comfortable win despite the visitors spirited attempts in the second period.