Amongst some excellent performances throughout the side on a wet an miserable afternoon at the RG 3 Stadium, Irlam forward Mwiya Malumo would be one to the brighten up the day with a superb hat-trick as Irlam ran out 5 -2 winners in the opening day fixture of a much delayed season. Max Bardsley-Rowe and Callum Nicholas were also on target as Irlam ended the day top of the Prem Division table.
The game would start , and continue in driving rain, tough for both teams, but after just 3 mins thoughts of the weather went away as Max Bardsley-Rowe stormed down the right side before cutting back an exquisite pass into the path of Callum Nicholas, the Irlam midfielder arriving on time to slot home the opener.
With 17 minutes gone, Irlam would add a second, Bardsley -Rowe involved again as the Irlam no7 picked up an inch perfect pass from Connor Martin before again whipping the ball in from the right, this time into the path of Mwiya Malumo, the Irlam forward opening his account for the first team with a well placed goal.
Thoughts of a Litherland collapse were soon brushed aside though as the visitors staged a strong fightback, and the 22nd minute would see Jack Riley emerge from a scrum of bodies in the Irlam area to fire home a crucial goal for the Remy. Five minute later and the visitors would draw level in fine style, Elliot Toner surprising the Irlam defence with a quick turn and curled in shot that found the top corner of Irlam keeper Lee White's goal.
As we entered the final action of the half, Malumo would certainly prove his worth to the team, the Irlam forward drifting inside from the left before whipping a low shot that moved away from the outstretched Remy keeper before hitting the back of the net for a 3-2 lead at the break.
The second period would begin in fine style for Irlam, as Malumo, again caught the visiting defence unaware as he bagged his third, a well deserved hat trick. A seemingly safe situation for the visitors looked to threaten nothing, but a quick change of pace by Malumo saw a shot that rifled into the bottom corner to give Irlam a 4-2 lead.
On the hour mark, Connor Martin would go inches short of goal as Irlam debutant substitute Martijn Smith whipped a perfect ball in from the left., a real let off for Remy.
However, Smith's earlier ball in from the left would prove a dress rehearsal for what would lead to Irlam's fifth of the day. Smith, collecting the ball down the left, spun off his marker, which got a round of applause on it's own, before curling a ball to the far post, Martin stretching for it at the far post would just miss out, but Bardsley -Rowe was on hand to slot home the fifth and cap an exciting afternoon for the Irlam no7 and get Irlam's campaign off to a flying start
photo courtesy of @nickgerrard