A typical end to end affair, similar to so many games over recent season between the two sides, would end with a storming 4-2 victory for IRLAM over a decent 1874 side who went into the game undefeated since October 3rd.
Within the first 6 mins IRLAM had a couple of half chances, Foulds seeing just enough of a gap to bend his shot just wide of the 1874 goal, whilst minutes later Boland was in on goal, only for the ball to drop away from him, just enough for the chance to be lost.
It was an even affair early on though, 1874 nearly in at the far post as the Irlam defence did their job.
The ever stiffening breeze would be a problem all afternoon for the players, but it played no part in the opener, 1874's Connor and Hare doubling up down Irlam's right side before delivering a sweeping cross into the Irlam area for Kennerley to dispatch and put the home side in front on 25 mins.
Irlam responded well, Buckley slotting Perry in for a shot on goal that ultimately lacked power as the chance went begging, but on 35 mins the blues were back in the game. Irlam no7 Perry, switching wings momentarily, drove down the left side before pulling the ball back to Buckley, the Irlam no 9 finishing with a low strike at the near post that gave the young 1874 keeper Rigby no chance as the scores were evened up.
As the game headed toward the break, the only chance of note came from a quick Morrison free kick down the left which led to a corner, ultimately cleared away as the teams went in at the break all square.
HT 1874 NORTHWICH 1 IRLAM FC 1
The second period began with a searing run and shot from Irlam skipper Charlie Doyle, Doyle setting the standard for what needed to be a big 2nd half for Irlam. Minutes later Doyle would be involved again, this time turning provider as he slipped Perry through for a great chance to take the lead, the Irlam winger cursing himself as his shot lacked the power to get by Rigby in the home goal.
As the game wore on, gaps began to appear around the middle of the park, a perfect opportunity for Doyle as the Irlam skipper again drove at the 1874 defence as Irlam went in search of the lead as the big pitch at the Barton Stadium started to suit Irlam's running style.
On 66 mins, the introduction of Pollitt and Eyres would prove to be significant, and shortly after Pollitt would strike, a great move from Irlam, pass after pass moving forward up the pitch that had the home side chasing shadows before the final ball fell to Pollitt, the in form striker firing home to take a 2-1 lead.
The lead however would last only minutes as 1874's Mike Koral picked up a ball down Irlam's left side before hitting a low drive through the Irlam defence and under White in the Irlam goal to again square the game at 2-2.
Despite the setback, it felt like the tide was turning Irlam's way, and a opportunistic shot by Buckley, the Irlam no9 volleying goalwards, saw the ball strike both posts before hitting 1874 keeper Rigby and crossing the line, a tough one to take for the young keeper as Irlam took the lead.
Heads went down in the 1874 team as the game went into the final 10 minutes, and Irlam would finish the job superbly, three individual players who had performed so well in their own right. would combine to make it 4-2. Buckley, holding up the ball before laying it into the path of Pollitt, the Irlam forward firing a low cross in to find Perry at the far post, the Irlam no 7 firing home Irlam's fourth to complete an excellent afternoon from all the Irlam players and a big 3 points on the road.
FT 1874 NORTHWICH 2 IRLAM FC 4
Updated 11:57 - 13 Jan 2019 by IRLAM FC