Not a Christmas cracker!!
By J Main
Irlam's bogey side....?
Irlam U18's were hoping to go into the Christmas break making December a month of victories...however, they were to have a frustrating afternoon against a spirited Hyde side. The youngsters had started the game brightly but after 10 mins the pace and accuracy normally associated with the Irlam players was missing, this would prove to be the pattern for the rest of the afternoon. That said, with better decisions made by Jordan, Williams, Main, Nixon and Martin, Irlam could have taken the lead albeit slightly against the run of play.
Part way through the first half Williams was replaced by Pollitt and shortly afterwards the visitors took the lead. This lifted the visitors further and for the final few minutes of the half Irlam were under strong pressure but but Aldred was in good form to deny the Hyde No10 on a couple of occasions.
The second half started with Irlam on the front foot, after 3 minutes a goal mouth scramble was prodded home from close range by Murphy to bring Irlam level. The goal failed to lift Irlam to any greater heights but instead the visitors were the team pushing and creating chances. Aldred again making 2 fantastic saves, one which saw the Irlam keeper out quickly to again deny the Hyde No10 with a great one on one save. The game drifted for the last 15 minutes with neither team looking likely to score until a speculative effort from Martin, 30 yards out looked to have won the game for Irlam but the ball bouncing agonizingly wide of the post with the Hyde keeper well beaten.
In all a fair result on a difficult day against a side the young Irlam players have failed to beat in 5 games making Hyde a bit of a bogey side for the Irlam youth players.
Irlam go into the Christmas break second in the league with a game in hand, through to the Semi final of the league cup, Quarter final of the Open and also having had a memorable run in the FA Youth Cup. It is fair to say the players have performed brilliantly in the first half of the season and will look forward to a successful second part in 2015.
Well done to every player in the squad, keep up the high standards.