BOOTLE FC 0 IRLAM FC 0
By IRLAM FC
IRLAM pass an early examination
A tough opening away fixture against Bootle proved to be a successful afternoon for IRLAM, a strong performance on the day resulting in a point that could so easily have been three.
On a hot afternoon, a decent crowd watched a game of contrasting styles, IRLAM'S quick passing game countered by Bootle's wide running game saw both sides fashion chances to take the initiative.
Boland had the first real chance for IRLAM on ten mins, a turn and shot that would just rise over the Bootle bar, an effort that IRLAM's Cassell would replicate 10 mins later with the same result as the game remained goalless.
The game would swing back and forth through the midfield, Doyle and Boland working hard to just about gain the upper hand in a tight midfield. Eyres would get a chance on goal on 40 mins, the Irlam midfielder heading into the Bootle keepers hands as the half drew to a close.
Last chance of the half would fall to Bootle as White was off his line quick in the Irlam goal to smother a decent chance for the home club.
The second period saw IRLAM gain a slight advantage in terms of possession, a rasping shot from Connor Martin was tipped over the Bootle goal by the fingertips of keeper Ryan Jones in the home goal.
Up top for Irlam, Foulds was leading the line magnificently, rushing the Bootle defence with his constant pressing, a tactic that certainly unsettled the home side.
On the hour mark and IRLAM were in front of the home sides goal again, a couple of shots fired in were ably defended by a determined Bootle defence. Irlam made their first change on the hour, Perry replacing the hard working Pollitt for a like for like swap down the right wing.
Josh Nixon was next to enter the game, Danny Eyres making way after an hour of hard work from the Irlam midfielder.
On 72 minutes, IRLAM had centre half Ryan Ledson to thank as a short ball back to White in the Irlam goal was pounced on for a certain Bootle opener, only for Ledson to sweep the ball away with a perfect challenge.
The last 20 mins promised much for Irlam as a host of chances went begging. Perry cut inside his full back to fire into the keepers midriff, whilst Irlam centre half Cassell could only head over from a corner as the tension built.
At the other end, Bootle spurned a chance as they fired wide, but Irlam continued to press.
Perry again fired into the area, this time to the near post, a cross that on any other day could have gone in, but Bootle held firm. On 85 mins Martin again unleashed a fierce strike but again Jones was equal to it in the Bootle goal.
On the final whistle the game remained goalless, but nobody at the TDP Stadium could argue that they didn't get their moneys worth in terms of entertainment.
MOM : HAYDN FOULDS
IRLAM FC next travel to Winsford UTD next Saturday (11th) as they embark upon their FA Cup journey.