Abbey Hey Youth 1 - 5 Irlam FC U18's
By J Main
Young players make it 11 straight wins....
Irlam FC U18's stretched their unbeaten record to 12 games and 11 straight wins with a 5-1 win away to Abbey Hey. There were 9 changes to the starting line up from the Chester FC FA Youth Cup on the 9th October highlighting the quality and strength of the current squad.
Irlam started the better of the two teams and should have been two (2) goals up within 10 minutes, Orrell and Martin failing to take a chance. Just after the ten (10) minute mark Main-Quinn beat his man but opted to cross when the shot was arguably the better option. The hosts were competitive in midfield and made life difficult for Irlam to get their passing to the level they are accustomed with, but on 15 minutes Martin found Orrell who was able to slip his man and finish past the Abbey Hey keeper to put Irlam 1-0 up. Irlam continued to have the better possession but were unable to find the right quality in the final third with the Abbey Hey keeper pulling off a number of good saves, whilst the hosts were limited to the occasional counter attack, the abbey Hey No7 the pick of the host team. With the interval approaching a long clearance from the Abbey Hey keeper eluded both McCann and Kpohomouh and allowed the Abbey Hey No9 to run through unopposed to lift the ball over the advancing Bellingham in the Irlam goal to level the scores.
A scrappy start to the second half saw a number of changes made by Irlam FC, Illidge, Main & Cassell introduced before the hour mark. The changes sparked some urgency and cutting edge in to the Irlam attack and Martin was the recipient of a through ball from Lee which enabled the Irlam striker to take the ball round the Abbey defense and although it seemed he was impeded stayed on his feet to smash the ball into the net and Irlam into the lead. From this moment it was all Irlam, Main, Cassell linking brilliantly on a couple of occasions and Cassell adding to the Irlam lead shortly after. Another ball through from Lee which Cassell controlled, raced clear and finished calmly past the on coming keeper, Irlam 3-1 up. Main was next to add to the score, a flick into his path from Martin saw the Irlam striker race away from the chasing full-back and finish left footed across the keeper to make it 4-1. With minutes to go, a corner from Main was swung into the penalty area, Lee challenged for the ball with a defender with the ball going out over the bar for what was though to be another corner, however, the referee surprised everyone by pointing to the spot for a penalty, having witnessed a shirt pull on Illidge. Illidge himself took the spot kick and put it low to the keepers left side to make it 5-1 to Irlam. The whistle went for full-time shortly after, Irlam deserved winners.