MATCH REPORT | West 0-1 Irlam
Tuesday 23rd October 2018, NWCFL Premier Division
Irlam 1 (Eyres 15)
Daniel Eyres’ first-half goal was enough to condemn West to another damaging defeat on a frustrating night at Brookburn Road.
West huffed and puffed almost from the moment Eyres swept a low cross past Marcus Burgess in the 15th minute, but Irlam’s house remained upright as the home side’s lack of end product was laid painfully bare.
Gibraltar forward Jamie Coombes made his West debut in a nominative front three alongside Danny McLaughlin and Saul Henderson, but visiting keeper Lee White was barely called into action before West filled the box in a desperate last five minutes. Ultimately, Irlam saw the game out comfortably to claim three points that hoist the visitors into mid-table.
The only goal of the game was maddening in its simplicity – Irlam had already served notice of their threat on the wings in the opening quarter of an hour, but they were warnings West failed to heed as an unmarked Eyres finished emphatically past Burgess.
Irlam almost repeated the trick before half time and only wayward finishing prevented them from holding a greater advantage at the break. At the other end, it took until the stroke of half time for West to muster a meaningful shot at goal – McLaughlin firing narrowly over from the edge of the box after Henderson’s knock-down.
The visitors began the second half the stronger – Burgess was called into a smart save with his feet as Irlam broke into the box – but were soon happy to sit back and allow West to dominate possession. Thought most of the second period took place in the Irlam half, West struggled to eke out even half-chances – Henderson prodded straight at White from a Josh Tinker cross before Ben Woods was narrowly off-target with a pair of long-range efforts.
Stand-in manager Matty Kay introduced Abel Tsegaye just after the hour in an attempt to inject more pace into the West attack, but the visitors were resolute and could have sealed the game on the break when a lobbed effort drifted narrowly over the bar.
It wasn’t until the final few minutes that West were able to launch a raid on the Irlam goal. Tsegaye and Henderson both had shots from close range smuggled away before a flurry of corners prompted Burgess to join the attack. However, White comfortably caught the last of Scott Mason’s deliveries as West slipped to a defeat that leaves them marooned in the Premier League’s bottom three.
West: Burgess, Tinker, Woods, Roberts, Eckersley, Potts, Langford, S. Mason, Henderson, McLaughlin, Coombes (Tsegaye 66). Not used: Gavin, Eiselt, Black, Kay.