Preview: Irlam vs West, Friday 1 September

Irlam vs West Didsbury & Chorlton
North West Counties Football League, Premier Division
Friday 1st September, 7:45pm

Admission: £5 / £3 / Under 11s free

Address: Silver Street, Irlam, M44 6JJ (Google Maps)

West will be hoping to avoid a Bank Holiday hangover as Steve Settle takes his team to Salford in what is sure to be a tough test as the September schedule begins in earnest.

Having remained unbeaten in the league up until last weekend, West passed two tests against promotion hopefuls Congleton Town and Runcorn Linnets. Having travelled to the former on Saturday and securing an excellent 3-0 victory, Bank Holiday Monday saw West put in one of their most memorable performances in recent times to soundly beat Linnets 4-0. With six point taken from the two games, and other results going our way, West began the working week sitting atop the NWCFL – albeit with others still having games to play. Being first so early on in the campaign will quickly be forgotten if upcoming performances don’t match those that have gone before them, however.

Having played relatively little in the opening few games on the season due to a combination of tactical changes going into games and West red cards on the pitch limiting chances from the bench, striker Saul Henderson will be hoping that his hat-trick against Linnets will be enough to cement a position in the starting XI. Elsewhere, Gary Lilley’s man of the match winning exploits in the same tie make the battle for a place at the base of midfield all the more fierce: Mark Rogers and Daryl Weston both brilliant filled the same role in the opening games before earning suspensions, while Josh Tinker stepped up from his usual position at full back to put in the best performance on the park against Congleton last Saturday.

This will be the first game of Richmond Botchey’s three game suspension from the straight red picked up against 1874 Northwich – unavailable for selection last Monday, his left back space was filled by new recruit Harry Hagon – but that aside, West will have a full squad to pick from.

Hosts Irlam currently sit 15th in the NWCFL, having experienced a tough start to their league campaign. Playing City of Liverpool away on the opening day of the season was never going to be the easiest task, and so it proved with a 5-0 defeat leaving Irlam boss Michael Dodd with a lot to think about. They bounced back to draw 1 -1 away at Runcorn Linnets, before putting Squires Gate to the sword 4-0 in their opening home game of the campaign last Saturday. They were unable to add build on that strong performance on Tuesday, with AFC travelling to Silver Street and leaving with a 2-0 victory and 3 points that the home team would’ve surely been hoping would’ve remained in Salford.

Having finished last season in 7th place, Irlam will be looking to put aside a shaky start a build towards what is sure to be another great NWCFL season for them – although West will be doing all they can to make sure that the club’s early struggles continue for at least one more game. The equivalent fixture last season – also played on a Friday night – ended in a 6-0 victory for West; the bragging rights were short lived, though, as a month later Irlam came to Brookburn Road and secured a well deserved 2-1 win.

The most memorable game between the two – at least from a West perspective – came on the final day of the 2012/13 campaign. With West needing a win to secure promotion from the NWCFL First Division, Irlam were holding on for a 2-2 draw before a Cal Jones goal at the death secured a win, and promotion to the Premier Division, for Chorlton.


Looking for a lift to the game, or able to provide a space to another West fan looking to make the trip? Find out more about our new car share scheme here:

Please be aware that roadworks on the Barton stretch and Salford Rugby also playing would mean that you will need to build up to 40 mins extra travelling time into your schedule to get into Irlam.

Last season

Irlam 0 – 6 (Ash Woods, Ben Woods, Shaw, Poizer 2, Kay) West
Friday 2 September 2016

West enjoyed a stellar return to Friday night football with a 6-0 win away to top of the table Irlam at Silver Street. West manager Steve Settle made two changes from the side that lost at home to Bootle in mid-week as Dean Williams and Matty Kay returned to the starting line up in place of Hayden Buckley-Smith and Ben Steer. There was a reshuffle at the back as Martyn Andrews dropped into defence, Scott Mason moved to right back as Lee Gavin was restored to the midfield. Read More

West (Woods) 1 – 2 Irlam
Friday 7 October 2016

It was a week to forget for West as they collapsed to their third straight home defeat on a night that was ultimately overshadowed by Lee Gavin suffering a dislocated shoulder.

Ahead of kick off, West were boosted by the return of Richmond Botchey and Scott Mason to the starting line up with the later playing against his former club. With the injury crisis refusing to relent however, Steve Settle named himself and Head Coach Steve Brockley on the bench. Read More

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