From the programme: a welcome to Irlam, and more

From the programme: a welcome to Irlam, and more

From the programme: a welcome to Irlam, and more

From the programme: a welcome to Irlam, and more

Taken from this evening's programme, available on the gate for £2.

Good evening and welcome to tonight’s Hallmark Security Premier Division game against our friends and neighbours from Irlam. We welcome their officials, players and supporters to Brookburn Road and we hope they enjoy our hospitality this evening.

A look at the league table sees Irlam surprisingly down in 17th place, one place and 3 points above ourselves, albeit with 2 games in hand. Their position is even more surprising given that their league record includes creditable draws at Bootle and City of Liverpool and a good draw at home to Silsden. Their cup form is even better with excellent FA Cup wins at Prescot Cables and Runcorn Town before they eventually  exited the Cup at Northern league Dunston, a result that was the first of a 6 game winless run. That run was ended 2 weeks ago with another excellent Cup win, this time in the FA Vase against NCEL side Handsworth Parramore. Their reward is a home tie against another NCEL side Hemsworth Miners Welfare on 3 November.

On Saturday Irlam, like ourselves, went out of the Macron Cup to a side from Division 1 South, in their case to Abbey Hulton Utd. In our case we suffered the bad fortune of losing on penalties at FC Oswestry Town after a 2-2 draw. The leisure centre where their ground is based must be unique in that it is shared by 3 teams and in fact all 3 were at home at the weekend. St Martins played on Friday night in the Macron Cup and, following our game with Oswestry on Saturday TNS of the Welsh league played on Saturday night. You would imagine that over the course of a season this could cause nightmares to the relevant fixtures secretaries, especially as TNS are sometimes required to rearrange kick off times to play games live on Welsh TV. Indeed when the Macron Cup draw was made we were originally told we would be kicking off at 6.30 on Saturday. It has to be said that the artificial pitch at The Venue is easily the best we have played on, hopefully it won’t deteriorate like some of the other ones we‘ve encountered. The leisure centre also contains a 10 pin bowling alley which our supporters were happy to take advantage of. Suitably lubricated they then provided loud and raucous backing to the team throughout the game. The bus journey home was equally lively and several new songs had their first airings.

Our last home game was a very poor 5-0 loss to Congleton and the less said about the performance the better. We now find ourselves in 18th place and we really need to start putting points on the board as soon as possible.

On the injury front there is yet more bad news as Ashley Leather, who was finally nearing full fitness,  has now dislocated the same shoulder again and will be out for another period. Having finally cut through the mountains of red tape to get international clearance for our Gibraltar pair Jack Sergeant and Jamie Coombes we were disappointed that they both managed to pick up injuries in their last game. Hopefully neither is too serious and they will be available soon.

Our next home game is this Saturday 27th October when we welcome City of Liverpool to Brookburn Road with a 3.00pm KO

Don’t forget our ever popular bonfire and fireworks display, which this year is on Sunday 4 November. Flyers advertising the event can be found in the clubhouse. This event is always enjoyable and well attended and hopefully we will have reasonable weather on the day.

Attendance is limited to 1,000 so don’t miss out!

Thank you for visiting Brookburn Road and have a safe journey home.