by Robert Lee · 09/11/2017
Friday 10 November 2017, NWCFL Premier Division
West v Irlam
Brookburn Road, M21 8FE
£5 adults, £3 concessions, free for under-12s accompanied by an adult
West look for their first league points in five games as they take on Irlam under the Friday night lights.
A wretched run of form since the 3-1 win at Winsford United on 14th October has seen West slide to 9th in the Premier Division table, but Steve Settle will take heart from an improved showing against NPL Premier Division side Lancaster City in Tuesday’s Lancashire Challenge Trophy exit.
The match continues a recent tradition of Friday night meetings between the sides – both teams won away last season, but Irlam claimed a 3-0 win at Silver Street at the start of September.
|Form (all competitions)
|Tom Bailey (16)
|Top scorer (all competitions)
|Jordan Icely (10)
|West v Irlam (NWCFL era): P5, W2, D1, L2, F11, A8
Inconsistency has hampered Irlam’s bid to build on last season’s 8th place – a stretch of one defeat in six over September and early October was immediately followed by their current run of two wins in seven. But as might befit a team originally established as the Mitchell Shackleton engineering side, they have specialised in throwing spanners in various works. They handed West their first defeat of the season in September, became only the second team to beat Runcorn Linnets in October, and last week they even had the temerity to take a half-time lead against table-topping Runcorn Town before eventually falling to a 3-2 defeat.
Any hopes of recording another top-half finish this year are likely to be built around one of the league’s meanest defences. Of the sides to have played 13 games or more, only the top three – the two Runcorn sides and Hanley Town – have conceded fewer goals. But as West discovered to their cost earlier this season, Irlam also carry a threat up front. Jordan Icely didn’t score in that September meeting, but the headline-writer’s dream has ten goals this season, including two October hat-tricks against Barnton and Sandbach United.
Irlam coasted to victory against a tepid West side who registered their first blank of the season. Nathan Perry opened the scoring early on, before a late Tim Kinsella double added the gloss.