by Matthew Durrant · 01/09/2017
After a strong Bank Holiday weekend showing, West fell to their first loss of the season at Irlam.
In a wild first 5 minutes, West failed to get settled – which Irlam took full advantage of. Tinker took an early knock, which Irlam’s 11 exploited several times before finding himself free in the box and smashing away with 6 minutes gone.
With Weston on for the injured Tinker, West changed shape and got more into the game – but still couldn’t come into their own. A bitty first half followed, with Irlam still having the better of it as they went in 1-0 up.
In the second half, West pressed further, but still couldn’t find a cutting edge. Lilley came closest for West, finding his range from 30 yards and hitting the underside of the bar: the referee deemed it to not fall over the line.
Henderson and Evangelinos came off for Mendes Gomes and Steer as West tried to force an equaliser – but Irlam soaked up pressure easily. Sucker punches came on the counter – a second goal on the break meant West went all out attack. With little interest in defending, Irlam exploited the gaps in the defence to add a third.
A well warned victory for Irlam – but West will feel upset not to have imposed themselves on the game in any meaningful way. Next up: AFC Blackpool in the FA Vase.