1874 NORTHWICH’S inconsistency remains consistent.

They hoped to extend a winning run in the North West Counties League to three matches for the first time this season and instead Irlam protected their own record of never losing a game between the teams at Barton Stadium.

The visitors sounded a warning inside 60 seconds when goalkeeper Dane Rigby fielded a shot from Matthew Boland before Haydn Foulds’ effort from distance missed the target.

At the other end custodian Lee White saved from Matthew Woolley, covering at the heart of defence in the absence of suspended Jack Pritchard and injured Mark Jones.

Lee Jackson, making his first appearance since September, then saw his attempt turned away.

The hosts took the lead on 26 minutes when Taylor Kennerley converted from close-range after meeting Sam Hare’s cross.

A second almost followed when Callum Gardner’s shot scraped an upright after Paul Connor and Scott McGowan had combined on the right.

Marcus Perry ought to have scored when he ran clear only to shoot feebly at Rigby.

He did set up the visitors’ equaliser though, teeing up Jordan Buckley after pinching possession from Connor.

Both teams created chances in the second-half and Rigby thwarted Perry again at the end of a swift counter-attack by the visitors.

However Irlam were grateful to a defender who cleared off the line to prevent Gardner from restoring the home team’s lead.

Substitute Liam Pollitt put the away side in front with an angled shot before another replacement, Michael Koral, claimed his first goal in 1874’s colours to make it 2-2.

There was a stroke of fortune for Irlam when they moved in front again, Buckley’s volley striking one post and then the other before squirming over the line off Rigby as he attempted to recover.

The outcome was settled on 81 minutes when Pollitt served Perry and he left the goalkeeper with no chance.

Management duo Paul Bowyer and Wayne Goodison sent on 16-year-old attacker Kyle Phipps, recruited from Witton Albion, during the closing stages and he becomes the youngest player to have represented the club in a competitive fixture.

1874 | Rigby (GK), Connor, Lee Jackson, Matthew Woolley, Meadowcroft (Waite-Jackson 80), Irlam (Phipps 85), Gardner, Ormrod, McGowan, Hare, Kennerley (Koral 72) Subs not used Johnstone, Coates (GK) Goals Kennerley 26, Koral 74 Booked McGowan

Irlam | White (GK), Stewart, Amado, Doyle, Ledson, Braithwaite, Perry, Morrison, Buckley, Boland (Eyres 65), Foulds (Pollitt 65) Subs not used Griffiths, Jones, Nixon Goals Buckley 33, Pollitt 73, Rigby 78 (own goal), Perry 81 Booked Foulds, Morrison

Referee Leslie Sinclair

Attendance 245

Additional reporting by Garry Clarke