Irlam 1-0 1874 Northwich

IRLAM ended a wait to beat 1874 Northwich on their own pitch thanks to Jordan Buckley’s first-half goal.

The attacker collected a loose ball on the left before cutting inside and drilling a shot out of goalkeeper Tony Aghayere’s reach to complete a North West Counties League double over their guests.

They had prevailed 4-2 at Barton Stadium back in January.

The visitors had started a disjointed encounter, in which both teams surrendered possession cheaply, more brightly than their opponents.

Taylor Kennerley’s header prompted Irlam custodian Lee White to save smartly inside five minutes before turning provider for Callum Gardner with a low cross that his sliding teammate could not redirect into the net.

Buckley’s goal followed and a minute later he tried to repeat the trick only for Aghayere to block.

Northwich’s number one reacted well to prevent Irlam’s front man from converting at a set-piece too.

At the other end, Michael Koral twice sent efforts off-target before Matthew Woolley’s attempt from a corner was smuggled off the line.

Sam Hind was thwarted too by a last-ditch tackle when he bore down on goal.

Aghayere was equal to a shot from Matt Boland, and five minutes before the break tipped a long-range effort over the bar from the same player.

There was little by way of goalmouth action in the second-half until Aghayere produced his best to thwart Ryan Ledson after he connected with a flag-kick on 80 minutes.

Mark Jones’ attempt was diverted to safety by White before Irlam countered from the resulting corner and Buckley’s chipped shot sailed high over the crossbar.

Irlam | White (GK), Stewart, Bolton, Doyle, Ledson (Farrelly 75), Cassell, Perry, Morrison, Buckley, Boland, Pollitt Subs not used Griffiths, Foulds Goal Buckley 19

1874 | Aghayere (GK), Hind, Lee Jackson, Pritchard, Meadowcroft (Russell 75), Jones, Gardner (Parker 69), Matthew Woolley (Hare 63), Koral, Smith, Kennerley Subs not used Ormrod, Johnstone

Referee Liam Corrigan

Attendance 178

Match report by Garry Clarke