HALLMARK SECURITY LEAGUE
IRLAM 1 AFC DARWEN 3
Darwen scored three classic goals as they came away with a win against a good Irlam side. Kallum Banks was back on the Darwen team sheet and Reece Malone moved up from the development squad to play his first senior game for the club.
The first chance for Irlam fell to Icely as he broke away and tried to chip Ben Proctor, with the Darwen keeper jumping high and just managing to deflect the ball with his fingertips.
The game went quiet until the first quarter arrived. Alex Ralph put a through ball to Karl Turner, and as Irlam goalminder Lee White advanced, the Darwen forward coolly chipped the ball over his head and into the net.
From the kick-off a good save by Proctor with his legs stopped an Irlam equaliser from Grimshaw, and ten minutes later, an Irlam penalty appeal for a trip on Icely was waved away by the referee.
After some sustained pressure it was the away side that increased their lead in the twenty ninth minute. Ralph and Turner set up Mohammed Nabeel on the right, who side footed a defender and then rounded White to slot the ball in the opposite corner.
In the aftermath of the goal, an Irlam defender twisted ankle ligaments when his foot got stuck in the mud, and the game was held up for over five minutes as he was teated, then stretchered off.
Irlam tried to break through before the interval, with Danny Greene hitting the bar, but Darwen survived with their lead intact.
Half Time: Irlam 0 AFC Darwen 2
The second half began with Irlam on the offensive and in the sixty seventh minute Ben Proctor had to save with his legs to deny Liam Morrison.
Darwen had been defending well until the seventieth minute when a high ball towards the Darwen box caused confusion between Adam Douglas and Ben Proctor. As they dithered, Steve Mills pounced to take the ball (possibly with a hand) and put it into an empty net.
As the game went into extra time, Irlam pushed up in attack, leaving them vulnerable at the back. Darwen exploited this when an Irlam free kick into the Darwen penalty area was recovered upfield, Alex Ralph beat a defender to put Liam Cole in the clear leaving Irlam keeper White totally exposed, and as he was well out of goal, Cole put a delightful chip over him and into the back of the net, sealing the match for the visitors.
Full Time: Irlam 1 AFC Darwen 3
GOALS AND TIMES:
Irlam: Mills (70)
AFC Darwen: Turner (15), Nabeel (29), Cole (90)
OPPONENTS CHOICE AS MAN OF THE MATCH:
Irlam: Danny Greene
AFC Darwen: Alex Ralph
YELLOW CARDS: Mills, Perry (Irlam), Lynch (AFC Darwen)
1 Lee White
2 Barry Lomas
3 Lewis Adams
4 Liam Bickett
5 Conor Braithwaite
6 Ryan Ledson
7 Lee Grimshaw
8 Liam Morrison
9 Steven Mlls
10 Danny Greene
11 Ryan Cox
S1 Richard Peters (replaced ??, 45+5 minutes)
S2 Marcus Perry (replaced Grimshaw, 56 minutes)
S3 Michael Tetteh
S4 John Main
S5 Callum McCarty (replaced Icely, 63 minutes)
1 Ben Proctor
2 Keith Wedge
3 Kallum Banks
4 Matthew Allen
5 Adam Douglas
6 Reece Malone
7 Alex Ralph
8 Jordan Scott
9 Karl Turner
10 Anthony Lynch
11 Mohammed Nabeel
12 Declan Cunliffe (replaced Nabeel, 65 minutes)
14 Daniel Russell (replaced Scott, 79 minutes)