However, once again an overnight cold snap was playing havoc with the pitches and there was a wee bit of doubt as to whether this game would be on. There were a couple of hard spots on the Silver Street pitch but after an inspection, they were nothing that concerned the officials too much, so the game was given the thumbs up.
Due to the cold weather and various 'away' cup draws, this was, unbelieveably, Irlam's first home game since October 31st 2009!! In fact, very little football has been played in the North West Counties League during December and January, so although the league positions show Irlam 4th and Wigan 6th, there are so many 'games in hand' that these positions will change drastically in the coming weeks.
This is both teams second season in the NWCL, both having been promoted from the Manchester Premier League in 2008. Irlam finished 8th last season, whilst Wigan finished in 5th postion.
On a bitterly cold afternoon, this was an entertaining game between two battling sides. Both teams created plenty of chances but finishing was woeful. Irlam probably had the better of the overall play, midfielder Paul Jones was running the show, and they carved out the better chances. I lost count of the one-on-ones they had but wasted. It was ultimately two one-on-ones that sealed the game Darren Green the first after 58 minutes, though his tame shot was palmed by 'keeper Jay Foulds and just about squirmed into the net. The second was in stoppage time at the end when substitute Matty Williams raced through and slotted through Foulds' legs.
Silver Street is a very basic set-up (see photos) but the welcome from the club officials was incredibly friendly. Another cracking day out and well worth the £4 entrance fee!