So Blue

IRLAM 4 MAINE ROAD 1

Manchester Premier Cup Quarter Final

Sometimes things work out for a reason.

This game being postponed the evening before and put back 24 hours meant that I could attend. I ummed and aahed between this and my original choice, but the news that Mr and Mrs Fungalpunk and rljohnny were going to be in attendance swung my decision. Irlam it was.

So for just the third time in the last 12 months I was off to Silver Street. The last 2 had finished in defeat for the hosts. In fact I had to go back to September 2017 for my last home win for them, a 2-1 defeat of Parkgate from Rotherham way in the FA Vase. It was only a few months later that I last saw Maine Road win on their travels, a 4-0 thumping of Abbey Hey in December of the same year.

A place in the semi’s and a trip to FC United of Manchester awaited the victors, a decent reward for either of these teams and a few quid as a bonus too, so there was a fair bit to play for as we got underway.

At half-time, I was stood with the afore-mentioned folks discussing just how charmed the visitors goal had been. Irlam had been the better of the sides and had looked the more likely to score, but that had not taken into account the luck of O’Carroll in the visitors goal. It started with a clearance bouncing off an attacker straight into his arms. The half finished not longer after the woodwork had been struck for the second time. There had been a number of other chances. Though to be fair, Road had some too.

As we got back to the action John remarked that a mistake would lead to the opener. He was correct, with both of the goals scored just before the hour. Maine Road’s defence did their best Jamie Pollock impression to allow Perry put the ball in their net. 1-0. Feeling outdone, Irlam kindly gifted Coop an open goal for an almost immediate equaliser. 1-1.

So to the final third of the half, and 3 more goals that were awaiting us all. With penalties peering over the horizon, substitute Malumo showed a trick, beat his opponent and flicked the ball over O’Carroll with all the nonchalance of a Premier League showmen. Brilliant finish. 2-1.

Any hope Maine Road had of recalling those disappearing penalties were well and truly stamped on by Irlam’s Cassell. With 5 minutes remaining he scored with ease from the spot. 3-1. He added his second and the hosts fourth with a fine header from a corner as the clock struck 90. 4-1.

So as we all made our way home, massive thanks to John for the lift back to Urmston, I think the general consensus of opinion was that Irlam deserved to progress but the final score was a little unfair on the visitors.

Attendance: 95

Moment of the Match: Malumo’s goal. Well his finish. So cool. Taken with an ease that you rarely see.

Match Tunes: For You – Prince