MARCH 16TH 1985

Irlam Town 2 Great Harwood Town 1


GREAT HARWOOD TOWN’S hopes of promotion from the North West Counties Second Division suffered another severe blow away to leaders Irlam Town on Saturday-and that latest defeat could well prove to be the fatal blow to Town’s ambitions of First Division football next season.
It was their third defeat at the hands of a set of promotion rivals in the space of 12 days, following setbacks at home to Ashton United and Wren Rovers and really, with so many other sides seemingly better equipped, in the way of points and games remaining, to finish in a promotion place, it seems it is going to take something approaching a miracle for Harwood to gain promotion now. In three vital games against promotion rivals, Town have immerged as second best and on Saturday Irlam looked well worthy of their current position at the top of the Second Division table, although Town admittedly weren’t that far behind in standard.
The vital difference was that Irlam-who became the second side to complete the double over Harwood this season-defended well enough to restrict Town to little more than the odd scoring opportunity.
Two goals in the space of six minutes in the first half-the first somewhat controversial because it seemed scorer Brian Griffin was offside at the time-put Irlam in a strong position and Harwood could only manage to pull a single goal back, through a John Bowman penalty, awarded for a foul on Phil Greenhalgh. Further bad news for Harwood was that Stuart Lally required stitches in an ankle injury sustained during the match, although he stayed on the field throughout the game.
Defender Alan Procter suffered a leg strain and was replaced 20 minutes from time by Dave Eastwood, with Kevin Dobson dropping back into defence from midfield.

Harwood’s line up was: Stephenson, Vercoe, Martin, Procter (sub. Eastwood), Clayton, Dobson, Foy, Lally, Bowman, Marren, Greenhalgh.

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©2009 J Fenton