North West Counties League

Premier Division

Whitchurch Alport 1

Irlam 1

A SEAN Griffiths header 10 minutes from time earned Alport a precious point and preserved their unbeaten home record against a very decent Irlam side at Yockings Park.

The Reds had trailed since the 29th minute when Jordan Iceley slotted home after rounding home keeper Krystian Burzinski. Alport looked leggy on a heavy pitch particularly in the first half and the visitors were full value for their half-time lead.

The crowd perhaps expected Whitchurch to come out of the traps all guns blazing at the start of the second half, but Irlam continued to control the match.

Indeed, it was the away side who should have gone two up when Liam Pollitt crossed invitingly for Jordan Southworth who was in acres of space just 8 yards from goal.

But the winger got it horribly wrong and volleyed high and wide with Burzinski and the rest of his teammates breathing a huge sigh of relief.

Had they doubled their advantage within two minutes of the restart, it would have been an uphill battle for Alport but with the lead a slender one the hosts remained in the contest. Burzinski was certainly the busier of the two goalkeepers and midway through the second half he denied Marcus Perry as Irlam continued to look menacing with a busy front three.

Luke Goddard’s men had a fantastic bench and when you have the quality with the likes of Steve Jones, Alex Hughes and Joe Cuff in your armoury, they can effect change and that’s exactly what happened. All of a sudden the home team seemed to finally realise the importance of the match and the 218 crowd roared them on.

A minute before Griffiths’ equaliser, Burzinski came out on top again with Southworth the man denied.

The goal the home supporters craved duly arrived with Griffiths all alone 10 yards from goal and he made no mistake with a firm header.

Cuff belted a left foot shot over-the-top but it would have been daylight robbery had the red men snatched a winner, but it was a very valuable point against a promotion rival.