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League Challenge Cup Final

  • 08/05/17
  • By Joe Davies
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Match Report from Chester FC

Irlam complete their second trophy in the hunt for a season treble, winning the Cheshire U21 County Football League Challenge Cup Final after a penalty shoot out against Premier Division Rivals St Helens Town at the Lookers Vauxhall Stadium.

Irlam kept the ball well in the opening spell of the game and had an early chance John Main's shot was blocked Walsh, the St Helens Town goalstopper. They continued to dominate the first 15 minutes before being denied a penalty when Xavier went down in the box for the Premier League winners.

Although Irlam saw much of the ball, they failed to take advantage of it with Bolands free-kick bringing out the best in Walsh to make another important save. Boland then missed a chance from 25 yards out which was well wide of the St Helens goal.

However St Helens improved as the game went on and missed a great chance through Dearden early on in the second half, before another chance was blazed over by Fisher who hit the ball inside the box but couldn't keep it on target as St Helens grew in confidence into the game.

The deadlock was broken when St Helens took the lead in the 75th minute when sub Dearden went through in on goal and fired low in to the bottom corner passed Irlam keeper White.

Although with 10 minutes to go the scores were even, Matty Boland was able to convert a penalty convincingly after Xavier's penalty claim was this time rewarded by the referee to take the game into the extra time.

Extra time took a dramatic change with less than 5 minutes gone when St Helens were reduced to ten men, a red card for a poor challenge from Calum McCarthy.

St Helens did well under the pressure of being a man lighter, goalscorer Boland went closest in Extra time striking the bar from long distance, and another Walsh save denied Icely's shot late on for Town.

Irlam won the game 3-1 on penalties, after goalkeeper White played his part in the shoot-out, by helping his aside go ahead in the shoot-out with his goalkeeping attributes, he then stepped up and scored the winner for Irlam.

They now face Southport at Vauxhall Motors on Sunday morning as they aim to complete a season treble