Burscough : Monks, Elms, Johnson, Middlehurst, Moran, Carnell ©, Riding, Pellegrini, Lawless, Boden, Korneliussen
Subs : McMahon, Barrow, Canache, Jones, Brodie
It was a hot day at the Community Ground on Saturday, but despite the heat the result of the game was in doubt until a couple of minutes from the end, when former Linnets striker Declan Daniels netted his second penalty of the afternoon to ensure the three points made their way to Manchester.
Burscough began the game well and a shot from Marcus Korneliussen went close after just four minutes, his low effort being palmed around the post by Irlam goalkeeper Lee White.
You could argue that Burscough were a little unlucky to go behind in the 14th minute, initially a move down the right wing resulted in a shot at goal that was blocked by a home defender, the ball finding its way to the far post where in acres of space Millen Brown had a very simple task in finding the net.
With the sun blazing down having to chase the game was not what Burscough had planned and for a while Irlam had more of the possession and on 25 minutes only a brave interception by Nathan Carnell saw off a Daniels shot.
Burscough gradually did better and on 37 minutes a good patient build up seeing a string of passes presented Will Riding with an opportunity from 20 yards that went just wide of the Irlam post.
Things got a bit temperamental in the five minutes before the interval, Burscough’s Danny Boden was shown a yellow card because of a foul, then a clash between Burscough’s Bradley Elms and Irlam’s Daniels was dealt with via a yellow card each.
It probably wasn’t a bad thing when the half-time whistle gave both teams the chance to have a cool drink and fifteen minutes out of the sun.
A couple of minutes after the restart Korneliussen was again thwarted by keeper White as Burscough threatened.
On 51 minutes it became a difficult task for the Linnets as referee Ciaran Williams awarded Irlam a penalty. From a distance a Brown shot was blocked by a Burscough defender and the visitors appealed loudly, whether Mr Williams was correct is unclear, but Daniels penalty went to Linnets goalkeeper Charlie Monks right to make it 2-0.
Within a minute Harry Middlehurst brought another save out of keeper White as Burscough reacted well.
On 63 minutes it was game on after an incisive move by Burscough. David Pellegrini put Korneliussen away down the left he squared the ball to the far post and Boden provided the finish a quality move deserved.
Only a goal down Burscough were the best team for the next quarter hour and it was only some good defending by Irlam that kept them out.
By the end it was clear that the heat was slowing everybody down both on and off the pitch, on 87 minutes Irlam finished the game off, Pellegrini was adjudged to have fouled Daniels and the ensuing spot kick was saved by Monks, but the rebound was netted.
It was a disappointing result for Burscough, but given a bit of luck it could well have been a different story, beaten by two penalties is frustrating, a bit more bite up front can see a turnaround.