MATCH: Irlam v Ramsbottom United
VENUE: RG3 Digital Stadium, Silver Street, Irlam, M44 6JJ
COMPETITION: Pre-season friendly
DATE: Tuesday 20th July 2021
KICK-OFF: 7.45pm
DISTANCE FROM RAMMY: 19 miles, 27 minutes

Pay on the gate at Irlam FC. Adults £4, concessions £3, Under 16s £1

One down, three to go this week as the Rams’ pre-season programme heads to North West Counties side Irlam for match number four, off the back of dominant 5-1 victory over Daisy Hill on Saturday, courtesy of goals from Domaine Rouse, Jake Thompson and three from the trialists, who are certainly impressing at the moment. Should be another balmy evening to watch some exciting football, which the play in the last two games in particular has been.

Do you remember the 2020/21 season? You know the one, we played a handful of games and then it was all binned off because of this bloody pandemic? It didn’t last long – but we did play Irlam for the first time in the current guise in the preliminary round of the FA Cup, coming from 1-0 down (Connor Martin’s ninth minute goal) to hit four in the space of 14 second half minutes from Mason Fawns, Jake Thompson, a Tom Kennedy penalty and Danny O’Brien to put us into the hat for the next round, where we would exit at the hands of Mossley.

See, knew you would remember!!

While it was the first time we had played Irlam, we had previously met when they were known as Mitchell Shackleton, who were formed in 1969 by a group of employees working for the well established engineering company based in Eccles, which manufactured marine and diesel crankshafts.

A 1-1 draw at the Riverside on 23 August 1994 was followed by a 2-1 victory at Salteye Park – their home ground at Barton. This ground was sold in 2002 and subsequently became the home ground of Salford Red Devils rugby league club and Sale rugby union after much development. This match, on 18 February 1995, was our first game for a month after the home game with Monton Amateurs and we wouldn’t play again until 18th March when we beat East Manchester 8-1!

Our final encounter with MSFC came on 1 April 1995 in the semi-final of the Gylchryst Cup, the Manchester League’s knockout competition. We would win that game 2-1 and go on to win the Cup after defeating Prestwich Heys 3-2 after extra time at the Riverside a month later.

Young Jake Thompson, with two goals in the last two games, has been in great early form and will look to continue to impress as will the trialists, all targetting a spot in the side on the 14 August and the away game at the new City of Liverpool stadium. Two wins in the last two games – 1-0 at Silsden and 5-1 at Daisy Hill – have been very good run outs but there are still six more pre-season games before then, so the management will be continue to work hard to secure the best players available but the signs have been more than good – although results in pre-season are never that much of a guide.

But it has been good to see many of the previous season team returning for this campaign and, tantalisingly some other faces too … let’s just leave it at that!

Kick off is at 7.45pm at the RG3 Digital Stadium.

Come on you Rams!!!