Irlam v Avro – 6 Aug 2022
Ethan Sutcliffe’s early goal proved the perfect springboard for a clinical Avro side to progress to the preliminary round of the FA Cup after what turned out to be a comfortable win at the RG3 Digital Stadium.
There were two changes from the side which had won at Winsford United in midweek, with Tommy Lent making his debut at the heart of the defence and Joe Rathbone replacing Jack Morrow in the centre of the park.
Just four minutes had elapsed when Jake Cottrell delivered a free kick from the right, and Sutcliffe ghosted in at the near post to plant his header in the bottom corner for his first goal for the club since joining us earlier in the week.
The lead was doubled on 18 minutes when another Cottrell set piece, this time a corner from the right, was headed in by Geffry Ebhote, also his first in an Avro shirt And on the stroke of half time a brilliant piece of skill from Cottrell led to a third, when he nutmegged a home defender and was then hauled back inside the area. Joe Rathbone coolly dispatched the spot kick, sending White the wrong way for his first of the season.
Millon Brown had been the hero of Irlam’s 2-1 victory on the last occasion that the two sides met in February, scoring both goals in a league encounter. However, early in the second half he picked up a straight red for a late challenge on Adam Owen, and when Michael Afuye teed up Cottrell after a brilliant diagonal ball from Jack Worrall, the captain’s low shot took a deflection which wrongfooted White for a second time to make it 4-0.
The remaining half hour provided little by way of goalmouth incident, with the visitors content to try and keep the ball for as long as possible and the home side pushing hard for a consolation goal which never came. Avro will now play a ninth game in August at the Vestacare Stadium in two weeks, with their opponents yet to be decided after Barnoldswick and Albion Sports drew their Extra Preliminary Round tie at the Silentnight Stadium this afternoon.