Lower Breck remain seventh in the North West Counties Football League after their draw 1-1 with mid-table Irlam.

Kaiden Barlow’s early yellow card set the tone in what was to be a fiery affair at the Anfield Sports and Community Centre.

Lower Breck dominated possession in the early phases of the game but it was their Manchester based opponents who had the better chances. Good work through the middle of the park gave their midfielders good opportunities from range but they failed to put any on target.

Irlam took the lead in the 18th minute capitalising on some poor defending from the home side. A deep cross found Mitch Henry, who was lurking at the back post waiting to tap the ball into an empty net.

The home side responded admirably, with Jay Salkeld causing problems down the right wing. It was his clever play that set up the equalizer, as he beat his marker and played a precise pass to Tom Douglas, who made no mistake with the finish.

Irlam’s defensive resilience frustrated Lower Breck’s attempts to break the deadlock. The visitors seemed content to sit back and soak up pressure. Breck’s efforts were limited to speculative shots from distance, none of which troubled the away goalkeeper.

The second half lacked excitement; with minimal displays of quality. Lower Breck pushed for a winner but the resolute defence held firm. Michael Fitzgerald’s solo effort was the closest they came as his long-range effort powered into the side netting.

The home side continued to press but their lack of quality in the final third cost them the three points.

In the end, neither team could find the elusive winning goal in a closely contested battle. It is a result that reflected the evenly matched nature of the encounter, leaving both teams with a hard-earned point to show for their efforts.