BARNOLDSWICK Town suffered another defeat on a weekend that saw one of their star players leave the club to join up with his former manager.

Town lost 3-0 to Irlam on Saturday, and Zack Dale, the North West Counties Premier Division's Player of the Year in 2017-18, left Barnoldswick to join Prestwich Heys, where former Town boss Matt Barnes is now joint manager.

Dale, 24, who was the Premier Division's leading goalscorer last season, also played at Clitheroe and Guiseley.

In a tweet, Barnes said of Dale: "What a player this lad is, proven goalscorer and the best player I have managed. We are extremely lucky to have him."

In Town's home game against Irlam, both teams had chances early but Irlam were the first to score, courtesy of a Shaun Airey own goal with 16 minutes gone.

On 23 minutes, Town then had a chance when a great through ball by Chris Turner set up John Beckwith, whose shot was saved by the keeper.

Three minutes later, Irlam had a free-kick in a dangerous position but the effort flashed wide of the post.

Joe Noblet then had a half chance on 32 minutes, but he was flagged for offside.

Seven minutes later, Alex Ralph was in with a chance for Town but his effort was saved by the keeper.

Irlam then had a shot go over the bar on 43 minutes, and Ethan Kershaw could have equalised two minutes into added time, but his effort went wide of the post.

Barlick had the first chance of the second half, but a deep free-kick was headed wide in the 54th minute.

Irlam struck a minute later when Connor Martin put the visitors 2-0 up.

They had two more chances three minutes later, one was cleared off the line and the other was saved by the keeper.

Turner had a shot for Town in the 77th minute, but his effort was easily collected.

Irlam went 3-0 up a minute later when Marcus Perry put his shot in the back of the net.

Turner continued to create chances for Barlick, but his shot in the 80th minute went over the bar.

Barlick keeper Adam Stevens, who was presented with his September Goalkeeper of the Month award by NWCFL representative Stewart Taylor, then made a great save in the 83rd minute.

Kershaw blazed a shot high and wide of the post on 87 minutes, before Town's final chance in extra time saw substitute Reece Barrett head over the bar from close range.

* Jake Davies has joined Endrit Shehu and Matt Cavanagh on the Barnoldswick Town management team.

Davies said: “I’m really looking forward to joining Barnoldswick Town FC as the first team coach.

“As a UEFA B-licensed coach and current FA Mentor, I feel I can add a lot of value to the management team and support Endrit and Matt.

“I’ve had a lot of experience in the NWCFL working with Stockport Town FC as the first team manager most recently and also with Maine Road FC as a coach.

“Due to the experience I now have at this level of football, I feel with my coaching ability as well as my contact book of players within the Manchester area can help move the club forward.”