IT was the fifth match in a row that Barnoldswick Town were having to travel in the North West Counties Football League Premier Division on Thursday.

But the mid-table side were hoping to turn the tide on their visit to Irlam - which is based in a suburb in Salford, Greater Manchester - to prevent two losses on the bounce becoming a streak.

Irlam themselves - who sat four points off Barnoldswick before a ball was kicked - were without a win in five games until they beat Kendal Town 2-1 away last time out, on January 30.

It was a quick turnaround for both sides, having played two days prior - Barnoldswick losing 6-2 at AFC Liverpool.

But it was the hosts on Thursday who took the spoils in a 2-0 victory, with goals from Ethan Cartwright in the 10th minute and Kaiden Barlow with 75 minutes on the clock.

In the early knockings of the game, Barnoldswick pushed hard, earning a free-kick which was wasted, sailing over the bar.

There were then shouts for handball from the Irlam players inside their own box but those calls fell on deaf ears as the ball bounced to a Barnoldswick player who struck the ball and forced a good save from the host's keeper, Lee White.

The deadlock was broken though by Irlam, when Cartwright scored with a finish that went in off both posts in the 10th minute.

Irlam were down to 10 men temporarily for just under 10 minutes from the 30-minute mark, when captain Andrew Langford was sin-binned after the visitors had launched a corner into the box.

But Barnoldswick were unable to make the numerical advantage count as they headed into half time still a goal behind, at 1-0.

The hosts made it two on 75 minutes, when number seven Mason Everton hit a fantastic ball to Barlow in the Barnoldswick box.

Barlow - who had only just come on as a substitute for Mwiya Malumo - found the back of the net with his first touch of the ball.

Irlam continued to put the pressure on from that point and in the final few minutes the home side had three golden opportunities.

Super-sub Barlow continued to cause problems and was through one-on-one with Callum Jakovlevs in the Barnoldswick goal.

Jakovlevs made a save initially and Barlow then hit the rebound straight back at him.

Another substitute, Millen Brown - who came on for number 11 Aaron Fleming shortly after the second goal - nearly got on the scoresheet when trying his luck with a cheeky chip that dropped just wide, followed by a hit after he'd beaten a man - which could have been a ball in or shot - that went out for a goal-kick.

Barnoldswick have another away fixture today, travelling across the Pennines again, to face promotion-chasing Chadderton in a 3pm kick-off.

The Oldham-based side sit in fifth place and have only lost five games all season - the second-best record in the league.

They come into this match on the back of a loss but have won three of their last five.