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 Latest News
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Charnock returned to wining ways with a 1-0 home victory over West Didsbury and Chorlton. Carl Grimshaw scored the goal for the villagers.
Charnock Richard 1 West Didsbury and Chorlton 0

Tuesday 27th Nov 2018, Hallmark Security League Premier Division


Attendance : 91


Charnock Richard: Adam Halton, Mark Woods, James Walker, Oliver Turner, Ryan Schofield, Ross O’Farrell, Mark Adams, Nathan Fairhurst (Spencer Bibby 75), Carl Grimshaw, Joe Noblet (Oliver Oxley 86), Jake Higham (Ashley Young 75). Sub: (Not Used) Troy Carsley.

West Didsbury and Chorlton: Marcus Burgess, John Sergeant, Kyle Pearson, Mark Rogers (Joe Shaw 75), Matt Eckersley, Ryan Eiselt, Ashley Leather, Lee Gavin, Dan McLaughlin, James Coombes (Zac Cooper 86), Ryan Crowther (Steve Hall 75). Subs: (Not Used) Anthony Potts, Josh Tinker.

With the teams in the two bottom places in the form table this game was always going to be a tight encounter and so it proved. West Didsbury, lying in the relegation zone, lost their manager on the previous Saturday and with both teams lacking confidence the quality of football was not great but the game was definitely competitive. After a goalless first half a single goal from Charnock settled the destiny of the three points but the visitors battled until the final whistle.

Following the home defeat on the previous Saturday there was one change to the starting line-up Joe Noblet replaced Troy Carsley who dropped to the bench. As in the previous game Ashley Young, Spencer Bibby and Oliver Oxley were on the four man bench. The visitors’ team featured John Sergeant and James Coombes both members of the Gibraltar squad for the recent UEFA Nations League games.

Following a wet afternoon it was a fine but chilly evening with a stiff south-westerly wind. As usual the pitch was in fine condition. A hardy 91 spectators turned out to watch the game. Charnock won the toss and decided to play towards the Mawdesley Plantation end so West Didsbury kicked off. There was a quiet start to the game with the first threat coming from a West Didsbury corner on five minutes with Halton moving smartly to collect a header from McLaughlin. The visitors moved the ball around quickly and looked a far better side than their league position suggested and a Coombes fierce shot saw Halton beating the ball away on 12 minutes. Charnock’s first real attack saw Woods and Fairhurst in a neat build up down the right and when Mark centred from the bye-line Burgess in the visiting goal diverted Joe Noblet’s shot on to the bar and away. Charnock were struggling to get their game together and once again too many balls were being given away whilst the visitors were stringing together some neat moves with Ashley Leather on the right proving to be a real handful for James Walker. Coombes had another shot narrowly over the bar and when Leather went through the middle his shot hit the facia of the stand behind the goal. The Villagers almost took the lead on 23 minutes when a long ball saw Adams beat the advancing keeper to the ball, he lobbed it over Burgess’ head but it took him too wide and by the time he could shoot defenders were back and the ball was cleared for a corner. When Leather cut in from the right Halton turned his shot from near the bye-line onto the bar and away. Then Adams got in along the left bye-line but his pull back for O’Farrell went just behind him. The visitors continued to carve out shooting chances with Halton catching an effort from Gavin and Rogers hitting a shot wide. When Leather shot from the right Halton failed to hold onto the ball but he did well to turn McLaughlin’s follow up shot out for a corner. Halton then had to deal with another shot from McLaughlin. At the other end a defender just beat Adams to a Higham centre at the near post and when the resulting corner went beyond the far post Burgess dived on the return ball as it bobbed about in the goal area. On the stroke of half time Schofield rose to a free kick from the half way line but his header lacked power. With the score 0-0 at the break there was still everything to play for in the second half.

The second 45 minutes followed a similar pattern to the first with both teams largely cancelling each other out. The breakthrough came, not from a classic build up, but from a direct through ball. West Didsbury had been on the attack but a clearance caught out the visiting defence and CARL GRIMSHAW raced clear to beat the advancing Burgess after 53 minutes. It was a blow for West Didsbury but they did not lose heart and continued to carry a goal threat. The home defence was performing well and the visitors were restricted to shots from distance but nevertheless there was no doubt that it was going to be a tight contest right up to the final whistle. It could have been different on 70 minutes, a great pass from Woods at the back found Grimshaw who side stepped a defender and shot but Burgess was down to save. Both teams made double substitutions on 75 minutes with Spencer Bibby and Ashley Young coming on for Charnock to replace Jake Higham and Nathen Fairhurst. There was a special welcome for Ashley who has been out with a knee injury since August. As the game was coming to a conclusion the visitors upped their game and Halton did well to punch away a corner; a succession of West Didsbury corners spelt danger and then when Pearson was set up for a good shooting chance on the left the ball spun off his toe for a goal kick. Coombes tried to lob Halton but it went wide and in added time when Leather got to the right bye-line Walker headed away his cross. The final whistle brought welcome relief for the home supporters, the first league victory after four consecutive defeats.

Although the Charnock performance had lacked some of their normal short passing football there had been plenty of endeavour and fight in the side. The defence, with new signing Oliver Turner settling in well, had looked increasingly impressive and the clean sheet was only the third one of the season. Charnock would be considerably higher in the table if goals had not been conceded late in a number of games this season.

On Saturday 1st December Charnock are away at Barnoldswick Town kick-off 3.00pm and on Tuesday 4th December they travel in a similar direction to play Colne in the LFA Challenge Trophy, kick-off 7.45pm.

Keith Reader

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