Charnock at their fifth attempt win a FA Cup tie beating Lower Breck 2-1. Spencer Bibby and Jack Kay scored the goals.
A late postponement at Burnley United saw the Reserves have to return home without a ball being kicked.
Charnock Richard 2 Lower Breck 1 (FA Cup EPR)
Saturday 10th August 2019, Emirates FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round
CHARNOCK RICHARD 2
LOWER BRECK 1
Attendance : 185
Charnock Richard: Ben Ascroft. Spencer Bibby, Aaron Griffith, Mark Woods (Jack Bennett), Ross O’Farrell, Lewis Haydock (James Walker), Matt Davison, Nathen Fairhurst, Carl Grimshaw, Jack Kay (Oliver Oxley), Danny Regan.
Subs: (Not Used) Owen Morris.
Lower Breck: Joshua Molloy, Liam Morris, Thomas Kinsella (Jonathan Swatton), Paul Mooney, Ricky Ager, Michael Douglas, Jay Colbeck (Oscar Billington), Conor Roberts, Stephen Milne, Dean Shacklock, Louis Austin (Jamie Henders).
Subs: (Not Used) Jamie Morton, Bobby Walsh, Jay Webb.
At their fifth attempt, Charnock finally won a tie in the FA Cup, the oldest cup competition in the world. Lower Breck from Liverpool playing in Division 1 North in the NWCFL proved, as expected, to be difficult opponents. Charnock took the lead on the stroke of half time. A second goal with half an hour remaining provided a cushion but the visitors reduced the arrears with eight minutes remaining and the final stages of the game saw the Villagers under pressure.
There were three changes to the starting line-up from the team that beat Barnoldswick Town 2-1 on the previous Tuesday. Jack Bennett, Oliver Oxley and James Walker dropped to the bench, Aaron Griffith came in at the back and both Lewis Haydock and Jack Kay were given their first starts. Owen Morris made up the four substitutes on the bench. Ryan Schofield still troubled by a cut on his forehead was not fit enough to be considered for a place on the bench. With Ryan missing Charnock were without three potential centre backs with Ashley Young on holiday and Oliver Turner still short of match fitness.
The weather was disappointing with heavy showers all morning that continued throughout the game and there was a stiff westerly breeze that made defending at the Charter Lane end difficult. The pitch was in excellent condition and had not been affected by all the recent rain. Despite the adverse weather a 185 hardy souls turned up to watch the game.
Lower Breck won the toss so Charnock kicked off playing towards the Mawdesley Plantation end. The opening minutes saw a strong start from the visitors with a Ricky Ager header from a left wing corner hitting the cross bar. With the Villagers on the defensive Louis Austin sent a shot narrowly beyond the far post. It took Charnock almost 10 minutes before they started to put their mark on the tie with Bibby’s cross fielded by Molloy in the visitor’s goal. Charnock could well have taken the lead after 12 minutes when a good move finished with Grimshaw hitting the post and then, when the ball came back in again from the right, Molloy made a fine save from a Kay header. A powerful goal bound shot from Haydock was blocked by a defender’s legs. The game now was much more even with Charnock starting to put together their neat passing game. The visitors lost no time in retreating into defence once they lost the ball and their tactics appeared to be to keep their goal intact and hold out for a replay or maybe pinch a win. Playing with the wind had assisted the visitors in the early minutes but as the game progressed they played too many through balls that ran away in the wind. With now Charnock the dominant team it was a case of breaking down the visitors’ massed defence. A free kick taken by Mooney 10 yards inside the Charnock half for Breck on 22 minutes evaded everyone and Ascroft had to make a fine save at the back post. This set up a sequence of corners for Breck all of which saw the home defence under pressure. Charnock, in order to combat the strong wind in their faces, looked to pass their way up field at goal kicks but when Bibby lost the ball on the left of the penalty area on 27 minutes the free kick caused problems to the home defence. The ball eventually going narrowly past the far post from an Ager shot. When Davison centred from the right Regan slid in but the ball went just past the post but a corner was awarded. Ascroft saved easily from Milne and it was the home team that were looking the most likely to score. With, at times, torrential rain coming down and the squalls blowing into defenders’ faces it was difficult conditions for Charnock and it became important that they maintained a clean sheet in the first half. Matt Davison was booked for dissent after 36 minutes (the new sin-bin law not being active in this game). It was then the Villagers turn to have four consecutive corners all of which failed to create a scoring opportunity. When Jack Kay burst between two defenders on 40 minutes and put Grimshaw clear, coming in from the left, the record breaking striker disappointingly fired into the side netting. It was Charnock’s best chance in the game so far. Just as it looked as if it was going to be 0-0 at the interval, Charnock took the lead one minute into injury time. Some neat inter-passing into the visitors’ penalty area finally saw a BIBBY shot deflected past Molloy. It was a great time to take the lead. It had been an exciting first half with both sides producing some good football but Charnock had failed to move the ball around as quickly as they had in the previous game.
The second half started in another heavy shower but now the Villagers had the benefit of the wind. Kay almost got on the end of a pass from Bibby, the ball going through to Molloy. Davison played a 1-2 with Haydock but put his shot wide. Then Milne shot off target for the visitors and after coming under pressure earlier in the half Lower Breck were again testing the home defence. Nathan Fairhurst who has been finding the net regularly this season was confident enough to have a shot from distance but it did not trouble Molloy. A minute later, on 62 minutes, JACK KAY increased Charnock’s lead; a cross from Davison on the right found Grimshaw at the back post and he managed to roll the ball across and the striker made no mistake to score his first goal for the Villagers. There is no doubt now that Lower Breck, battling with the elements and two goals down, had an enormous task on their hands if they were to progress further in their first appearance in the competition. On 66 minutes Kay took a knock and whether this is the reason for his departure or it was planned anyway Oliver Oxley came on to replace him. On 69 minutes Oxley went clear but he appeared slow to shoot and the keeper saved with his legs. Then Kinsella had Ascroft struggling but the ball went narrowly wide. On 70 minutes a long clearance from Ben Ascroft saw Oxley produce a powerful goal bound shot that hit a defender. Mark Woods was replaced by Jack Bennett on 75 minutes and Charnock went into the final quarter of an hour looking relatively comfortable and on 77 minutes they should, with little bit of luck, have finished the game off. Danny Regan hit the post and immediately Molloy brought off a fine flying save to thwart Grimshaw. Charnock had to be thankful for two excellent blocks by Ascroft leaving his line to clear the ball away when the visitors broke into the area after 81 minutes. However, a minute later the visitors pulled a goal back, a right wing corner caused Charnock problems before it was cleared out to the left and when the ball was returned Henders headed home at the back post. As expected the visitors committed themselves to attack looking for an equaliser and the home defence came under increased pressure. The closest that the visitors came to scoring was a block buster of a shot from distance by Mooney that Ascroft managed to somehow to get a hand to and the ball flew out for a corner. On 87 minutes James Walker replaced Lewis Haydock to boost the defence and the Villagers fairly comfortably held onto their lead for the final seven minutes which included four minutes of added time. There appeared to be a red card for a Breck player following a minor hiatus after the final whistle.
It had been a competitive game and on this performance it was obvious why the visitors had been so successful the previous season but in the end Charnock’s performance, whilst not at their best, had proved to be enough to secure their first win in the competition.
With the Preliminary Round now scheduled for 24th August Charnock will no longer be travelling to Irlam but will be hosting Longridge Town who defeated Barnoldswick Town 6-1.
Charnock’s next league fixture is the visit of 1874 Northwich on Saturday 17th August kick-off 3.00pm.