Charnock beat Eagley 3-0 at Mossie Park to complete their league fixtures. Danial Hogg, Spencer Bibby and Carl Grimshaw from the penalty spot scored the goals.
The Reserves won 3-2 at Burnley United to win the Reserve Division 1 title. Jack Bennett, Ryan Donnellan and an own goal gave them the win in their last league fixture of the season.
Charnock Richard 3 Eagley 0
Saturday 19th April 2014, West Lancashire League Premier Division
CHARNOCK RICHARD 3
Team: Gavin Bates, Damian Dashti, Jimmy King, Ashley Young, Craig Banks (Andy Pendlebury 78), Spencer Bibby (David Prout 55), Mark Woods, Andy Roberts, Carl Grimshaw, Danial Hogg, Alex Porter (Luke Barrow 60).
Despite fielding a somewhat scratch side Charnock finished a very successful league season with a 3-0 win over Eagley. An early goal gave them a 1-0 lead at the interval and with a second goal hitting the net immediately on the re-start Charnock went on to collect all three points which gave them a grand total of 72 points for the season.
The league title had been decided on the previous Saturday when Blackpool Wren Rovers could only manage a draw and although they still had seven games to play the maximum points that they could amass was 68. Charnock already had 69 points so the championship was theirs for the third season in a row. Consequently this final league game was largely insignificant but Charnock, with a tough semi-final on the following Saturday, were keen to maintain their winning ways.
Unavailability of players for various seasons caused manager Andy Westwell problems and the squad was already down to the bare bones, phone calls from two players on the Saturday morning to say that they could not play created a real crisis. Andy had to call in a couple of players who were signed but have hardly featured this season. Jimmy King came in at left back and David Prout made his first appearance of the season on the bench. The good news was that both Craig Banks and Danial Hogg had recovered from their injuries sustained in the warm up before the Norcross game and both started. Luke Barrow, who had been injured for much of the season following five appearances with the Academy early in the season, was on the bench along with coach Andy Pendlebury.
It was a sunny afternoon but there was a cool south east wind and the fine weather resulted in an attendance of 112. Eagley playing towards the Charter Lane end made a bright start and it took Charnock a little time to settle. Mark Woods was playing in his preferred position of centre midfield and with Jimmy King settling in well the team had a solid look about it. The pitch was in excellent condition and as one of the officials commented it was difficult to believe that a full season of fixtures had been played upon it. Carl Grimshaw had the ball in the net after eight minutes but the goal was ruled out for offside. It did not take long however for Charnock to take the lead, Alex Porter centred from the left after 10 minutes, Grimshaw, at the back post headed back and DANIAL HOGG found the corner of the net with his shot. Almost immediately Hogg broke into the area but keeper Johnny Kinsella was out quickly to whip the ball of his toe. Eagley were playing some neat man to man football and by and large the game was very entertaining. Charnock maintained their impetus and when Dashti got down the right the move finished with Porter’s shot from distance being easily held by Kinsella. Right back David Edwards then headed a Hogg centre from the left narrowly past this own post. As the mid-point of the first half passed Eagley picked up their game and began to dominate the midfield and Charnock allowed the tempo of the game to drop. As a consequence the visitors started to pin Charnock back. A really neat interpassing move after 32 minutes opened up the home defence and Green was in on goal but Bates managed to scramble the ball away and Charnock’s lead was maintained. Charnock came back and with five minutes of the half left a Porter cross from the left was fractionally too high for Grimshaw at the back post. Eagley had a great chance to equalise on 44 minutes, Dashti was caught out and Green stormed away down the left and cut in but his shot was across the goal and out for a goal kick.
Charnock doubled their lead immediately on the restart, Grimshaw got away down the left and although Spencer Bibby almost made a total hash of his cross at the back post he got enough on the ball to see it roll into the net, just inside the post. A two goal lead was sufficient to take some of the wind out of the visitors’ sails and for the remainder of the game the destination of the points was never in doubt. Eagley failed to trouble Gavin Bates, a couple of opportunities when he might have been tested saw the shots hit over the bar. Charnock, despite the lack of several regular players, produced some neat football and after GRIMSHAW had added a third goal from the penalty spot on 68 minutes they could have scored further goals. With the game looking increasingly safe Manager Andy Westwell took the opportunity to take off several of his key players with the following week’s cup tie in mind. David Prout came on for Alex Porter and showed his usual repertoire of skills and then Luke Barrow made his debut replacing Spencer Bibby. He made a big impact producing a couple of fierce shots that Kinsella did well to turn around the post. Andy Pendlebury replaced Craig Banks with 12 minutes remaining.
A 3-0 victory was a neat way to finish off the league season and provide the right atmosphere for the presentation of the Championship Trophy at the final whistle along with the Manager of the Month award to Andy Westwell and the Team of the Month award to captain Andy Roberts.
Charnock’s final winning points margin will not become evident until Blackpool Wren Rovers complete their fixtures and their recent form suggests that it may greater than last season’s eight points so history will make it appear that Charnock have won the league with ease. This has not really been the case, Wren’s made a poor start to the season and consequently they have been playing catch up ever since. An excellent winning run from the end of August through to the new year saw them take advantage of some disappointing results for the Villagers through late November into January which reduced a considerable points lead down to almost nil if games in hand were taken into account. Charnock were really looking over their shoulder and it all came to a head when the two teams met at Mossie Park on 15th March. A 3-0 win by Charnock was enough to put them back in the driving seat and despite the loss of three points at Norcross a series of drawn games by Wrens has been enough for Charnock to retain the title.
With the main trophy now in Charnock’s hands for another season there is an opportunity for the Villagers to complete a league and cup double by winning the Richardson Cup. However, they face a stiff challenge from Euxton Villa who they play in the semi-final on Saturday 26th April at Coppull United’s ground on Springfield Road kick off 3.00pm.