Charnock beat Fleetwood Hesketh 2-1 in the Richardson Cup Final to complete a League and Cup double for the second year running. Carl Grimshaw scored both goals.
The Academy lost 4-3 in the William Shakespeare Trophy Final on the same evening against Broughton Amateurs Reserves.
Charnock Richard 2 Fleetwood Hesketh 1 (Rich Cup Final)
Wednesday 22nd April 2015 West Lancashire League Richardson Cup Final
CHARNOCK RICHARD 2
FLEETWOOD HESKETH 1
TEAM: Bates, S Bibby, Dashti, Norgate, Hayton, Fisher, Ja Sanderson, Bennett (Porter 68), C Grimshaw, Burrows, Woods. UNUSED SUBS: Roberts, Banks & Prout.
Charnock Richard won the West Lancashire League ‘league and cup double’ for the second season running with this 2-1 success over Marshsiders Fleetwood Hesketh at the LFA County Ground Leyland in the Final of the Richardson Cup. In so doing the Villagers claimed the trophy for the fourth time in their history following success in the competition in 2001-02, 2003-04 and 2013-14.
Manager, Andy Westwell, made three changes to his starting line-up from the recent home game against Crooklands Casuals, bringing back midfielders David Fisher and Jack Bennett in place of Andy Roberts and Alex Randell, and striker David Burrows, who partnered Carl Grimshaw in attack, thus replacing Alex Porter. Porter and Roberts were on the bench.
Charnock came back from a goal down to secure the trophy after a fairly even first half in which Fleetwood Hesketh had held the lead until ten minutes prior to the break. Charnock proved just too strong for the Southport side in the second period and deservedly won the tie via a double strike by prolific marksman Carl Grimshaw.
The Marshsiders kicked off on a beautiful sunlit spring evening but Charnock were first to show; taking the early intuitive. A forceful forage though the centre of the Hesketh defence almost paid dividends for the Villagers after only 2 minutes play when Carl Grimshaw fired narrowly over the crossbar, and moments later, Grimshaw came within inches of connecting with a header from a well executed Damian Dashti free-kick. Fleetwood Hesketh responded with a fine sweeping move down the left which was instigated by John Paul McMullen, but the move broke down on the edge of the box. On 16 minutes a Josh Norgate clearance found David Burrows on the left and his resultant centre ran across the face of goal and narrowly beyond the inrushing Grimshaw. The Marshsiders got their noses in front after they forced a corner on 19 minutes. Simon Hill’s flag kick was touched home by skipper DAVID BROOKS who was first to react in the crowded penalty area. The setback stung Charnock into action and a well struck Spencer Bibby free-kick on 26 minutes was saved by goalkeeper Sam Wilkinson who caught the ball under his crossbar. However, the goal had given Hesketh confidence and they remained dangerous with some astute approach play. A worthy long range effort by Hill on 34 minutes kept Charnock goalkeeper, Gavin Bates, on his toes. Charnock drew level on 35 minutes after Wilkinson denied Mark Woods with his feet at the expense of a throw-in on the right. Bibby took a quick throw-in to Burrows who fired over a fine cross which GRIMSHAW headed home in style from close in with Wilkinson stranded on his line. Undeterred, Hesketh kept plugging away and Hill was desperately unlucky on 40 minutes when his rising drive on the turn from the edge of the 18 yard line struck the Charnock crossbar and came out. A few moments later a long speculative cross from the left touch-line by full-back Peter Henerty brought an excellent save out of Bates who finger-tipped the ball over the crossbar. The game really opened up just prior to the half-time break as both sides went in search of a goal. Woods fired just wide for Charnock on 42 minutes following good work by the tireless Jamie Sanderson who served his side well all night. Hesketh centre-half Jack Craig forced his way forward in menacing fashion just before the whistle, but his fine effort was well fielded by the capable Bates.
Whilst there had been little to choose between the sides in the first 45 minutes, the second period saw the Villagers step up a gear and although they never totally dominated affairs, they certainly took the game more forcefully to their opponents. Right from the restart it was Charnock who were calling most of the shots, literally. On 46 minutes Josh Norgate was very unlucky to see his snap-shot deflected passed the goalpost for a corner after the Hesketh defence failed to deal with a Woods free-kick from the left. Then three minutes later Craig just managed to clear from the feet of Burrows when Grimshaw headed down into the box. Hesketh won a corner with their first raid of the second-half on 53 minutes but Grimshaw headed the in-swinging flag kick to safety. However, Charnock were in the ascendancy and Wilkinson turned a Burrows drive around for a corner on 56 minutes before the same player headed narrowly over from the resultant Woods flag kick. Fleetwood Hesketh remained neat and purposeful and Bates was called upon to snuff out a long range effort from Henerty just beyond the hour mark. Charnock were forcing the pace with more gusto and Norgate just failed with an attempted header on 67 minutes from a Bibby free-kick. The anticipated Charnock breakthrough came on 74 minutes when GRIMSHAW headed home with great aplomb at the back post following a sweeping Alex Porter cross from the left. It was the striker’s 43rd goal of a very productive campaign for him, and it was ultimately to be the goal that would bring the Richardson Cup back to Mossie Park. Fleetwood Hesketh fought on and made the league Champions work hard for the spoils. On 83 minutes a chance came their way when Norgate was adjudged to have impeded McMullen on the right hand edge of the penalty box. Bates quelled any lingering fears of a late fight-back with a fine save from the resultant Hill free-kick.