Charnock Richard completd their fixtures with a 4-0 win over runners up chasing Slyne With Hest. Carl Grimshaw scored twice with Mark Woods and Andy Roberts adding the other goals.
The Academy had a fine 2-1 win at PLCC Nomads Patrik Bibby scoring both goals.
Chanrock Richard 4 Slyne With Hest 0
Saturday 25th April 2015, West Lancs League Prenier Division
CHARNOCK RICHARD 4
SLYNE WITH HEST 0
TEAM: Gavin Bates, Ross O’Farrell, Josh Norgate, Craig banks, Liam Hayton, David Prout (Jack Bennett 82), Mark Woods, Andy Roberts ((Jamie Sanderson 74), Carl Grimshaw (Spencer Bibby 77), David Burrows, Alex Porter. Unused sub: Damain Dashti.
This was a day of double celebration for Charnock Richard with a special reception when the teams came out for Andy Roberts for whom this was his last game after 20 years at the club. Then after the final whistle the team were presented with the Championship Shield. In between there was an important football match with Slyne With Hest looking for the three points necessary to pip Blackpool Wren Rovers for the runners up spot in the league. On this occasion they fell to a 4-0 defeat but they still have a chance to collect the vital points when they play their last fixture of the season at home to Burnley United in seven days time.
Despite having won the title for the fourth season in a row and retained the Richardson Cup on the previous Wednesday there was no let-up in manager Andy Westwell’s quest to collect three points and in particular to keep a clean sheet. With, understandably, Slyne up for the game there was no end-of-season atmosphere around Mossie Park and it was a fiercely contested match. Charnock took the lead halfway through the first half and then in a 16 minute spell in the second period added another three goals to finish the season with another convincing win.
The manager decided to give the players a start who had spent most of the recent games on the bench, so coming into the line-up were Ross O’Farrell after completing a four match suspension, Craig Banks, David Prout and Alex Porter. Damian Dashti, Spencer Bibby, Jack Bennett and Jamie Sanderson all found themselves on the bench.
It was an overcast day, cold and with a hint of rain, little of which actually fell during the game. There was a stiff north wind blowing across the pitch so there was no benefit either side. The game started with Charnock playing towards the Mawdesley Plantation end. Slyne included of a number of players who have played, for at least part of their career, at a higher level and they certainly know their way around a football pitch. They have had their best season since being promoted to the top division some four seasons ago but they do not score enough goals, 40 in 27 league games, and it showed in this match. Plenty of endeavour and some challenging football largely floundered once they got into the Charnock’s final third of the pitch. Charnock whist not producing their most fluid of football on this occasion are a side that carry a real goal threat mainly, but not entirely, through centre forward Carl Grimshaw who after scoring another brace in this game has finished the season with an amazing 45 goals in all competitions.
After an even start to the game Burrows was put clear by Woods on 13 minutes and goalkeeper Price left his goal to barge him over and prevent his run on goal. Other than a talking to the referee took no other action. The free kick came to nothing. Slyne saw plenty of the possession but made little impact on the home defence. Their early tactics saw them launch balls forward as quickly as possible but with all the home defenders being excellent headers of the ball it was a tactic that suited Charnock. There was plenty of action in the visitor’s box. Grimshaw bringing the best out of Price at his near post after Norgate had done well down the left before Charnock took the lead on 23 minutes. It was very appropriate that the scorer should be ANDY ROBERTS and it was in the style of many of his previous 351 goals he has scored for the club, a header at the back post from a Porter right wing corner. Charnock had their noses in front and Grimshaw shot weakly at Price when a Woods, Burrows combination set him up in front of goal. Slyne responded with a good cross from the left that was just too high. Price brought off his save of the match when he diverted a Grimshaw powerful shot over the bar just before the break as Charnock maintained pressure on the visitor’s defence with three successive corners. Charnock had narrowly edged a very competitive half when they went in for the half time break.
Charnock stepped up their game in the second half similar to their performance in the Richardson Cup final but perhaps surprisingly Slyne created more chances and only two great saves by Gavin Bates just before the final whistle ensured that the home goal was not breached. In the first two minutes of the half a right wing cross gave Porter a difficult chance at the back post, the angle was very narrow and Alex could not get enough on the ball to find the target. Bates had to be alert to collect a free kick from Buller after Roberts had handled the ball. Charnock increased their lead on 55 minutes not by producing some neat inter-passing football but via a long clearance that Burrows headed on and GRIMSHAW finished with a powerful shot that gave Price no chance. It was nearly 3-0 only three minutes later, Grimshaw getting up too early for a left wing cross to the back post, the ball skimming off his head for a goal kick. O’Farrell received a pass from Burrows but shot well wide before Bates made a clearance straight to Entwistle but his lob towards the open net went wide. It was another long clearance that set up Charnock’s third goal on 63 minutes, the ball this time being headed on to the lively WOODS who took it around the keeper to score. When Price came to claim a left wing centre on 71 minutes he dropped the ball and GRIMSHAW at the back post scored the fourth goal. The game was over but the visitors did not give up. When Andy Roberts was replaced by Jamie Sanderson on 74 minutes he received a standing ovation as he left the field. Burrows long range effort was just over the bar with Price struggling to get back and when Ross O’Farrell cut in from the right his powerful shot came back off the bar. In the 88th minute it looked inevitable that Slyne would pull a goal back when Buller, unmarked, in front of goal received a cross from the left but Bates blocked his shot and then got across to block another shot at point blank range. A remarkable double save that illustrated the influence that the keeper has had on the home defence this season.
This win rounded off another excellent season with only two defeats and three draws in the league resulting in the Villagers winning the title by a considerable margin.
Tribute must be made to Club Captain Andy Roberts who made his debut for Charnock Richard in the 3-1 defeat at Springfields on Saturday 12th August 1995. In his 20 year career at the club Andy has scored 352 goals including 12 Hat-tricks. He has made 503 full league appearances and 28 from the bench knocking in a remarkable 262 goals from midfield. In the Lancashire Amateur Shield he recorded 73 appearances plus two as a substitute scoring 39 goals. The Richardson Cup appearances are 46 with an additional 6 from the bench with 29 goals and he made a minimum of 47 full appearances and five from the bench in the Goldline Trophy and he scored 22 goals. These statistics are the known appearances. Records of the Charnock teams in two seasons of competition in the Lancashire Amateur Shield are not available and he may have played in a couple of games in the early years of the Goldline Trophy of which no records exist. His highest number of goals in a season was 31 in season 2001/2. In a four further seasons he recorded over 20 goals and his poorest season for finding the net was 2009/10 when he only scored nine goals. Some people said that he was finished! This season he has made 27 full appearances and five on the bench scoring 14 goals. All together a remarkable achievement at one club. The club once again wish to thank him for his loyalty and all the commitment that he has brought to the team. It is difficult to envisage his record ever being beaten.
A review of another successful season will appear here in the next couple of days.