Charnock made an encouraging start to the new season with a 5-1 victory at Crooklands Casuals. Carl Grimshaw scored four times with Jack Bennett adding the other goal.
The Reserves game was abandoned on 35 minutes with them leading 4-0 when an already depleted Leyland United Reserves side was reduced to only six players due to injuries and a red card.
Crooklands Casuals 1 Charnock Richard 5
Saturday 8th August 2015 West Lancashire League Premier Division
CROOKLANDS CASUALS 1
CHARNOCK RICHARD 5
Team: Gavin Bates, Spencer Bibby (Ross O’Farrell 74), Josh Norgate, Oliver Vaulks, Liam Hayton, Mike Fletcher, Lewis Swarbrick (Damian Dashti 66), Mark Woods, Carl Grimshaw, Alex Randell, Jack Bennett (Patrik Bibby 82) Subs: (Not Used) David Prout, Jamie Sanderson.
Charnock overcame their frustrations having suffered a fractious journey to this game to record a comprehensive win at Longlands Park. The Villagers’ coach broke down on the journey north and there was a delay of over 90 minutes at Forton Services awaiting the arrival of a replacement vehicle. The match eventually kicked off at 4.10pm with the final whistle being blown at 6 o’clock.
The Charnock squad included three players who were making their league debut for the club at this level. Oliver Vaulks and Lewis Swarbrick have both arrived this season from Lostock St Gerard’s and Patrik Bibby who has come up through the club’s junior system. David Burrows was missing as he was expecting an addition to his family. Charnock lined up with Alex Randell supporting Carl Grimshaw up front.
It was a warm, sunny afternoon and an ideal rural location to enjoy the peasant conditions. Charnock started playing down the slope away from the clubhouse end. Although the referee allowed 30 minutes following the arrival of the coach for the Charnock players to warm up the Villagers made a rather stuttering start. It was Crooklands who made most of the running in the opening quarter of an hour. Randell had to block a header from a corner on the line at the foot of the post after ten minutes. Then after 13 minutes the ever dangerous David Mansergh cut into the area and a mistimed tackle from Hayton gave Chris Wraighte the chance to give the home side the lead from the penalty spot. Woods had looked dangerous down the left and he set up the chance for Charnock to equalise on 19 minutes. Racing down the left he turned back and from close to the corner flag hoisted a centre to the back post where GRIMSHAW rose to head home. The game became end to end with both sides having chances. When Spencer Bibby dallied in the area Wraighte nicked the ball and shot across the face of the goal. Mark Woods then went on a run into the area but ran out of room. When Fletcher delivered a great ball over the top Grimshaw shot past the far post. On 26 minutes Chubb made a break down the Charnock right and Caskie had a shot from distance that went wide. As the game was progressing Charnock were increasingly imposing themselves. Another attack down the right saw Randell’s shot taking a deflection but Ibukan Banigbove in the home goal pulled off a fine save to prevent the Villagers taking the lead. Just before half time Fletcher was robbed in his own area and Chubb shot over the bar. It was the best chance that Crooklands had had so far in the game. Randell then put a free kick marginally over the bar before the half finished with Swarbrick getting into the area but his attempted cross was cleared. Level at the interval Charnock had to kick up the slope in the second half but they had the assistance of the light breeze.
Words must have been exchanged in the interval because Charnock came out for the second half and totally ran the game. Woods created a chance for Bennett immediately after the break but he shot past the post but Charnock took the lead only a minute later. Woods was involved again putting GRIMSHAW clear and he rounded the advancing keeper to hit the ball home. Immediately a Woods free kick found Hayton running in from the right but he headed across goal. Grimshaw had the ball in the net again but the goal was disallowed for offside. The closest that Crooklands came to scoring was a shot from Mansergh that Bates caught in the top corner of the goal. Charnock made it 3-1 in the 65th minute, Norgate set up Woods down the left and his in-swinging centre was neatly diverted by the head of GRIMSHAW wide of the keeper. With Charnock now totally in control the fourth goal came when Randell swung a ball to the back post and Grimshaw headed it back to BENNETT who made no mistake this time. Woods had the ball in the net again but the flag was up for offside. In the final minute of normal time Randell fed GRIMSHAW and he made no mistake. There is another nine months to go but a 5-1 win to start the league season is very pleasing.
Following the disappointment of losing out on the Wilf Carr Memorial Trophy the previous week this had been a much improved performance from Charnock. The side had played as a team and there had not been a reoccurrence of the lack of discipline shone in the previous game, in fact Charnock escaped without receiving any cards.
Many thanks for the splendid hospitality shown by Crooklands and their support and understanding when there were the problems with our transport. The referee was also very accommodating in not insisting that the game commenced immediately the replacement coach arrived. It almost made one feeling guilty for handing out such a comprehensive defeat.
Tuesday evening, 11th August, sees Charnock visit Euxton Villa for a local derby match. Kick off is 6.45pm.