Charnock beat Coppull United 2-1 in the local derby with David Burrows and Mark Adams scoring the vital goals.
Charnock Richard 2 Coppull United 1
Tuesday 1st September 2015 West Lancashire League Premier Division
CHARNOCK RICHARD 2
COPPULL UNITED 1
Team: Gavin Bates, Damian Dashti, Matt Ashcroft, Ross O’Farrell, Josh Norgate, Mike Fletcher, Jack Bennett (Jamie Sanderson 70), Alex Randell, Mark Adams, David Burrows, Lewis Swarbrick. Subs: (Not Used) Oliver Vaulks, Patrik Bibby, Luke Barrow, David Prout.
Another local derby match produced a cracker of a game and the 266 people (a record league attendance for Mossie Park) who paid to see this encounter certainly had their money’s worth. Coppull turned up with a 100% record after their six league games this season. As expected the game was fast, furious and it produced some excellent football. The visitors dominated the opening stages of the game and took the lead. Charnock equalised before half time and scored the winning goal with 10 minutes remaining.
Charnock made four changes, two positional, to the team that drew with Blackpool Wren Rovers on the previous Saturday. Matt Ashcroft came in to make his second appearance for the club at left back, Josh Norgate moved to centre back to replace Olly Vaulks who was on the bench. Mike Fletcher moved into midfield with Ross O’Farrell starting at centre back.
It was a fine, sunny evening as Charnock kicked off playing towards the Charter Lane end. The match started at a furious pace with the tempo being set by the visitors. Charnock struggled to get into the game in the opening 20 minutes as Coppull stormed forwards. They did however see ex-Charnock stopper Kevin Baldwin have to go down to turn a free kick around the post after seven minutes. However, they were a goal down only a minute later when Dashti was beaten, after being pushed in the back, near the bye-line and Salmon was on hand to convert the cross from close quarters. The goal obviously boosted Coppull and the defence had to stand firm to prevent Charnock falling further behind. When Fletcher mis-kicked in front of goal Bates had to dive to prevent the ball rolling over the line. Slowly but surely Charnock began to impose their own style of play on the game and some excellent passing on the edge of the area involving Jack Bennett finished with Dashti shooting past the post. As the Villagers became more and more an attacking force a David Burrows’ header from a left wing corner saw Baldwin have to dive on the ball and then Mike Fletcher had a header at the back post, from another corner, go wide. Coppull’s direct style of getting the ball forward to Salmon and Steele was still causing problems to the home defence but with Alex Randell beginning to dominate midfield and the close passing football of Charnock the visitors’ goal was coming under more and more pressure. Charnock equalised after 29 minutes, a good attack down the right saw the ball passed to BURROWS on the edge of the area he swivelled quickly and hit a right footed shot into the far corner of the net. The game continued with both sides committed to the cause and the game surged from end to end with plenty of goalmouth action and some decent football in midfield. Salmon was booked, then he was maybe lucky not to see a second yellow when he attempted to hand ball a cross into the net. However the referee chose not to take any action and the game was all the better for it as reducing a side to 10 men would have spoiled the terrific game of football which was on show. A Josh Norgate header from a free kick caused panic in the visitors’ goalmouth but the ball was eventually scrambled away. Then, a Randell right wing cross sped across the goalmouth with both Burrows and Baldwin failing to make contact with the ball.
With the floodlights on the second half continued at the same thrilling pace and with both sides committed to attack the game could have gone either way despite Charnock having the edge. Mark Adams has returned to the club after several seasons playing at a higher level and despite not yet fully match fit he was a constant threat to the visitors’ defence. Early in the half he chased a ball down the right and when he crossed Baldwin just beat Burrows to the ball. When Fletcher missed a tackle in midfield Coppull broke down the right but the centre was poor. Charnock were carving out the half chances with Swarbrick bringing a smart save out of Baldwin and then the stopper dived at the feet of Randell after a cross from Adams on the right. At the back Norgate and O’Farrell were doing a good job on Salmon and Steele, both players being a handful and capable of scoring goals. Charnock almost took the lead on 64 minutes Randell took a free kick in midfield and whilst everyone was expecting a cross he took aim and shot at the near post, too accurately in fact as the ball came back off the post with Baldwin beaten. Then Steele went to ground in the home penalty area there were loud shouts for a penalty but the referee waved play on and booked the player.
Matt Ashcroft got forward onto a great pass from Randell down the left but there was no-one on hand to convert his centre that flash across the goal. There was panic in the Charnock penalty area on 70 minutes as the ball bounced around but Bates took charge, knocking the ball out for a corner. Jamie Sanderson replaced Jack Bennett with 20 minutes remaining. Josh Norgate headed a left wing corner over the bar on 77 minutes and it looked as if the points were going to be shared but Charnock scored what turned out to be the winning goal on 80 minutes. Randell picked up the ball in midfield surged forward and fed ADAMS who went on and hit a shot across Baldwin into the far corner of the net. With 10 minutes of normal time remaining it was important that Charnock took the sting out of the game and they were very successful in completing this objective with some neat, possession football and by using the opposition’s corners of the pitch. Coppull were running out of steam but they never gave up and in the third minute of added time a free kick out on their left gave them a late opportunity to level the scores but the kick was easily cleared and the referee immediately blew the whistle to end the game.
It had been feisty encounter, both sides had competed hard but largely fairly and it had been a credit to the West Lancashire League. The three points ensured that Charnock kept up with the front runners in the division and they face another tough assignment when they visit league leaders Longridge Town on Saturday 5th September kick off 3.00pm