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Charnock Richard are knocked out of the Buildbase FA Vase 4-2 after extra time by Staveley Miners Welfare. Carl Grimshaw acored both goals with thundering headers.
Charnock Richard 2 Staveley MW 4 AET

Tuesday 8th November 2016, LFA Challenge Trophy 2nd Round



Team: Gavin Bates, Damian Dashti (Danny Marland 111), Ross O’Farrell (David Burrows 102), Luke Gibson, Liam Hayton, Anthony Hough, Danny Smith (Lewis Swarbrick 45), Nathan Fairhurst, Carl Grimshaw, Oliver Evans, Mark Adams. Subs: (Not Used) David Fisher, Dan Crofts.

This was the Second Round Proper in the Buildbase FA Vase and it turned out to be the third cup competition that Charnock have been eliminated from in the last three weeks, in two of these ties the defeat has only come in extra time and in the game at Ashton Athletic the margin of defeat was only by one goal. All three ties have seen the Villagers facing clubs from a higher league so their performances have been particularly impressive. This was another exciting cup tie played in front a crowd of almost 200, it provided plenty of excellent football, goalmouth action and six goals, it was disappointing that Charnock only scored two of them. A cracking first half which saw both sides creating chances and with the home side failing to convert a penalty the tie remained goalless at the interval. The second period saw Staveley take the lead but Charnock levelled almost immediately and then went 2-1 ahead. When the visitors equalised with 20 minutes remaining there was still all to play for but despite several good chances for both sides the tie remained at 2-2 after 90 minutes. The rules of the competition state that extra time must be played but if the tie is still undecided after 120 minutes a replay is required. It did not take long for the visitors to take the lead in extra time as Charnock began to wilt and a second goal midway through the second 15 minutes ensure that it would be Staveley Miners Welfare that would be travelling to South Shields in Round 3.

Charnock had three players suspended for the game, Spencer Bibby, Josh Norgate and Mike Fletcher also keeper Adam Halton was on holiday. With Ashley Young out injured until at least Christmas the squad was somewhat depleted. Particularly short at the back Liam Hayton, a favourite for many years at Charnock now playing for Hesketh Bank, agreed to help out and he started at centre back. Luke Gibson, who has had to be patient on the bench for many games this season, was alongside him with Ross O’Farrell moving to left back. Gavin Bates, an ever present in the last three seasons was in goal with Dan Crofts as the substitute keeper. Also on the bench making his first appearance of the season was David Fisher.

It had been a huge disappointment on the previous Saturday when the game had to be postponed due to water standing on the pitch and it had been even more disappointing for Staveley when the FA had decreed that the tie must be played in midweek. A journey of over 100 miles on motorways jammed with rush hour evening traffic is not the ideal way to prepare for such an important match. The kick off was put back to 8.15pm and the team bus finally rolled up at 7.35pm allowing just about enough time for them to satisfactorily complete their match preparations.

Charnock kicked off playing towards the Mawdesley Plantation end and right from the start it was evident that both teams were up for the tie. The visitors like so many opponents this season they were taller and more powerfully built and they set the high tempo for the game. Charnock despite the missing players have a competitive squad and are capable of producing some neat passing football. With some speedy forwards Staveley attacked with pace and Charnock had to be at the top of their game straight from the kick off. With Liam Hayton fitting in, as expected, seamlessly at the back and Oliver Evans’ pace up front Charnock were soon into their stride and were the first to threaten Oliver Evans bursting clear down the left and his shot went just beyond the far post. The visitors came back with a centre from the right that saw Damian Dashti, at the back post, get up to head behind as an opponent moved in. The tone of the game was set with both sides looking to score goals, Mark Adams saw his shot diverted over the bar for a corner and when Dashti got down to the right by-line his cross was just too high for Evans at the back post. Charnock were shading the game and the major goal threats were coming from them. Adams shot narrowly past the post and then visiting keeper Lewis Naylor had to get down to turn a shot around the post. The best chance of the half came when Evans again showed his pace down the left, Naylor came out of goal and mistimed his attempt to collect the ball and Oliver went flying. Ross O’Farrell stepped up to take the penalty but hit a powerful shot over the bar. There was still a chance before the break for the visitors to take the lead, a quick break saw Gavin Bates have to be alert to rush a good distance out of his area to pull off a vital tackle. Danny Smith went down after a collision just before the break and he was unable to continue.

Lewis Swarbrick replaced Smith at the start of the second half. The game for the second 45 minutes provided as much if not more entertainment than the first with a foul on Adams on the edge of the area on 47 minutes providing a chance for Carl Grimshaw but he put the free kick over the bar. Staveley threatened at the other end with a shot just past the post and then took the lead on 52 minutes a well hit shot from perhaps 40 yards looked as if Bates had it covered but the ball finished up in the back of the net. It was a disappointing way to go behind but only two minutes later the tie was again level when a left wing corner saw GRIMSHAW make one of his usual runs across the area and his header went into the net via the underside of the crossbar. The game remained on a knife edge until the 66th minute when a foul on the left gave Charnock a free kick and once again GRIMSHAW was on hand with another well timed run to head home. The home supporters were in raptures but with over 20 minutes remaining there was still plenty of time to go. The visitors became more and more direct as the half progressed and continued these tactics right through extra time. On 71 minutes Ross O’Farrell slipped over as he turned and this allowed Shaun Nesbitt a free run in on goal from the right and he found the far corner of the net. Staveley were back in the game. There was still plenty of excitement to come, Grimshaw lobbed narrowly over the bar when a shot was blocked and when Evans broke from a Staveley corner he crossed to the unmarked Grimshaw who took another touch and his shot was diverted for a corner. Grimshaw then had a shot from the right just beyond the far post and in added time a diagonal cross from the left saw Adam Lee, for the visitors, just fail with his head to get enough on the ball and it sailed past the post. There was still time for another scare for the Villagers when a misplaced pass from Dashti gave Nesbitt another chance but Bates was down to turn his shot around the post.

So after 90 minutes extra time started with Charnock again playing towards the Mawdesley Plantation end. Unfortunately for Charnock the added 30 minutes saw them lose a lot of their energy and their visitors gain in confidence. Staveley regained the lead only four minutes into the added period through Nesbitt when another long ball caught out the home defence. It was now all uphill for the team in green and David Burrows replaced Ross O’Farrell as manager Andy Westwell went all out looking for an equaliser. Adam Lee put a free kick from the edge of the area just past the post and a Grimshaw lob almost went over the head of Naylor. Staveley now had their tails up and had a firm grip on the game. In the second period of extra time Charnock found it difficult to make any impact on the visitors’ defence and Staveley could have scored on 109 minutes, Bates producing a fine save before two further shots were cleared off the line. The home team increased their strikers on the field to four when Danny Marland came on for Damian Dashti after 111 minutes. A minute later Staveley killed off the tie when, with Charnock committed to attack and out-numbered at the back, Adam Lee produced a delicate chip from beyond the far post over Bates’ head to make the score 4-2. Charnock had given all and the remaining nine minutes saw both teams just go through the motions.

The main feature of Charnock’s promotion to Step-6 has been the number of fixtures that they have been required play, almost every midweek since the beginning of August has seen them involved in a match. The club can be very satisfied with the performances to date but inevitably all this football catches up with teams eventually. With several games being postponed due to Charnock’s progress in the various cup competitions there are several midweek games still to come so we must hope that the promotion push in which Charnock are now involved can be maintained.

It has been a good performance from the team in the FA Vase competition as this is the first season that the club have been able to compete in this nationwide trophy. Their performances have been excellent in all their ties and one can only speculate what might have been the outcome of this tie had Charnock not been missing their suspended players and had converted their penalty, Spencer Bibby has an excellent record for the penalty spot.

All the best to Staveley Miners Welfare for their trip up to South Shields and the Villagers after a break of four weeks must now concentrate on league games.

Keith Reader

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