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Charnock recorded a fine 5-0 win at FC Oswestry Town. Carl Grimshaw 2, Mark Adams, Jon Hession and Spencer Bibby scoring the goals.
FC Oswestry Town 0 Charnock Richard 5

Saturday 17th December 2016 - Hallmark Security League Division 1


Att: 81

Team: Adam Halton, Spencer Bibby, Ross O’Farrell, Mike Fletcher, Luke Gibson (Josh Norgate 73), Lewis Swarbrick, Anthony Hough (Danny Marland 78), Nathan Fairhurst, Carl Grimshaw, Oliver Evans (Jon Hession 17), Mark Adams. Subs; (Not Used) Damian Dashti, Gavin Bates.

A fine performance at FC Oswestry saw Charnock pick up all three points with a 5-0 win and move up into second place in the table, one point behind Whitchurch Alport with three games in hand of them. The victory was as easy as the score suggests as the Villagers produced one of their best performances of the season so far. Despite Oswestry having had a run of success in recent weeks they just could not cope with the tempo of the game set by the team in green and carried little threat to the visitors’ goal. It was a real surprise that Charnock did not go in at the interval with a greater lead than a single goal. Oswestry had their best spell of the game immediately after half time but once Charnock added a second goal it was all one way and just a question of how many goals they would score.

Oswestry play at The Venue home of TNS (The New Saints) who play in the Welsh Premier Division and it is a fine stadium having hosted European matches. It has an artificial surface which suited Charnock with their quick passing style. The team coach was full so the Villagers had plenty of support in the crowd of 81. It was a fine afternoon and although there was a bit of mist drifting about in the second half it never developed into game threatening fog, which was encountered at several other matches in the league.

Charnock made several changes to their starting line-up, Josh Norgate was dropped to the bench and Ross O’Farrell switched to left back. Spencer Bibby dropped back to right back with Anthony Hough starting on the right of midfield. Jon Hession signed in the week was on the bench with Damian Dashti, Danny Marland and goalkeeper Gavin Bates.

Charnock kicked off and with little wind there was no obvious benefit on which way a team played. It did not take the Villagers long to take charge of the game, moving the ball around at speed the home side were soon struggling to get any possession. Charnock’s previous experiences on plastic pitches have seen them struggle to cope with the speed of the bounce but this surface played well and other than the ball sometimes bouncing a little unexpectantly the players revelled in the circumstances. There was an early disappointment when Oliver Evans went down with an ankle injury after only five minutes, he managed to struggle on until the 17th minute when he was replaced by Jon Hession. It was probably a debut far earlier than manager Andy Westwell had planned but the young lad, signed from Clitheroe earlier in the week, settled into the team immediately and produced a number of significant contributions to the game including a goal and a shot that came back off the bar in the final minutes of the game. The match was almost all one way in the first half with the home side’s sorties into Charnock territory sparse to say the least. There was 23 minutes on the clock before they produced a shot and that was high over the bar. The rather surprising aspect of Charnock’s dominance in the first half was that they failed to produce any clear cut chances, most of the their goal attempts came from distance and a fair number failed to be on target. With Nathan Fairhurst as usual in fine form in midfield and on this occasion assisted by an excellent performance from Lewis Swarbrick Oswestry struggled to maintain possession in midfield. It was Lewis Swarbrick who set up Charnock’s first goal after 20 minutes he picked the ball up just inside the Oswestry’s half on the left, a couple of somewhat fortunate rebounds helped him past two players before he beat two defenders and passed the ball to MARK ADAMS who drilled the ball just inside the near post from a couple of yards inside the area. It was another fine goal from the winger and takes his tally to 11 so far this season.

Half time arrived with Charnock holding the one goal lead and by no means were Oswestry out of the game. As expected the home side started the second half looking far livelier and whilst they still saw far less of the ball than the visitors they at last carried a bit of a threat up front. Adam Halton had to make a save after 52 minutes and their best chance of the game came shortly afterwards Jack Harris got clear down the right and the centre found Harrison Millington unmarked in front of goal but his kick was seriously mistimed and the ball ballooned up and went out for a goal kick. Late in the game Millington again had a shooting chance when cutting in from the left but again he failed to get his shot on target. At the other end Charnock were still piling on the pressure, Carl Grimshaw headed just over the bar from a corner and Swarbrick had a shot diverted for another corner after Hession had won the ball on the right. Charnock scored their second goal on 58 minutes when Fairhurst took a left wing corner the ball came out back to him and his centre to the back post saw CARL GRIMSHAW head home. A minute later it was 3-0 and if the game had previously not been over it was now. Grimshaw headed a long ball down to Adams who played HESSION clear on the left side of goal and his shot across keeper Richard Cowderay found the far corner of the net. The Villagers added a fourth goal on 68 minutes a superb passing move started on the right finished with SPENCER BIBBY clear only yards out and he rolled the ball just inside the post. It was the best goal of the match. The remainder of the game saw Charnock passing the ball around smoothly and Oswestry struggling to keep the final score a low as possible. Their case was no helped when keeper Cowderay was sent off after 75 minutes, he left his area to just beat Hession to the ball and it ran free. When Grimshaw latched onto it and produced a goalbound shot he handled it outside his area. The red card was inevitable has he had denied the scoring of a goal. Captain Jack Harris went in goal and made a fair fist of the job but he was eventually beaten when a Bibby free kick after 88 minutes was returned across the goalmouth and GRIMSHAW took a touch before firing home. As aforementioned Jon Hession had a shot come back off the bar in the final minutes.

It had been a commanding performance and the final score could have been even more emphatic. Boxing Day sees the first of three home games for the Villagers, AFC Blackpool are the visitors with a 3-00pm kick off. On New Year’s Eve Bacup Borough provide the opposition note the earlier kick off time of 2.00pm and on Saturday 7th January Litherland REMYCA visit Mossie Park kick off is the usual 3.00pm.

Keith Reader

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