Charnock lost 3-1 at Sandbach United, Sam Parkinson scored the goal.
The Academy were beaten 6-0 at league leaders Ribchester Rovers
Sandbach United 3 Charnock Richard 1
Saturday 11th February 2017 - Hallmark Security League Division 1
SANDBACH UNITED 3
CHARNOCK RICHARD 1
Team: Gavin Bates, Spencer Bibby, Josh Norgate (Jon Hession 81), Mike Fletcher, Ross O’Farrell, Ashley Young (Damian Dashti 90+5), Anthony Hough (Danny Smith 67), Nathan Fairhurst, Carl Grimshaw, Sam Parkinson, Mark Adams. Subs: (Not Used) David Prout, Luke Gibson.
This game was the re-arranged fixture after the match at Sandbach at the end of November was abandoned in the 71st minute because of fog with Charnock leading 3-1. The circumstances gave Sandbach a second chance to claim the points and they duly took it but it was very much a case of self-destruction for the Villagers. A disappointing goalkeeper blunder after only 40 seconds saw Sandbach take the lead which, despite Charnock largely dominating the half, they still held at the interval. The Villagers came out in the second half and dominated the play but as often happens the home side broke and made it 2-0. Charnock came back and scored with a shot from a free kick but some further disappointing defending gifted Sandbach a third goal and although Charnock fought hard to get back into the game the home defence stood firm.
The starting eleven saw the welcome return of two players who had been out since early October; Ashley Young was in midfield with Sam Parkinson up alongside Carl Grimshaw. On the bench was Danny Smith who has only made a couple of fleeting appearances due to injury since October. With Adam Holgate away Gavin Bates was in goal.
It was a miserable, cold day but luckily the drizzle that was falling before the kick off moved away. There was a decent crowd of 102 although the number of travelling supporters was fewer than for the original game. Sandbach kicked off and took the lead after only 40 seconds Fletcher, out on the left, rolled the ball square to Bates who was slow to clear and Jamie Morgan charged down his kick and the ball rebounded into the net. It was a very disappointing start for Charnock. Carl Grimshaw had a chance after three minutes when a defender’s header dropped to him but he shot over the bar. A home defender then headed a left wing centre narrowly past his own post. When the referee failed to award a free kick for a home attacker being offside and nothing came of his decision to allow Charnock to play on, the Charnock bench were vocal in their disapproval and when this outburst continued after they had been spoken to by the referee he sent off both Andy Westwell and Andy Pendlebury. Josh Norgate was shown a yellow card for a rash tackle and when Parkinson went over in the area with the referee again waving play on two more Charnock players received yellow cards as the team discipline broke down. The match settled down and Charnock began to take a control. The home side relied on long clearances with the speedy Josh Lane looking to break clear but the Villagers’ defenders were up to the task. Ashley Young saw his lob just drop over the bar when Parkinson found him on the edge of the area. Charnock should have equalised on 19 minutes when Hough and Bibby combined well down the right and Spencer’s inch perfect centre landed on Grimshaw’s head but from only yards out he put the ball over the bar. Another good move down the right saw the threat end when Hough’s pass dropped to a defender. Chris Jackson shot over the bar from distance on 30 minutes and this was Sandbach’s first attempt on goal in the match an indication of how dominant the visitors had been. Mark Adams worked himself a chance on the edge of the area but his left foot shot was just past the post. When the home team were awarded a free kick on the edge of the area on 43 minutes Josh Lane took it quickly and, with Bates rooted to the spot, the ball rebounded back off the post. As the half came to a conclusion Parkinson played Grimshaw clear but he was flagged offside.
As expected the Villagers came out firing on all cylinders for the second half and totally dominated the proceedings. When Bibby found Grimshaw he shot just narrowly past a post and a succession of corners put added pressure on the home defence. From a Fairhurst left wing corner Carl Grimshaw’s header came back off the angle of the goal. After being almost on continuous defence Sandbach broke after 60 minutes and substitute Boris Mellingui ran clear to beat Bates. It was a real blow to the team in green but two minutes later they were back in the game; SAM PARKINSON was fouled on the edge of the area and he, similar to the opposition in the first half, took the kick quickly and scored. Another wild tackle on him on 64 minutes in a similar position again produced a free kick but this time the wall did its duty. When the ball dropped on the back of Ross O’Farrell’s head near the bye line on 66 minutes he produced an overhead kick to prevent the corner and the ball dropped to Dereece Gardner only 10 yards from goal and he drove the ball home. It was a big set-back for the Villagers and they immediately introduced Danny Smith for Anthony Hough. In usual fashion Charnock surged forward looking to get back into the game and it gave the opposition the chance to make quick breaks and from one of these Mallingui shot over the bar when he should have tested Bates. Then Bibby produced a great saving tackle as the same player burst into the area. Jon Hession came on for Josh Norgate as Charnock went for all-out attack. On 82 minutes Gavin Bates came out to make two fine blocks to shots when the visiting defence was breached. The keeper then came out to beat away Gardner’s shot as he cut into the area from the right. Ashley Young sent a powerful shot narrowly over the bar before he was replaced by Damian Dashti deep into added time.
It had been a disappointing game for Charnock but falling behind so early in the game put them on the back foot. Based upon possession the Villagers were well ahead but it is goals that count and their defensive performance again let them down. The return of both Ashley Young and Sam Parkinson saw them put in impressive performances but it is now a case of them gaining match fitness. Danny Smith looked more like the player that made such an impression earlier in the season when he came on in the second half.
Tuesday 14th February sees Charnock at home to Widnes kick off is 7.45pm whilst on Saturday 18 February Charnock are at Stockport Town kick off 3.00pm.