Charnock suffered a disappointing 1-0 defeat at Stockport Town. The Reserves lost 4-3 at home to AFC Fylde Reserves and the Academy recorded an excellent 6-0 win at home to Southport Trinity.
Stockport Town 1 Charnock Richard 0
Saturday 18th February 2017 Hallmark Security League Division 1
STOCKPORT TOWN 1
CHARNOCK RICHARD 0
Team: Adam Halton, Spencer Bibby, Joseph Fielding (Oliver Evans 59), Ashley Young (Luke Gibson 67), Ross O’Farrell, Anthony Hough, Mark Adams, Nathan Fairhurst (David Prout 45), Carl Grimshaw, Samuel Parkinson, Daniel Smith. Subs: (Not Used) Jonathan Hession, Damian Dashti.
Charnock fell to a disappointing 0-1 defeat at Lambeth Grove against a hard working Stockport Town side. The loss was all the more frustrating following the scintillating display by the team at Mossie Park only four days earlier against a very good Widnes outfit. It was to be a Jekyll & Hyde performance and one that was unfathomable. After a closely fought but unremarkable first 45 minutes, which neither side dominated, the second period gave no indication that this affair was headed for nothing other than a goalless stalemate. However, a needless handball on the halfway line with just over ten minutes left on the clock led to a scrambled goal for which the homesters will no doubt be ‘eternally’ grateful.
Charnock boss Andy Westwell made one or two changes to the starting line-up that had done so well on the previous Tuesday night when he brought in new signing and former Widnes defender, Joe Fielding, who replaced injured skipper Josh Norgate at left full-back. Ross O’Farrell came in for Luke Gibson in the centre of the back line with Gibson taking his place on the bench. Mark Adams returned to the side after feeling unwell on Tuesday night and replaced David Prout, who also was named as one of the substitutes.
The afternoon was an unusually mild one, reminiscent of a reasonably pleasant spring day as Charnock skipper Carl Grimshaw took the kick off to get proceedings under way. Town were bedecked in their superb Red & White Striped shirts and royal blue shorts but were extremely lucky not to have fallen behind after just two minutes. Ross O’Farrell knocked the ball over the home defence and Sam Parkinson latched onto the pass after he nipped past a couple of flatfooted defenders to rifle a superbly struck volley into the roof of the net beyond the reach of Town goalkeeper Daniel Whiting. However, the visitors were utterly dismayed when the effort was ruled out after the linesman flag was raised to indicate that Carl Grimshaw was off-side. On another day, and with a different linesman, this strike would have counted.
The opening exchanges were fairly even with both sides producing some meat and purposeful football to entertain a disappointingly low attendance of just 71.Town almost got their noses in front on 13 minutes when Ben Halfacre knocked the ball across the face of goal to put in Conor Downes. However, visiting goalkeeper, Adam Halton, was quick off the mark and took the ball smartly off the intruders toe as he was about to take advantage from six yards out. Downes was enjoying a good deal of possession for the home team and went close with a fine drive after 25 minutes following a poor clearance from the visitors. On 32 minutes the same player brought a fine finger-tip save at full stretch from Halton following a low struck free-kick on the edge of the box after Alec Mudimu was brought down by Charnock newcomer Fielding. Charnock’s new recruit received a yellow card for the offence.
The first period had not been a classic by any standards and the second was to be hardly any better. Just prior to half-time Charnock’s influential midfield general, Nathan Fairhurst, took a hefty knock and was replaced at the break by Dave Prout. The second period opened in the same mode with the home team a tad more fluent than their out-of-sorts-guests. Charnock struggled to come to terms with the artificial surface but it would be disingenuous to suggest that the pitch was the architect of their undoing. Town’s Mudime shot narrowly beyond the angle of the goalpost and crossbar on 47 minutes, whilst Grimshaw riffled an effort over the bar at the other end six minutes later after Parkinson had made the opening with an astute header. Stockport striker, Halfacre, headed over from a Thomas Bane corner kick on 57 minutes before being substituted a few minutes later. Charnock had another ‘goal’ wiped out on the hour mark when Grimshaw powered home a low shot but was inches off-side. Charnock then suffered a further injury blow which saw Ashley Young replaced by Luke Gibson on 67 minutes. Despite this, the visitors almost broke the deadlock on 72 minutes when a Ross O’Farrell header went close following a well struck Spencer Bibby free-kick.
Stockport scored what proved to be the winner with little more that ten minutes left on the clock when Charnock committed an act of ‘harikari’. Dave Prout needlessly handled the ball near the halfway line and the resultant punt into the visitors box, was scrambled home, with great delight by Mudimu from about six yards out. Mudime nearly doubled his own and Town’s account on 88 minutes when Halton somehow kept out his effort from point-blank range.