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Saturday, 4th March - Charnock record a 1-0 home win over FC Oswestry Town with Carl Grimshaw scoring the goal.
The Academy match at home against Chipping was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.
Charnock Richard 1 FC Oswestry Town 0

Saturday 4th March 2017 Hallmark Security League Division 1


Att: 132

Team: Adam Halton, Spencer Bibby, Josh Norgate, Ross O’Farrell, Ryan Schofield, Ashley Young, Jon Hession (Danny Smith 71), Anthony Hough, Carl Grimshaw, Oliver Evans (Damian Dashti 77), Mark Adams. Subs: (Not Used) Joe Fielding, Luke Gibson, Jack Sanders.

Matches at this time of the season are often subject to postponement and with waterlogged pitches in the last seven days resulting in games at City of Liverpool and Prestwich Heys being called off this was Charnock’s first game for two weeks. Charnock’s results in 2017 so far have been somewhat erratic and the Villagers needed to collect all three points from this home fixture against FC Oswestry. They had had a convincing 5-0 at Oswestry just before Christmas but this was another day and a different pitch surface to the 4G pitch at The Venue. Heavy rain in the previous week had resulted in the Mossie Park pitch being subjected to an inspection on the morning of the game; luckily the heavy rain forecast for overnight had failed to materialise and the game went ahead. The pitch though was heavy and cut up somewhat and it was difficult to produce neat passing football on the surface consequently the football upon show never reached great heights and the game was a times very scrappy. However to win honours teams have to be adaptable and show that they can pick up points under all conditions. For 75 minutes of this match Charnock were on top although they created few chances in the first half. Having taken the lead early in the second period it looked as if they would go on to win by a greater margin but the visitors fought back in the final minutes and they could well have pinched a point.

Charnock made a number of changes to the starting line-up from the team that kicked off at Stockport Town. Midfield general Nathan Fairhurst was injured so Ashley Young moved forward from defence into midfield. Josh Norgate returned from injury at left back for Joe Fielding, who was on the bench, and Ryan Schofield also fit again was at centre back. Hession started on the right in place of Danny Smith and Oliver Evans came in for the absent Sam Parkinson. Recent signing Jack Sanders was on the bench along with Danny Smith, Luke Gibson and Damian Dashti. The Oswestry side was changed considerably from the team that Charnock faced at The Venue, perhaps not surprising as they have registered 56 players so far this season.

Charnock won the toss and elected to attack the Mawdesley Plantation end in the first half. It quickly became obvious that the pitch would present problems for both teams but it did not prevent the Villagers from making a bright start. Oliver Evans produced some quick footwork on the edge of the area to set up Mark Adams and keeper Cowderoy did well to come out and pick the ball off his toes as he broke clear. It was then Evans down the left producing a fine centre but once again the keeper was first to the ball. The visitors were offering little up front as Charnock swept forward, Spenny Bibby advanced through the middle before switching the ball to Hession on the right; his centre found Adams coming in from the left but his shot was well off target. Carl Grimshaw then headed straight at the keeper from a right wing corner. Charnock were making the running but not creating clear cut chances. After the opening quarter of an hour Oswestry began to come more into the game and it became more of a slog between two sides struggling to produce any quality football. There was a decent chance for the visitors but the ball appeared to hit a divot and the kick was missed. The Villagers finished the half on the front foot with a Hession pass just being too strong to get Adams in on goal and a Ryan Scofield header going wide from a right wing corner.

As expected Charnock came out with increased intent after a session in the dressing room with manager Andy Westwell and took the lead on 49 minutes. The goal was the result of a “never give up” run by Oliver Evans who chased across the area to rob a defender, his shot was knocked up in the air by Cowderoy and CARL GRIMSHAW made sure that he won the header which despite efforts from the keeper hit the back of the net. Charnock have scored some excellently crafted goals this season but this effort just shows that sometimes it is just perseverance that can be the main factor in finding the net. The visitors looked decidedly dejected at going behind and Charnock should really have gone on to put the game beyond them. A Scofield header from a right wing corner hit the bar and Cowderoy blocked the follow up shot. Anthony Hough made a great run into the six yard box on the left but then fired his shot into the side netting. Another fine run from Hough finished with Grimshaw firing over the bar. Charnock brought on Danny Smith for Jon Hession after 71 minutes and up to this point in the game Oswestry had not even tested Halton in the home goal but the balance of the game began to shift. The visitors came more and more into the game and the home supporters in a crowd of 132 became increasingly edgy. Substitutes Graybrook and Price were prominent in the Oswestry attacks as the home defence came under increasing pressure. A Oswestry free kick from 35 yards out threatened as it sped through the defence but it went just past the post. Evans had a chance when the ball dropped to him after Grimshaw had challenged a free kick from Norgate but he scuffed his shot wide. On 76 minutes a neat cross field attack by the visitors found Graybrook out on the right he cut inside but from a great position he could only hit his shot high over the bar. Dashti replaced Evans and Oswestry set up another good move with Price finding Rowlands and his neat chip over Halton saw the ball bounce on top of the bar and over for a goal kick. Charnock were really on the back foot and once again in these circumstances it was Ross O’Farrell, the no nonsense defender, heading, blocking and kicking clear. On 86 minutes a wicked cross threatened the goal but Ross was up to head the ball out for a corner. As the game entered the three minutes of added time the Villagers finally regained their grip on the game and play was concentrated in the visitor’s half as a result Charnock could celebrate a hard won victory.

Saturday 11th March sees Charnock travelling to league leaders Litherland REMYCA with a 3.00pm kick off.

Keith Reader

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