Charnock secured a fine 3-2 win at table toppers Litherland REMYCA with Ashley Young, Spencer Bibby from the penalty spot and Jon Hession scoring the goals.
The Academy recorded an impressive win at Mossie Close also winning 3-2 against Wilbraham. Ryan Donellan scored twice and Lewis Pilgrim added the other goal.
Litherland REMYCA 2 Charnock Richard 3
Saturday 11th March 2017 Hallmark Security League Division 1
LITHERLAND REMYCA 2
CHARNOCK RICHARD 3
Team: Adam Halton, Spencer Bibby, Josh Norgate, Luke Gibson (Jack Sanders 84), Ryan Scofield, Ashley Young, Danny Smith, Ross O’Farrell, Carl Grimshaw, Jon Hession (Danny Marland 74), Joe Fielding (Damian Dashti 45).
Charnock before this game were only in 5th position in the table but by winning all their games in hand they could finish in top spot. However, they have several away fixtures against teams who are in the top six and this fixture, against the present table leaders Litherland REMYCA, was the first. When the team sheets were submitted it became obvious that Charnock were down to the bare bones of a side. With Mike Fletcher, David Prout and Nathan Fairhurst already on the injured list they had been joined by Mark Adams, Oliver Evans and Anthony Hough. So in came Luke Gibson at the back. Danny Smith started on the right and Joe Fielding on the left of midfield respectively. There was the unusual sight of Ross O’Farrell wearing the legendary number 8 shirt that for so many years identified club stalwart Andy Roberts. Danny Marland came in to join Damian Dashti and Jack Sanders on the bench. REMYCA had had a fine 1-0 win over Everton in the quarter finals of the Liverpool Cup on the previous Wednesday which had given them a boost. REMYCA play on the Litherland Sports Park owned by the local council but are hoping to move to a new ground in the next couple of years. Their present pitch has a running track around it and all the facilities associated with athletics so spectators are located a distance from the action. The pitch was not in the best of condition somewhat threadbare and uneven and the weather was mild but overcast with little wind.
So before the start it would appear that the situation had little going for the Villagers but when up against the odds manager Andy Westwell is at his best, over the years we have witnessed some remarkable triumphs when nothing but a comprehensive defeat looked on the cards and this was another occasion. Charnock were excellent and from the first whistle produced a performance that saw them largely dominate the game. Maybe the home side had not yet come down from all the excitement in midweek but on this occasion they looked far from a side challenging for the championship.
REMYCA won the toss and Charnock kicked off and immediately Grimshaw almost played Hession clear but a defender got across to clear the ball. Then Bibby was fouled on the right just outside the box but Fielding’s free kick failed to beat the first defender. Adam Halton had to come out to collect a REMYCA free kick from the right but it was the Villagers who had made a promising start. Ashley Young had a shot from distance that did not create many problems for the home goalkeeper Sean Lake. Then on 12 minutes a left wing corner delivered by Jon Hession saw YOUNG’S powerful header beat Lake and Charnock were a goal to the good. Three minutes later it was 2-0 when Young was blatantly tripped in the area; BIBBY gave Lake no chance from the penalty spot. Charnock had had an excellent start to the game and it was a case of could REMYCA respond? Top scorer Colin Quirk had a shooting opportunity but fired well off target. They did however pull a goal back after 26 minutes when a player cutting in along the bye-line from the right was adjudged to have been tripped. Quirk’s spot kick was not the best, straight at Adam Halton but it was powerful and he could not hang onto the ball and it spun up and over him into the net and the home side were back in the game. Charnock, however, continued to look the better side and they had another chance when awarded a free kick just outside the area but Danny Smith’s effort came back off the wall and his left foot follow up sailed well wide. Alex Ryan had a shooting chance after the referee gave a throw in to the home side that should have gone Charnock’s way but Halton was down to save comfortably. A free kick from the left by Spencer Bibby caused Lake problems as it dropped under the bar but Grimshaw was adjudged to have fouled him. Smith produced a fine centre from the right but Grimshaw under pressure headed wide. When Bibby lost the ball and chased back to foul the resulting free kick hit the one man wall of Joe Fielding and went for a corner. Smith broke from the corner and was pulled down as he raced through the middle. In added time in the first half Norgate surged into the area on the left and found Smith but his shot shaved the far post. It could have been 3-1 to the team in green. There was still time for Smith again to deliver from the right and Grimshaw to chest the ball down but when he hooked it over his head there was no Charnock player on hand.
It had been an excellent first half from Charnock and although their lead was only one goal it was obvious that the home team would have to seriously up their game if they were to get anything from the game.
Subject to a foul tackle in the first half Joe Fielding sustained a toe injury and was unable to continue in the second half and Damian Dashti came on as his replacement.
Rather surprisingly the home side failed to up their game for the second 45 minutes and Charnock continued to have more of the play. A Norgate header from a left wing corner hit the bar on 51 minutes and Charnock regained their two goal advantage on 60 minutes. Norgate won a tackle in his own half and surged forward, JON HESSION made a great cross field run and Josh played an ideal pass to put him clear and he made no mistake hitting the ball over the advancing Lake into the net. It was now a case of what could REMYCA produce now and the answer was not a lot as it was Charnock who created further chances. Grimshaw headed just over from a Bibby free kick and Schofield up for a corner headed wide. Marland came on for Hession after 74 minutes. The game became littered with numerous stoppages and of course delays when the ball when out because of the distance it went. This all suited the Villagers who were content to sit on their two goal advantage. It was in the final ten minutes that the anticipated pressure not surprisingly came from the home team. On 82 minutes a player got to the by-line on the right and his cross found substitute Tom Foley in front of goal but the ball appear to rebound off him into the hands of Adam Halton. Luke Gibson, who had taken a knock, came off on 84 minutes for Jack Sanders to make his debut. REMYCA did pull a goal back after 87 minutes Halton at the back post seemed to catch the ball but it appeared that he was fouled as the ball flew back over his head and McDonald fired home. The home side failed to capitalise on this good fortune and Charnock saw out the final minutes without any real problems.
Finally it was a pleasure to sit with the home match reporter only 17 years old and playing for the REMICA’s Under 18s team. It is always an advantage to be able to agree goal times and identify players when taking notes and he proved to be of great assistance and I wish him well in his playing career and hope that maintains his interest match reporting long after his playing days are over.
Charnock have two home fixtures with the first on Saturday 18th March when Prestwich Heys are the visitors kick off 3.00pm and on Tuesday 21st March Silsden provide the opposition with the kick off at 7.45pm.