Charnock beat Sandbach United 3-1 in their final home game of the season. Matt Davidson, Jon Hession and Carl Grimshaw scored the goals.
Charnock Richard 3 Sandbach United 1
Tuesday 18th April 2017, Hallmark Security League Division 1
CHARNOCK RICHARD 3
SANDBACH UNITED 1
Team: Adam Halton, Spencer Bibby, Josh Norgate (Joe Fielding 85), Ross O’Farrell, Mike Fletcher, Ashley Young, Matt Davison, Anthony Hough (Damian Dashti 80), Carl Grimshaw, Jon Hession (Mark Adams 70), Danny Smith. Subs: (Not Used) Jack Sanders, Luke Gibson.
As the season moves to a climax this was another tension filled game with Sandbach United proving to be formidable opponents. The match was delicately poised at 1-1 at half time but as in the previous game a goal just after the restart gave Charnock the lead but the visitors put the Villagers under pressure and the win was not finally confirmed until Grimshaw headed home in the final minute of normal time. Charnock’s lead at the top of the table remains at one point with three fixtures to play.
This was Charnock’s last home game unless they are involved in the play-offs and it was very satisfying to see a healthy attendance of 173 which over the 25 home games this season gave an average attendance of 140. Thanks to to everyone for their fantastic support over the season.
The squad was the same as for the previous two games but there was one change to the starting line-up, Danny Smith getting the nod at the expense of Mark Adams. It was a fine afternoon and the light wind had no effect on the game. Charnock won the toss and Sandbach kicked off playing towards the Charter Lane end. The visitors were looking to consolidate their present sixth position in the table which would ensure that they were involved in the play-offs and with Charnock chasing automatic promotion there was plenty for both sides to play for and it showed on the pitch as a highly competitive and entertaining match unfolded.
It was end to end from the start and it continued that way for all the 90 minutes with Sandbach showing plenty of attacking ideas and they were a constant threat with their ability to capitalise on dead ball situations. Whilst understandably the Villagers are not playing their best football of the season they are still turning in impressive performances and once again, although it was not easy, they ran out winners but the destination of the three points was not really settled until close to the final whistle.
Young got onto the end of a Norgate free kick in the opening minutes but the angle was tight and he shot wide. A mix up between Evans and keeper Ryan Moss almost let Hession in but the defender recovered to clear the loose ball. Jon Hession hit a shot over the bar after Grimshaw struggled to control the ball. Charnock had made a decent start and when Davison got his head to a left wing corner at the front post the ball went beyond the far post. Adam Halton had to be alert after 14 minutes to snatch the ball in front of Boris Melingul as the visitors showed that they had plenty of attacking potential. Charnock took the lead after 17 minutes, Moss came out to punch a left wing corner and when it dropped to MATT DAVISON he hit the ball home. When Morgan got down the left for the visitors, Melingui fell over his own feet when the cross came in. Anthony Hough had a chance after 21 minutes after Grimshaw lying on the ground poked the ball to him but his effort was wide. When Fletcher conceded a free kick on the left edge of the penalty area Ross O’Farrell cleared the ball out for a corner. Ashley Young had a powerful shot blocked after Smith delivered from the left. When Alf Hammond broke clear for the visitors on 32 minutes his shot was diverted for a corner. Both teams were showing the ability to create threatening attacks. A mix up between Morgan and Cooper saw Hession nip in to pinch the ball and Grimshaw was in the clear but his shot was mis-hit and went well off target. Sandbach equalised on 40 minutes after a free kick was awarded for a foul that only the referee saw just inside the Charnock half. When the ball came in Melingui fouled Fletcher before looping a header over Halton. It was a disappointing way to concede a goal. In added time Halton had to dive to turn a free kick out for a corner. It had been a closely fought first half and both sides had plenty to play for in the second 45 minutes.
On the previous Saturday Charnock had taken the lead two minutes into the second half and once again it was the same time when Halton hit a long ball that Grimshaw headed down on the edge of the area and JON HESSION steered the ball beyond Moss into the net. It was an important goal but it failed to dampen the expectations of Sandbach and they continued to look for another equaliser. There was plenty of action with Bibby getting to the right bye-line and Davison just failing to get a foot on the ball as it flashed across the face of the goal. Carl Grimshaw headed over the bar a left wing cross from very close in. Fletcher was alleged to have fouled Malingui when to everyone else on the ground it was the latter who did the pushing and when Halton only punched the free kick high in the air he was back on his line to catch the resulting header. Sandbach brought on Aaron Knight and he had a good run through the middle but the ball finished up in Halton’s hands. On 68 minutes Hession did well down the left and when he found Hough his shot was wide. Mark Adams then replaced Hough. Charnock were hanging on to their slender lead but there was plenty of tension around the ground. A good run by Davison into the area finished with Grimshaw heading into the goalkeeper’s arms. The second of two consecutive Charnock left wing corners saw a powerful header from Ashley Young somehow scrambled off the line. Damian Dashti came on for Anthony Hough with Davison moving into central midfield. When Lundstram got to the right corner flag his centre saw Halton have to turn the dipping ball over the bar. Andy Westwell made his final substitution after 85 minutes Joe Fielding coming on for Josh Norgate. Grimshaw then had an attempt from distance but it never threatened the goal. On 88 minutes a thunderbolt from Mark Adams cannoned back off the post and then in the final minute of normal time CARL GRIMSHAW headed home from a left wing corner. The three points were safely in the Charnock hands and their position at the top of the table secured for another few days at least.
On Saturday 22nd April Charnock travel to Widnes who play at the ground of Rugby League club Widnes Vikings, kick off is at 3.00pm.