Charnock win 5-3 at Barnton with Carl Grimshaw scoring twice, Joe Noblet, Luke Barrow and Spencer Bibby, from the penalty spot, scoring the other goals.
The Reserves lost 4-2 to Euxton Villa Reserves at Mossie Park with John Sanderson and Liam McNally scoring for Charnock.
Barnton 3 Charnock Richard 5
Saturday 12th August 2017, Hallmark Security League Premier Division
CHARNOCK RICHARD 5
Team: Adam Halton, Spencer Bibby, Damian Dashti, Luke Gibson (Jack Sanders 73), Ryan Schofield, Ashley Young, Mark Adams, Joe Noblet (David Prout 87), Carl Grimshaw, Luke Barrow (Oliver Evans 73), Mark Woods. Subs: (Not Used) Matt Leatham.
Charnock had the satisfaction of coming away from Barnton with three points in this their first match at Step-5 in the football pyramid but their performance in the 5-3 win was far below the standard that has become the norm at this club. In fact the opening 30 minutes produced some extremely disappointing football and it is difficult to remember a spell when there has been such lack of cohesion, poor passing, endeavour and woeful defending from a Charnock side. Having fallen behind in the 17th minute Charnock levelled the scores on the half hour and thankfully, from this point, their display improved, however the frailty of their defence was exposed with the home side coming back from 4-1 down to reduce the arrears with two goals in three minutes.
Holidays meant that Josh Norgate and Nathan Fairhurst were unavailable, Matt Davison was suspended following his red card in the previous match and Anthony Hough and Jon Hession were both out injured. Mark Woods had returned to the club from Longridge Town and was included in the starting line-up. There were starts for Damian Dashti, Luke Gibson and Mark Adams with Ashley Young moving into midfield from defence.
It was a sunny afternoon with only a light breeze as the game started with an attendance of 62, a fair proportion of whom were from Charnock. The Villagers lost the toss and kicked off playing down the slope. This is Barnton’s second season in the Premier Division and having experienced a difficult start in their first season they were looking for a more successful opening this term. The opening exchanges saw Dashti’s through ball almost find Luke Barrow, keeper Kierman just beating him to the ball and Barnton springing an attack down their left that finished with Jack Irlam shooting just past the post. As the game settled down it was Charnock who looked the more vulnerable at the back and with a lack of cohesion throughout the team it was the back four who were coming under pressure. The majority of the team have played together for some seasons with only Joe Noblet, in the starting eleven, who has joined this summer so it was difficult to see why the performance was so disappointing. There were a couple of Charnock highlights in the first half hour with keeper Kierman turning a shot from Carl Grimshaw around the post. Then, after left back Damian Dashti had appeared down the right to set him up, it was Grimshaw again spinning on the edge of the area to shoot well off target. Another attack penetrated Charnock’s right flank on 17 minutes and a mis-timed tackle from Ryan Scofield in the penalty area resulted in Chris Smith giving the home side the lead from the spot. If the opening quarter of an hour had not seen Charnock at their best the following 13 minutes or so saw them fail to produce any decent football the only highlight being a shot from distance from Joe Noblet that had keeper Kierman stretching to prevent the ball finding the top corner of the goal. A good ball from Ashley Young on 28 minutes almost put Barrow in but it was Kierman out again to beat him to the through ball. Luke Barrow proved the spark to get Charnock back into the game on 30 minutes, a fine pass gave him the opportunity to race into the area on the right, he reached the bye-line and his cross was turned home at close range by GRIMSHAW. Charnock were immediately boosted by this goal and there was far more pace about their game. Woods did well to set up Noblet but he shot over the bar and then the same player had two efforts blocked. The visiting defence however was still struggling and twice they were outnumbered as Barnton launched attacks at pace and on the second occasion they were lucky to see a shot deflected for a corner. The Charnock forwards were caught offside on several occasions in the opening half but LUKE BARROW beat the system on 39 minutes going clear as the home defence stood appealing for offside. Kierman was out to block his first shot but Luke fired the loose ball into the net from an angle. A minute later a home attack again had the Charnock defence at sixes and sevens and when Halton could only block a shot Bibby was on hand to hack the loose ball clear. It had been a difficult first half for the Villagers but they went in at half time with a 2-1 lead.
Charnock had to play uphill in the second half and there was no real surprise when the home team came out looking to get back into the game consequently they dominated the opening 13 minutes of the half. Defensively Charnock looked a little more secure in this period and Barnton failed to create any real chances. Against the run of play Charnock increased their lead on 59 minutes, it was again Barrow who provided the chance cutting into the area from the right he was bowled over and SPENCER BIBBY made no mistake from the penalty spot. Charnock now had a cushion and when Grimshaw put Noblet in his shot rebounded back off the post. There was however a scare when again the Charnock defence was penetrated with some ease and a shot went narrowly past the post. Charnock could have increased their lead on 66 minutes when Barrow went clear but as the keeper advanced he shot wide. When Noblet played GRIMSHAW in after 68 minutes his shot went into the net via the left hand post. 4-1 to the good it looked as if the Villagers were cruising to a convincing win but the visiting defence again showed its vulnerability, two minutes later a Barnton attack down the right saw the centre hit too deep but when the ball was returned from the left Smith was on hand to score from close range. Three minutes later Barnton cut through the middle and Smith completed his hat-trick as the visiting defenders appeared to go AWOL. It was a real setback as Barnton were now back in the game and there was all to play for. Jack Sanders and Oliver Evans replaced Luke Gibson and Luke Barrow respectively at this point. It was not long however before Charnock’s two goal lead was restored with NOBLET shooting home on 76 minutes. Then Joe Noblet produced a rising shot that cleared the bar and when Oliver Evans’ free kick from the right of the penalty area was blocked by the wall his centre found Grimshaw’s head but the keeper was alert and dived to turn the ball around the post.
So the Villagers made a winning start at this level but performances will have to improve if they are avoid the lower reaches of the table. Seven goals conceded in two games shows the vulnerability of their defence but to be fair perhaps it has not yet been possible to field the strongest line-up in this area so far this season.
Charnock next host Padiham at Mossie Park on Tuesday 15th August, kick off 7.45pm.