Charnock had a fine 4-1 victory over Padiham at Mossie Park with Carl Grimshaw scoring twice, Nathan Fairhust converting a penalty and Joe Noblet adding the fourth goal.
Charnock Richard 4 Padiham 1
Tuesday 15th August 2017, Hallmark Security League Premier Division
CHARNOCK RICHARD 4
Team: Adam Halton, Spencer Bibby, Jack Sanders, Ashley Young, Ryan Schofield (Luke Gibson 78), Joe Noblet, Matt Davison, Nathan Fairhurst, Carl Grimshaw, Oliver Evans (Luke Barrow 84), Mark Woods. Subs: (Not Used) David Prout, Damian Dashti.
I received some comments following my report on the Barnton game suggesting that I had been a little harsh on the team performance especially as Charnock came away with a win well my observations on this 4-1 win over Padiham will be all very positive because this was a cracking all round performance from the team. Charnock were on the front foot from the first whistle and their high tempo, quick passing game was in stark contrast to the way that the team played on the previous Saturday. Leading by the single goal of the half at the interval the Villagers almost totally dominated the second period and should really have won by a greater margin, a number of excellent chances being missed.
Despite the win at Barnton in the opening league match of the season there were several changes, Nathan Fairhurst was back from holiday and Matt Davison was free of suspension and both were included in the starting line-up. Jack Sanders was preferred in defence to Luke Gibson, who dropped to the bench with Damian Dashti also missing out on a start. Oliver Evans was given the number 10 shirt with Luke Barrow demoted to substitute. Ashley Young dropped back into defence as Charnock started with a back three.
It was a fine evening and there was another healthy attendance with 139 paying for admission. Charnock kicked off playing towards the Mawdesley Plantation end and set the tempo of the game almost immediately. Over the years we have become accustomed to seeing Charnock sides playing neat, close passing football and this match saw an excellent example of this style of play. Moving the ball quickly with plenty of movement from players the home side put Padiham on the defensive from the kick off. This was our third game at Step-5 and it is already becoming obvious that teams at this level are capable of breaking at speed and are prepared to shoot from distance, often with accuracy. The visitors showed that they had these abilities and the home defence had to be on their toes. Following the conceding of seven goals in two games Andy Westwell stuck with a back three that for the first time this season saw Jack Sanders start and the defence looked considerably more confident. Oliver Evans has a fair turn of pace and he was almost in on goal in the opening minutes and his speed unsettled the visitors’ defence right through until he was substituted on 84 minutes. Although Charnock had the balance of the possession Padiham made several dangerous attacks in the early stages of the game. A shot from distance carried power but not accuracy but then Connor Loftus hit a pile driver from the corner of the box that Adam Halton turned over the bar. Unavailable on the previous Saturday Matt Davison was back to carry a threat down the right and he hit an early shot past the post and when after 19 minutes Evans just failed to get a foot on his cross the keeper Donlan dropped the ball and Oliver had his shot from close range deflected over the bar. Charnock’s superiority saw them take the lead on 20 minutes, Evans did well on the right of the penalty area and his cross saw GRIMSHAW head accurately just inside the post. The visitors came back with Patrick O’Brien shooting wide and then firing over the bar from a central position. However, in the later stages of the half it was Charnock applying even more pressure, Mark Woods, back with the club after a spell at Longridge Town, was having an increasing influence on the game and a surging run through midfield saw him cleverly back-heel the ball to Joe Noblet and his shot from distance went narrowly over the bar. Davison again launched an attack down the right and only a last ditch tackle prevented a shot on goal. Another right wing raid finished with Donlon producing a fine save to thwart Evans. The keeper than came out and missed his kick but a defender cleared before Noblet played Evans in again but his shot was weak and the keeper saved. In a Padiham attack Halton brought off a great save from Loftus but he had been flagged offside. The half drew to a close with a right wing corner creating a scramble in the visitors’ goalmouth in which the ball came back off a post before a Padiham attack caused problems and Dominic Craig headed just over the bar. Then Joe Noblet had his shot blocked after Bibby on the left had laid the ball back to him. It had been a thoroughly entertaining first half and in all honesty the Villagers advantage should have been greater than one goal.
The second half was only two minutes old when Evans was caught as he went clear just inside the area, he tried to remain on his feet but went over and NATHAN FAIRHURST beat Donlon from the penalty spot. If Charnock’s performance had been good in the first half the second period saw them produce some superb football virtually pinning the visitors back in their own half. Donlon had to be at his best to turn a Grimshaw shot out for a corner after he had been set up by Noblet and Spencer Bibby shot beyond the far post with Noblet again the instigator. Another fine attack down the right on 55 minutes saw the ball crossed to Bibby who was unmarked he cut in on goal but his fierce shot was beaten away by Donlon. Charnock were failing to convert chances that would have put the game beyond Padiham and as often happens in football having created very little in the first quarter hour of the hour of the second half the visitors pulled a goal back. On 61 minutes a left wing corner to the near post was headed partially clear but with Halton out of position Marc Young launched a neat header that dropped under the bar. The setback, however, did not affect Charnock who continued to dominate the play and produce a number of good chances. Matt Davison was just fractionally too late coming in at the right hand post to convert a cross, his shot going into the side netting. To prevent any last minute anxiety Charnock needed to score again and their third goal came on 72 minutes, Joe Noblet swung a diagonal ball in from the left and GRIMSHAW made sure that his header found the net. Their fourth goal two minutes later was arguably the best of the match with Charnock again dominating possession a ball was played out into space on the left NOBLET ran on to it, skinned a defender and cut in and hit a shot across goal just inside the far post. The game was to all intents over but did we not think this at 4-1 at Barnton? There was no chance of Padiham coming back on this occasion but there were a couple of scares as the visitors made a lively finish to the match. Halton producing a fine point blank stop to a header from Loftus. Bibby had a chance to make the win even more emphatic when he again got clear on the left but his shot, with only the keeper to beat, went beyond the far post.
The win took Charnock to the top of the table but it would be very naïve to read too much into this after only two matches but there was no doubt about the quality of this performance. The return of Matt Davison and Nathan Fairhurst appeared to have been a boost and Mark Woods had made an impact as he looks to adapt to this level of football but overall it was a real team effort. There are plenty of tough fixtures to face in the next eight months and to avoid finishing in the relegation positions, which do not forget could include up to six teams this season, the team must try to produce performances like this every week.