Charnock win 4-0 at Barnoldswick Town with goals from Mark Adams 2, Matt Davison and Jon Hession.
Barnoldswick Town 0 Charnock Richard 4
Tuesday 19th September 2017, Hallmark Security League Premier Division
BARNOLDSWICK TOWN 0
CHARNOCK RICHARD 4
Team: Adam Halton, Matt Davison, Ross O’Farrell, Ashley Young, Ryan Schofield, Joe Noblet (Anthony Hough 80), Spencer Bibby (Kallum Banks 57), Nathan Fairhurst, Connor Loftus, Mark Adams (Jon Hession 72), Mark Woods. Subs: (Not Used) Jack Sanders, Luke Gibson.
Charnock and Barnoldswick met regularly in the West Lancashire League until Town moved up into the North West Counties League in 2009 and the Villagers never lost a game. It was the same story when the teams met in the BuildBase FA Vase last season with Charnock moving into the next round after a penalty shootout. Once again the team in green were victorious but this game was a lot closer than the score may suggest with the home side missing several decent chances but Charnock continue to find the net and they have the best “goals to games” ratio in the division with 31 goals from eight matches. Charnock had a two goal lead by half time and although the home side put up a battling performance in the second half two further goals from the Villagers saw them depart with the three points and they moved back up to third in the table having played less games than any other club in the top positions.
There were two changes to the team that won 7-1 in the Buildbase FA Vase at Selby Town with Ashley Young preferred to Jack Sanders and Connor Loftus came in for Carl Grimshaw who was on holiday. Luke Gibson, Jon Hession and Anthony Hough, missing at Selby, were named as substitutes alongside Kallum Banks and Jack Sanders.
It was a pleasant evening and the pitch looked in excellent condition as Charnock kicked off playing towards the Clubhouse end. This Charnock squad has more players with pace than the teams in recent seasons and opposition defences are often struggling to cope and this was the case again in this match. There was little of note in the opening minutes but with Mark Adams and Matt Davison both making significant contributions up front it was not long before Charnock were testing the home goalkeeper, Tom Turner. Connor Loftus made his first start since joining the club from Padiham in place of the absent Carl Grimshaw and his first shot was blocked by the keeper. When Mark Adams did well down the left Davison’s shot was straight at Turner as Charnock carved out all the early openings. Barnoldswick showed that they had the ability to break with pace and at times the Charnock back three were at full stretch. After the Villagers had made most of the running in the opening quarter of an hour the home side came much more into the game, Mark Woods conceded a foul on the edge of the Charnock area but the fierce free kick rebounded safely away after hitting the head of ex-Charnock youngster Louis Mayers. Barlick should have taken the lead on 22 minutes when Zack Dale, who proved to be a real danger throughout the game, hit a diagonal cross from the right that found Mark Threlfall at the back post but he could only fire an excellent chance well wide. The game was being played at a high tempo with Charnock playing with plenty of confidence and they began to regain the upper hand. Turner came out positively to punch the ball away as it bobbed around in the penalty area after a left wing corner and the home keeper was certainly the busier of the two shot stoppers. Although wearing the number two shirt Matt Davison was a constant threat cutting in from the right and Turner produced what was probably the save of the game turning a strong shot from Davison out for a corner. Some excellent football down the right had set up Matt. Charnock took the lead after 31 minutes Joe Noblet fed a neat ball through the middle, Connor Loftus cleverly found DAVISON on the edge of the area and he hit a left foot shot into the corner of the net. Joe Noblet since his arrival in the summer has shown no hesitation in shooting when given the opportunity and when a clearance fell to him 25yards out he hit a dipping shot destined to drop just under the bar but Turner again pulled off a fine save finger tipping the ball out for a corner. The home side with another break on 41 minutes could have equalised with the Charnock defence at full stretch two goalbound shots hit defenders and eventually the ball went out for a corner. A minute later Charnock increased their lead, there was an element of luck about it but in football you take what you can, another decent attack down the right saw Davison’s pass deflected and ADAMS was clear on goal and he made no mistake in putting the ball past the advancing Turner. The half continued to go Charnock’s way and in added time a neat turn by Loftus set him up with a shooting chance but his shot was blocked.
Barnoldswick came out fired up for the second half and Charnock were forced to defend with Dale causing particular problems down the right. The early games this season saw Charnock shipping goals with 11 being conceded in their first five games but the last three games have seen only two goals hit the Charnock net, the defence has improved considerably. Once again Charnock’s defenders looked much more together and although Adam Halton was required to pull off several decent saves the home side created very few real chances. Loftus fired a centre across the goal mouth but there were no Charnock players able to take advantage and as Charnock weathered the early enthusiasm of Barlick they began to look dangerous again. Spencer Bibby had to be replaced by Kallum Banks on 57 minutes and Charnock reverted to a back four. The longer the game went on with the Villagers in the lead the more the home side would lose heart and so it proved. The closest Barlick came to getting back into the game came on 64 minutes when Airey, unopposed, headed wide from a right wing corner. There was no way back for Barnoldswick when Charnock made it 3-0 in the 69th minute Loftus did well on the right of the area and passed the ball to ADAMS who delivered a left foot shot which went under the diving Turner’s body. Three minutes later Jon Hession replaced Adams and almost with his first touch made the score 4-0; cutting in from the left he poked the ball home from a narrow angle despite the attentions of a defender and Turner. Jon has had a difficult start to the season, after all the high intensity training pre-season he only lasted seven minutes in the first game against Penistone Church before suffering a nasty ankle injury and it has taken him longer than expected for him to be back playing in the first team. With the three points now in the bag it was a case of seeing if Charnock could add to their goals tally. Anthony Hough came on for Joe Noblet and shot narrowly over the bar and then when he went on one of his runs down the left a scything tackle brought him down and earned Jon Hodgkinson a second yellow card and the home team were reduced to 10 men for the final minutes of the game. In added time Halton had to block a shot at his near post after Barnoldswick penetrated the visiting defence along the left bye-line.
It was the first clean sheet of the season and an excellent performance from Charnock who converted most of the goal chances that came their way. Nathan Fairhurst continues to control the midfield with his accurate passing and Mark Woods with his close control and Joe Noblet provide plenty of skill in this department. Mark Adams has started the season well and he is now contributing with goals whilst Matt Davison seems to improve every game and he also is finding the net regularly. The squad is looking very strong with some capable players sitting on the bench and with the club hoping to announce two new signings shortly the early signs are that we should be able to hold our own this season at this higher level. The Buildbase FA Vase 2nd Qualifying Round is the next fixture on Saturday 23rd September at home to Bacup Borough and it will again provide a stiff test, kick off is 3.00pm.