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 Latest News
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Charnock won through to the 1st Round Proper of the Buldbase FA Vase with this 3-0 win over Bacup Borough at Mossie Park. Jon Hession, Ross O'Farrell and Matt Davison scored the goals.
Tha Academy drew 3-3 at Walmer Bridge with Brooks 2 and Entwistle on the score sheet.
Charnock Richard 3 Bacup Borough 0

Saturday 23rd September 2017, Buildbase FA Vase Qualifying Round 2


Att: 118

Team: Adam Halton, Matt Davison, Ross O’Farrell, Ashley Young, Ryan Schofield, Joe Noblet (Anthony Hough 83), Spencer Bibby, Nathan Fairhurst, Connor Loftus (Jon Hession 4), Mark Adams (Arnold Baxendale 72), Mark Woods. Subs: (Not Used), Kallum Banks, Jack Sanders.

Unpredictability in football is well known, it was the basis of the famous Football Pools which for many years was where Joe Public based his hopes on winning a fortune and quite a few lucky punters were successful. When the draw for the Buildbase FA Vase qualifying rounds was made back in July Charnock were faced with a trip to Selby Town and if they were successful with a home tie against Bacup Borough. Having won against Bacup in both their meetings last season it could be assumed that the Villagers would be favourites to win, hopes were boosted further when Bacup suffered a demoralising 7-1 defeat at the hands of Sandbach United on the previous Saturday. However, the tie did not turn out quite so easy as most people expected as Bacup turned up with a game plan to defend in depth and hope to pinch a winning goal on the break and it was nearly successful. Despite Charnock dominating play the first half was goalless and even by the hour mark the game was going the visitors’ way but finally Charnock scored the all-important goal and from then on it was always going to be the Villagers who would be in the hat for the 1st Round Proper.

Charnock started with the same line-up that was so successful at Barnoldswick Town in the previous match. The only change on the bench was new signing from Nantwich Town Arnold Baxendale replacing Luke Gibson. Carl Grimshaw was still on holiday. Despite a little drizzle prior to the game it was a fine afternoon and there was only a light southerly wind. The pitch was in excellent condition thanks to all the money and in particular the huge human resources put into it since the previous May.

The Bacup team included a number of tall, well-built players and they adapted their resources accordingly; their main aim appeared to be to put the previous week’s heavy defeat behind them and stop Charnock scoring whilst hoping to pinch a goal at the other end. It soon became obvious that the basis of their tactics would be to hit the ball long and with Wayne Morrison and Tre Willis they had two willing runners up front. It, at times, stretched the heading abilities of the Charnock back three but overall there was little threat to the home goal. Only on one occasion did Bacup come close to scoring, and it was very close, with Willis hitting a pile driver from distance that Adam Halton appeared to get just enough on to ensure that it rebounded back off the bar. Charnock have been producing some quick, neat inter-passing football in recent games and this was another occasion where they strung together plenty of pleasant, easy on the eye football. The main problem was producing the right passes inside the packed Bacup penalty area and this remained difficult for the first hour of the game. There was a set-back for Charnock after only two minutes, Connor Loftus chased a ball into the area but then went down clutching his thigh, a hamstring appeared to be the problem and on came Jon Hession who has had his own injury problems already this season. The change did not really affect the Villager as they quickly took charge; the visitors were certainly prepared for the game, snapping into tackles and pressing their opponents so Charnock had to ensure that they moved the ball quickly. Just after the start of the season the club welcomed back Mark Woods after a season at Longridge and he appears to have come back with even more energy and in recent matches he has been so quick that opponents struggle to contain him. This was another game in which he ran riot in midfield. He had a fierce shot deflected for a corner and set up several shooting opportunities for colleagues. With Nathan Fairhurst again setting up attacks with his excellent passing ability it appeared to be how soon would it be before the Villagers took the lead? Joe Noblet almost set them on their way on four minutes after a Bibby shot had been blocked by Josh Harris in the visiting goal, hitting a shot from out on the left that bounced on top of the bar. A free kick was just a fraction too high for Ashley Young before the scare of Willis hitting the bar for Bacup. The two big, dominating centre defenders were proving to be a stumbling block for Charnock who were missing the heading power of Carl Grimshaw. Long clearances were easily dealt with by Masirka and Bellamy so the answer was to keep the ball on the ground and try and get around the defence on the wings but even then centres were being capably dealt with by the visiting defenders. The team in green maintained their domination and after Young found Adams on the left his shot as diverted for a corner and the same player should have scored on 19 minutes when he finally got clear on the right cutting into the box, his shot was either well wide or he was trying to find Hession coming in at the back post. Matt Davison had to receive treatment after a collision off the ball and luckily he was able to continue. There was concern for Charnock when Scofield conceded a free kick 30 yards out but an offside decision ended the threat. Adams almost set up Hession but the ball was headed over his own crossbar by a defender. The final minutes of the first half saw the visiting team coming under even more pressure and only a little bit of luck, perhaps due to them for their dogged defensive display, prevented the Villagers taking the lead. O’Farrell had his header cleared off the line from a right wing corner and when the ball was returned Scofield headed over the bar. O’Farrell then got down the left and knocked the ball back to Bibby and he cut inside and hit a post with his shot. Woods set up Adams for a shot that the keeper deflected and Hession shot wide from a very narrow angle. It had been a half dominated by the home team but Bacup were still very much in the cup tie.

For the second half Charnock reverted to a back four with Bibby moving to right back but the pattern of play remained the same with Charnock playing all the football. Adams shot wide after Nathan Fairhurst had created the chance but the visitors then broke and Halton had to come out to get a hand to a centre that was dropping favourably for Bacup and the threat finished with a shot off target. The move indicated how delicately poised the tie was despite all Charnock’s pressure, conceding a goal would have put an even greater burden on the home forwards. How many times in the past have we seen Charnock lose after dominating games? The villagers continued to push forward and Joe Noblet hit the bar for the second time in the match from a free kick. Matt Davison continues to produce exciting performances and again he was on the ball cutting in from the right, he set up Jon Hession but he shot disappointingly wide. Teams at every level can set themselves up to defend and close opponents down but it almost impossible to maintain these tactics for the full 90 minutes and the Bacup defence was finaly breeched on 65 minutes. Once again it was Davison cutting in from the right along the bye-line, his cross found HESSION at the back post and it was a simple tap-in for the lively striker. At last the home supporters amongst the crowd of 118 could relax somewhat but two minutes later Bacup came very close to equalising; Halton came out to punch a free kick but made very little contact he was, however, alert enough to beat away the shot that followed, a very important save. With the visiting defence now penetrated not surprisingly the Bacup players lost a little enthusiasm but with only a narrow lead there was still plenty of anxiety amongst the home crowd. Schofield should have made the tie safe when he met a Bibby free kick right in front of goal but amazingly he headed wide. Arnold Baxendale came on to make his debut for Adams and Davison moved up front. Matt Davison then got clear but he over hit the ball and although he beat the advancing Harris to the ball he could only knock it wide. Charnock did put the game beyond Bacup on 80 minutes when ROSS O’FARRELL met a right wing corner with a powerful header right in front of goal. Anthony Hough replaced Joe Noblet on 83 minutes and Charnock made it 3-0 two minutes later. O’Farrell, who had another impressive game, won the ball with another of his tackles and sent DAVISON free down the left, he cut in past two or three weary defenders into the centre of the six yards box and beat Harris. Hession could have scored when he broke into the box but he failed to get the ball past the advancing Harris.

It had been a very difficult tie due to the dogged performance of Bacup but on this occasion Charnock had stuck to their tactics and kept playing their neat football rather than hitting high balls into the opposing box which would just have made it very easy for the visiting defenders. Another clean sheet, the second in succession, is it a coincidence that the defence has improved since the return of Ross O’Farrell?

Charnock welcome Bootle to Mossie Park on Saturday 30th September kick off is 3.00pm

Keith Reader

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