Charnock won 3-1 against Bootle at Mossie Park. Carl Grimshaw 2 and Matt Davison scored the goals.
The Reserves won 1-0 at Padiham Reserves and the Academy won 5-1 at home to Lostock St Gerards.
Charnock Richard 3 Bootle 1
Saturday 30th September 2017, Hallmark Security League Premier Division
CHARNOCK RICHARD 3
Team: Adam Halton, Matt Davison, Ross O’Farrell, Ashley Young, Ryan Schofield, Joe Noblet (Anthony Hough 77), Spencer Bibby (David Sherlock 65), Nathan Fairhurst, Carl Grimshaw, Mark Adams (Jon Hession 73), Mark Woods. Subs: (Not Used) Josh Norgate, Kallum Banks.
This was another excellent performance and Charnock’s 3-1 win over last season’s runners up Bootle was fully deserved. With both teams committed to playing quality football it was a very entertaining game with plenty of goalmouth action and the woodwork intervened a number of times frustrating both sides. Charnock were the better team in the first half and led 1-0 at the interval, it could have been more but not unsurprisingly Bootle picked up their game in the second half and at times looked a real threat. The Villagers increased their lead before the visitors pulled a goal back but after Charnock restored their two goal cushion with 15 minutes remaining they never really looked like relinquishing their hold on the three points.
Leading goalscorer and captain Carl Grimshaw was back from holiday and replaced the injured Connor Loftus up front. That was the only change to the starting line-up from the team that beat Bacup Borough in the FA Vase on the previous Saturday. There were however changes on the bench, Jack Sanders was injured and Baxendale had departed to play elsewhere after only one substitute appearance. In came Josh Norgate having completed his suspension and new signing David Sherlock from Congleton Town.
The afternoon was overcast with showers but there was no wind and with the pitch in superb condition it was excellent conditions for football. Charnock kicked off playing towards the Mawdesley Plantation end and Bootle had the first chance a right wing corner played short set up a heading opportunity at the back post but Adam Halton had no difficulty with the save. With both sides intent on playing football the game lived up to its pre-match billing. The opening minutes saw both sides eying each other up and a customising themselves to the conditions so there were no real goal opportunities. Playing with three at the back has been Charnock’s tactics so far this season and once again this was their format with Woods, Fairhurst and Noblet in midfield. As the game settled down Charnock began to take the initiative and threaten the visitor’s goal. Mark Adams, after playing on the wing in most of his appearances for the club, is now showing consistency as a striker and once again he provided plenty of pace up front. Mark produced a number of shots, a couple which brought the best out of visiting keeper Jordan Gidley. Joe Noblet is not afraid to shoot and he had two early efforts not too far off target. Grimshaw had a golden opportunity to open the scoring on 17 minutes when he intercepted a cross field pass and burst clear but his shot went past the post. Bootle knocked the ball around neatly but they were not really troubling the home defence although Ashley Young was called upon to make a last ditch tackle as they attacked down the left. Although the majority of football played up to the 29th minute had been neat passing Charnock took the lead by the infamous route one style of play, Ross O’Farrell hit a long ball from the back, the visiting defence was caught out and CARL GRIMSHAW was in on goal and this time he made no mistake hitting a powerful shot past the advancing goalkeeper. On the balance of play the Villagers deserved their lead and Joe Noblet almost made it two when his free kick rebound back off the post, the resulting scramble to put the loose ball into the net was halted when the referee blew for a push by a home player. With Mark Woods producing another all-action display in midfield assisted by Nathan Fairhurst whose style is not so noticeable because he simply makes himself available and ensures that almost every pass finds a college Charnock were carving out chances. In the home goal Adam Halton had not had a real save to make and he stood and watched as a rare shot from Bootle sailed over the bar. There was a nasty incident when Adams jumped in on centre back Rendall who required lengthy treatment before he could resume. It is not really Mark’s style and he received a yellow card. The match continued to be played in the right spirit as half time approached. A right wing corner from Noblet caused problems and when the ball came out to him again he hit a shot well wide from a very narrow angle. A rare chance for Bootle just before half time saw Millington get down the left, cut back and fire a shot across goal but beyond the far post. Immediately before the half time whistle blew Woods set up Adams but he shot over the bar. It had been an excellent half for the Villagers as the visitors retreated to the dressing rooms to lick their wounds it was expected than they would be much more of a force in the second half and so it proved.
They were out early after the break and pushed forward immediately after the re-start. Connor Millington hit a decent volley wide after the ball was hit forward by a defender but Charnock increased their lead on 48 minutes. Another well worked move developed with a ball out to DAVISON on the right and he cut in at speed and delivered a shot across goal into the far corner of the net. On a decent run of form this was the fifth game in a row that Matt has scored. The visitors carried much more of a threat in this half and it was a case of the home defence standing firm. The uncertainty evident in the early games of the season when a number of goals were shipped seems to have now been overcome and the Villagers have now conceded on few occasions in recent games. This was another case of resolute defending although they had to rely on the woodwork three times. Charnock still looked really dangerous with their speed on the break and Matt Davison went on a tremendous run on 54 minutes from his own half cutting through the centre of the visiting defence and only a fine save from Gidley prevented him being rewarded with an outstanding goal. On 57 minutes a shot from distance rebounded down off the Charnock bar and Hodkinson headed over from close range it was a real let-off for the team in green. They were not so lucky two minutes later when a quick attack down the Bootle left resulted in a centre finding Halligan in front of goal his first effort hit the bar but he made no mistake with the rebound. The visitors were back in the game. Not surprisingly Bootle picked up their game and they almost equalised on 62 minutes when a shot from Whewell hit the top of the bar. However the home team continued to defend and this was the closest that Bootle came to scoring again. Dave Sherlock made his debut replacing Spencer Bibby who as usual had made full use of his speed both in defence and attack. Another decent attack finished with Grimshaw finding the net but he was ruled to be offside. Jon Hession came on for Mark Adams and set up GRIMSHAW to score his second goal of the game. Jon, down by the right hand corner, delivered a fine centre which Carl chested home at the back post on 75 minutes. With 15 minutes remaining Bootle never really looked like getting back into the game, they began to hit every ball long but with little end product, the home defence stood strong, Ryan Schofield won the headers and with, as usual, Ashely Young and Ross O’Farrell produced excellent performances alongside him. Anthony Hough came on for Noblet and almost scored after he spun in the box but his shot beyond the far post. There were no further problems for the team in green and they ran out deservedly as winners.
Over the many years that manager Andy Westwell has been in charge we have come to realise that when it comes to important games no-one is better than Andy in getting the best out of his squads and once again this was a superb performance from his team.
The following week sees Charnock playing two fixtures on Wednesday 4th October they meet AFC Darwen at the Anchor Ground kick-off 7.45pm. AFC Darwen have had several good wins in recent games so it will not be easy and then on Saturday 7th Charnock are at home again against Winsford United another side who will provide stiff opposition. Kick-off is, as usual, 3.00pm.