Charnock drew 1-1 with Winsford United at Mossie Park. Mark Woods scored the goal.
The Reserves won 4-2 at Ladybridge with Luke Barrow (hat-trick) and Matthew Westwell scoring the goals.
Charnock Richard 1 Winsford United 1
Saturday 7th October 2017, Hallmark Security League Premier Division
CHARNOCK RICHARD 1
WINSFORD UNITED 1
Team: Adam Halton, Matt Davison, Ross O’Farrell, Ashley Young, Ryan Schofield (James Walker 69), David Sherlock, Anthony Hough (Spencer Bibby 75), Nathan Fairhurst, Carl Grimshaw, Mark Adams (Jon Hession 62), Mark Woods, Subs: (Not Used) Joe Noblet, Josh Norgate.
This was another entertaining match to reward the 130 hardy souls who turned up on a wet afternoon. Goals were in short supply, something that has not featured in games involving Charnock previously this season, but nevertheless there was plenty of action in an encounter that produced an abundance skilful football played at a high tempo. Winsford certainly had plenty of the possession particularly in the first half but with the home defence continuing to be difficult to break down, goal chances for the visitors were hard to come by. Despite the Villagers having been on the defensive for much of the first half they created the most chances and in the final five minutes could well have taken the lead but the game remained goalless at the break. The visitors again took charge from the restart and took the lead on 52 minutes. Charnock had to dig in and fight for every ball but as the half progressed they pushed Winsford back and in the final quarter of an hour it was a question of could the visitors hang on to their lead. It was into added time before Charnock were rewarded for all their hard work with an equaliser and they claimed a well deserved point.
The match at AFC Darwen on the previous Wednesday had been abandoned at half time due to a waterlogged pitch with Charnock losing 1-0. Anthony Hough had replaced Spencer Bibby in the starting line up for that game and he retained his place for this encounter. There was a further change with Dave Sherlock, making his first start, replacing Joe Noblet who, with Bibby, was on the bench. The other three substitutes were Josh Norgate, Jon Hession and new signing from Padiham James Walker.
Heavy rain before the start and through the first half had little effect on the pitch, hopefully all the money spent renovating it through the summer will result in fewer postponements in the coming months. Winsford won the toss and Charnock kicked off playing towards the Mawdesley Plantation end. It is usual to see the Villagers charging forward in the early stages of the game but this was not the case on this occasion with Winsford setting the tempo and monopolising the possession. It was a case of Charnock concentrating on defending and playing once again with a back three it meant that Matt Davison and Mark Woods both had to drop into more defensive roles. Winsford knocked the ball around well and the game proceeded at a speed that initially had Charnock struggling to match. An early free kick for the visitors did not seriously challenge Adam Halton before a left wing centre saw a diving header from right back Skolorzynsci sail over the bar. The scene was set however and in the early minutes little was seen of the home attack with Mark Adams and Carl Grimshaw isolated somewhat. Charnock were struggling in midfield despite having Hough, Sherlock and Fairhurst contesting in this area but despite all their dominance Winsford were failing to really penetrate the home defence. Woods delivered a centre from the left but it dropped straight into the visiting goalkeeper’s arms. Young was skinned on the right but Halton was out to dive on the centre before Charnock at last began to put together some attacking play. It had taken them time to become accustomed to the speed of the game and little had been seen of their usual neat passing game. Grimshaw put a good chance past the post but it would not have counted as he was flagged offside. Then Ryan Hopper shot from distance but the ball sailed over the bar. A visiting defender did well to head away a Woods cross that looked destined for a Charnock player’s head. Then Latham had to be fast out of his goal to beat Adams to a great through ball from Fairhurst. The game now was much more even although Winsford were still having the majority of the possession. The final five minutes of the first half saw Charnock at last dominant, a typical move down the right finished with Dave Sherlock crossing but Latham came out to collect. On 43 minutes Ashley Young stepped forward into the opponent’s half to hit a powerful shot from distance that appeared to go narrowly wide. Adams then put Hough away down the right and when he cut back and delivered a centre Sherlock screwed his shot just beyond the far angle of the goal. Mark Adams then made room on the edge of the area and despatched a shot destined for the top corner but Latham made a great save, finger tipping the ball away for a corner. The half finished with Sherlock heading the resulting corner over the bar. After having to defend for most of the half Charnock had created, in the final minutes, more chances than Winsford had produced in the previous 40 minutes.
Hough had moved to right back in the final stages of the first half to set up a back four and Charnock continued with this formation for the second period. The visitors came out and again dominated the early stages of the second half. Carl Grimshaw had an early heading opportunity but there was little power from his effort and Latham saved comfortable. Winsford had a reward for all their possession on 52 minutes, Callum Gardner firing into the top corner of the net from the edge of the area giving Adam Halton little chance. The visitors were in charge and having made the vital break through it was a case of them maintaining their performance and keeping Charnock on the defensive. However, the Villagers rarely give up and they continued to compete and a number of chances began to come their way. Grimshaw squeezed between the two central defenders but his lob, as Latham advanced, went over the bar. Jon Hession replaced Mark Adams after 62 minutes. Young headed wide after Fairhurst had recovered the ball after a corner and Ross O’Farrell centred. Adam Halton saved the Villagers after 67 minutes beating out one of the few shots that the visitors produced on target. Inevitably when a side has a one goal lead they drop back onto the defensive conceding ground in midfield and this again was the case for the visitors. They had the ball in the net after 69 minutes but it was disallowed for offside and basically for the final 20 minutes it was Charnock seeking to equalise. James Walker, making his debut, came on for Ryan Schofield who had previously appeared to have turned his ankle. Hession had the ball in the net after being played clear by Woods but he was offside and Davison had one of his runs down the right but Latham caught his centre. Then Walker had a good run through the middle, found Hession but his shot was over the bar. Charnock were testing the home defence as Bibby came on for Hough. As the game moved into the final five minutes the Villagers really applied the pressure, a right wing corner resulted in the ball bobbing about in the area but when it fell to Sherlock in front of goal he screwed his shot wide. A free kick produced another chance for Sherlock but his header lacked power and it was an easy save for Latham. An exceptional last ditch tackle robbed Hession in front of goal as he was about to shoot and it looked as if all the Charnock efforts in the final quarter of the game were to go unrewarded but a rather bizarre goal gave Charnock a well-deserved point two minutes into added time. A free kick out on the left, five yards inside the Charnock half, was taken by MARK WOODS, he simply hit the ball into the opposing penalty area and Latham came out and totally misjudged the flight of the ball and it sailed over his head and into the net. Charnock could have pinched all three points in the last minute but Grimshaw headed a good opportunity wide.
A draw was a fair result against a good Winsford side that produced the best performance seen at Mossie Park this season. Well done to Charnock who struggled initially to get into the game but battled away and eventually got something out of the encounter. Afternoons like this demonstrate the standards that Charnock will have to meet and maintain in this division if they are to remain at his level.
Charnock next travel to Manchester to meet Maine Road on Saturday 14th October kick off 3.00pm.