Charnock won 1-0 against Irlam at Mossie Park, with Ashley Young scoring the goal.
Both fixtures for the Reserves and Academy were postponed.
Charnock Richard 1 Irlam 0
Saturday 21st October 2017, Hallmark Security League Premier Division
CHARNOCK RICHARD 1
Team: Adam Halton, Spencer Bibby, James Walker, Ross O’Farrell, Jack Sanders, Ashley Young, Matt Davison, Nathan Fairhurst, David Sherlock (Carl Grimshaw 78), Jon Hession (Joe Noblet 86), Anthony Hough (Mark Adams 60) Sub: (Not Used) Ryan Schofield.
This 1-0 win saw Charnock move up the table into fourth place but it was a hard earned three points in a game that saw plenty of neat passing football but lacked goalmouth incidents. Either both defences were on top or both team’s forwards lacked the initiative to create goal chances; take your pick. Neither goalkeeper had a particularly busy 90 minutes and the only goal of the game came via a post, but on a rather damp afternoon, there was enough effort from both sides to provide entertainment for the 133 who paid for admission.
Following the disappointing defeat at Bedlington Terriers and elimination from the Buildbase FA Vase on the previous Saturday, manager Andy Westwell decided to shake up the starting eleven and he made seven changes three of which were positional. Out and onto the bench went Carl Grimshaw, Mark Adams and Joe Noblet. Josh Norgate had announced earlier in the week that family commitments meant that he would not be available in future so he was missing. Into the side came Jack Sanders in defence, Matt Davison on the right and Jon Hession and David Sherlock in attack. James Walker switched to left back, Ashley Young moved forward into midfield and Anthony Hough wore the number 11 shirt. Returning after injury Ryan Schofield was a substitute. Mark Woods was away on holiday.
It was an overcast day with light drizzle at times and there was a brisk westerly wind that assisted the team kicking towards the Charter Lane end. Charnock won the toss and chose to attack the Mawdesley Plantation end so Irlam kicked off. For the first time since early in the season Charnock started with a flat back four. Both sides demonstrated their ability to produce some decent passing football in the opening minutes but the only item of real interest was a shot from Anthony Hough that pole-axed a defender, he was able to continue after treatment. The visitors edged possession in the early stages of the game and when Matt Boland sent in a shot from the left on 15 minutes Adam Halton had to dive to turn the ball out for a corner. Charnock retaliated with Matt Davison having a shot blocked and the game continued to be end to end but, with both defences dominating, chances were few and far between. Davison found Hough with a header but he totally mis-kicked and Halton saved comfortably from Boland at the other end. When Sherlock made space and delivered a left foot shot a defender got a foot to the ball and it flew over the bar when it could easily have found the net. Ross O’Farrell blocked a shot and a Spencer Bibby free kick caused problems in the Irlam box before the ball was finally cleared. Both sides were having shots but failing to hit the target. As the first half was coming to a close David Sherlock met a centre from the left with a first time shot but it went over the bar. There were two late half chances for the visitors with Marcus Perry opening up the home defence, Bibby got back and whilst Perry evaded his tackle his final shot on goal was high and wide. Then a right wing cross found Isaac Illidge right in front of goal but his first touch was heavy and the ball was collected by Halton.
Charnock had the advantage of the wind for the second half and as a result they took the game to Irlam for the majority of the half. However the problem of penetrating the Irlam defence remained. An early break from the visitors saw Halton come out to grab the ball near the bye-line. Then on 50 minutes Davison fed Hession on the right of the six yard box and his shot came back off the near post. Although most of the play was in the Irlam half the visitors were capable of breaking and right back Macauley Harewood found himself free on the right but his shot landed in the Mawdesley Plantation. Hesitation in the home defence resulted in a shot from Boland flying narrowly by a post and then Dave Sherlock unleashed a shot from distance that the Irlam Keeper Lee White could only beat away. Mark Adams came on after 60 minutes to replace Hough and play on the left. The breakthrough for Charnock came on 62 minutes when ASHLEY YOUNG decided to try his hand from distance and his shot hit the left hand post, ran along the line and into the net at the other post. The visitors had produce few shots on target in the game to date and it appeared even at this stage that the goal could prove to be the winner and so it proved. Charnock looked to add to their lead but failed to create any real chances and their opponents brought on their three substitutes and proceeded to chase the game without ever really threatening a goal but for one glorious moment on 85 minutes when Conner Martin saw his shot from the right glance of the face of the bar and Adam Halton produce a decent save from the follow up shot. Carl Grimshaw had replaced Sherlock after 78 minutes and Joe Noblet came on for Hession for the final four minutes of the game.
It was another win for the Villagers but it had not been easy because they had failed to produce the fast flowing football that had been a feature of their performances earlier in the season that had seen them record a number of high scoring wins. However they say that it is a good side that can carve out victories when not performing at their best. So onto another home match on Saturday 4th November when Abbey Hey are the visitors, kick off 3.00pm.