Charnock lose 1-0 at home to Abbey Hey.
The Reserves had to be satisfied with a 1-1 draw following a late equaliser by hosts Furness Cavaliers, Lewis Pilgrim scored the Charnock goal.
Charnock Richard 0 Abbey Hey 1
Saturday 4th November 2017, Hallmark Security League Premier Division
CHARNOCK RICHARD 0
ABBEY HEY 1
Team: Adam Halton, Spencer Bibby, Ross O’Farrell, Ryan Schofield, Jack Sanders, Ashley Young, Anthony Hough (David Prout 80), Nathan Fairhurst, Carl Grimshaw, David Sherlock (Jon Hession 63), James Walker (Mark Adams 71). Sub: (Not Used) Connor Loftus.
This 1-0 defeat by Abbey Hey was Charnock’s first home defeat of the season and only their second in the league this season. The game never reached the standards of several of the recent matches at Mossie Park but once again it was a game that could have gone either way, the deciding goal being a spectacular effort from distance. With few chances being created in the first half it was 0-0 when the teams went in at half time but Abbey Hey scored what was to become the winning goal almost immediately on the re-start. Charnock pressed hard in the final half hour but an equaliser proved to be elusive.
The squad was stretched to its limits for this fixture, Matt Davison was away at a wedding, Mark Woods was still on holiday and Joe Noblet reported sick on the morning of the game. Mark Adams was also under weather and only on the bench because of the lack of players. Ryan Schofield and Carl Grimshaw both came into the starting line-up with Charnock reverting to a back three. Jonathan Hession dropped to the bench alongside David Prout who had not been in the squad since the middle of August and Connor Loftus who had been out with a ham-string injury for the previous six weeks and lacked fitness.
It was an afternoon with a number of heavy showers but little wind and another satisfying attendance of 144. Charnock won the toss and Abbey Hey kicked off playing towards the Charter Lane end. Both teams set out to play passing football on a pitch that cut up a little but basically was in fine condition for playing football. Neither side found it easy to create goal chances, in fact the visitors failed to open up the home defence once in the first half. Charnock lacked their usual zip with their football, giving the ball away too frequently and with David Sherlock and Carl Grimshaw both lacking pace up front they struggled to break down the visitor’s defence. Abbey Hey knocked the ball around well and had the balance of the possession in the first half but the three home central defenders, Ryan Schofield, Jack Sanders and Ross O’Farrell once again dealt with everything that came their way. There was an early chance for Jack Sanders when James Walker found him after two minutes but he shot over the bar. Adam Halton grabbed a centre at the second attempt after two Abbey Hey right wing corners had caused Charnock problems. Jack Sanders did really well to get back and get a decisive tackle in when Abbey broke in numbers after 27 minutes. In the final 10 minutes of the half Charnock had two chances to take the lead; a Spencer Bibby free kick saw a header from Carl Grimshaw come back off the bar and then in added time, following an attack down the right, Grimshaw headed the ball across to David Sherlock but his header from close in went past the post.
Only three minutes into the second half the visitors took the lead, substitute Peter Watling, who had come on in the first half, picked the ball up some 35 yards out and hit a shot over Halton that dipped under the bar. It was a spectacular effort that really came from nowhere. The Villagers should have equalised within the minute when a right wing cross came to James Walker at the back post but he put his header wide. Immediately Abbey Hey had a shot hit the post after a left wing corner as the game previously lacking goal attempts suddenly produced three in three minutes. Nathen Fairhurst shot over the bar as Charnock at last began to approach the standard of football they have been playing for much of the season. There was another good chance for Grimshaw on 60 minutes after a cross from the right by Fairhurst but Carl rushed his shot when there was time to pick his spot and the ball went well off target. Then Sherlock played Grimshaw in but Ross Heywood was quickly off his line to block his shot at the expense of a corner. Jon Hession came on for David Sherlock and created different problems for the visiting defence with his speed. Charnock were now dominating possession but the visiting defence was continuing to look strong. Abbey Hey’s attacks were less frequent and Adam Halton was not put under any pressure in the final half hour of the game. Mark Adams came on for Walker and played down the left with his ability to run with the ball creating fresh problems for the visitors. A Bibby free kick has headed just over the bar and Charnock’s best move of the match which involved Adams charging forward with the ball finished with Heywood saving from Grimshaw. Charnock introduced their final substitute David Prout for Anthony Hough and continued their pressure, another chance went begging when O’Farrell headed across goal but the ball was fractionally behind Grimshaw and his header went wide. When Grimshaw centred from the right a defender just got enough on his header to stop the ball dropping on the head of a home player in front of goal. Finally, in added time, a free kick by the bye-line on the edge of the area on the right saw the ball knocked past the post by Scofield.
So it was not to be Charnock’s day with their failure to convert chances proving to be the deciding factor in this game. After scoring for fun earlier in the season the goals have dried up in the last three games with only one effort finding the net and that was off a post. However, these set-backs occur in every season and it must not be forgotten that Charnock are still finding their way at this level of football. The exciting way that the team in green have started the season might have led to over ambitious expectations from some supporters, the main objective this term is to avoid relegation and as long as the team continue to work hard they will continue to win the vital points required to ensure that they stay out of the bottom six positions in the table.
On Tuesday 7th November Charnock travel to play Prestwich Heys in the 2nd Round of the LFA Partners Foundation Challenge Trophy kick off is at 7.45pm. On Saturday 11th November a change of fixture sees Charnock now visiting Congleton Town, kick off 3.00pm.