Charnock Richard fell to a 4-1 defeat to City of Liverpool at Mossie Close. Ashley Young scored the goal.
Charnock Richard 1 City of Liverpool 4
Saturday 23rd December 2017, Hallmark Security League Premier Division
CHARNOCK RICHARD 1
CITY OF LIVERPOOL 4
Att : 232
Team: Adam Halton, Harvey Close, Ross O’Farrell, Jack Sanders, Ryan Schofield, Ashley Young, Joe Noblet (Matt Connah 81), Nathan Fairhurst, Carl Grimshaw (David Sherlock 75), Spencer Bibby, James Walker (Cameron Moore 70). Sub: (Not Used) Jordan Gidley.
Like the previous Saturday Charnock lost 4-1, like the previous Saturday they conceded a goal in the first minute, like the previous Saturday they scored an own goal but thankfully in this game they finished with 11 men. It was also the second time this season that Charnock have lost to City of Liverpool. Having conceded the early goal Charnock fell further behind through an own goal but they clawed their way back into the game with a goal just before the interval. A spirited start to the second half by the Villagers gave their supporters some hope but a further goal on the hour mark for the “Purps” saw Charnock’s chances of rescuing the game disappear and a late goal made the win more emphatic.
Charnock’s squad was stretched to the limit with Mark Woods and Matt Davison both suspended, Jon Hession was out as he continues to struggle with an ankle injury and Anthony Hough suffered a fractured cheek bone in the 4-1 win at AFC Darwen in midweek. Connor Loftus was still missing with fractured elbow and Mark Adams continues to struggle with his health. So into the squad came Matt Connah from the reserves and Cameron Moore who has arrived on loan from Bolton Wanderers. Charnock lined up in a 4-4-2 formation with Ross O’Farrell starting his first game since his injury at Widnes back in November. Spencer Bibby started alongside Carl Grimshaw up front.
As expected the City of Liverpool side brought a sizable following and the attendance of 232 was the largest home crowd of the season so far.
Charnock won the toss so City of Liverpool kicked off playing towards the Charter Lane end and there was a lively start to the game. The “Purps” attacked down their left and when Close and Sanders crashed into each other it allowed McGrath to get in the box and only a fine tackle from Ryan Schofield prevented the visiting winger getting a shot away. Charnock charged down the other end and Spencer Bibby had a shot blocked but the visitors broke again through the middle and unchallenged Luke Denson hit the ball home from 12 yards and there was still only 55 seconds on the clock. Charnock were reeling somewhat but, as the visitors continued to dominate, they slowly got their game together but not before another swift raid down the right saw Halton have to come out of goal to make a fine block. Nathan Fairhurst had the first real chance for the Villagers but his shot was straight at keeper Graeme McCall. The visitors continued to threaten but Charnock were now into their game and Grimshaw had a shot blocked before Fairhurst had another shooting opportunity but this time his effort was over the bar. The game was being played at a high tempo with both sides concentrating on producing good football. Ashley Young saw a goalbound shot blocked before John McGrath had a shot from distance for the “Purps” but Adam Halton saved with ease. Charnock then moved James Walker to left back with Ross O’Farrell moving into midfield. There was then disappointment when Jack Sanders attempting to clear a diagonal cross mis-kicked the ball into his own net. Two goals down the Villagers were facing another home defeat. Schofield went on a run from the back playing 1-2s and the move finished with a Grimshaw shot being blocked and eventually a free kick being awarded for a high boot on the keeper. When Alex Davies went on a great run down the right his centre set up John McGrath for a shot but he was well off target. Charnock were continuing to see plenty of the ball but it was proving difficult to penetrate the visitors’ strong defence. A Noblet free kick saw Grimshaw head well wide and then on 43 minutes the Villagers pulled a goal back. Walker took a right wing corner and when the ball came out to ASHLEY YOUNG he hit a powerful shot from the edge of the area that McCall got a hand to but could not prevent hitting the net. It was a real boost for the Villagers on the stroke of half time. Grimshaw then headed over the bar but he was offside anyway.
Charnock started the second half on the front foot and had their best spell of the match but creating goal chances again proved to be difficult and for all their possession the visiting keeper was not unduly challenged. City of Liverpool were also failing to really trouble the Charnock defence but, as often happens, against the run of play they increased their lead on 59 minutes. A left wing corner saw Halton make another fine save getting a hand to a close range header, the ball hit the post and Craig Robinson hit the loose ball into the net. It looked a killer blow for the Villagers and so it proved. A re-vitalised City of Liverpool made sure that they gave nothing away and although Charnock continued to play their football they did not create any clear cut goal chances. On 70 minutes Cameron Moore came on for James Walker with Close moving to left back and Bibby dropping to right back. Right back Luke Denson delivered a diagonal cross and Tom Peterson saw his diving header collected by Halton. David Sherlock came on for Carl Grimshaw and then a defensive lapse saw Peterson go clear but Halton was out to block his shot with his foot. Matt Connah came on for his debut on 81 minutes at the expense of Joe Noblet. On 86 minutes Sanders pushed forward from the back and lost the ball and it created another chance for Peterson and this time he made no mistake hitting a shot into the corner of the net.
It had been another disappointing afternoon for Charnock, perhaps the result was a little harsh but there was no doubt that the best side had won. Overall it had been a fine game of football played in the best of spirits and the tally of only two yellow cards reflected the fact that both teams had concentrated on playing football. Unfortunately the booking picked up by Ryan Schofield means that he will be suspended for one game from Saturday 30th December but on the other hand Matt Davison will be available for the next match.
Charnock are scheduled to visit Aston Athletic on Boxing Day and have a home fixture against AFC Liverpool on Saturday 30th December both games kick off at 3.00pm.