Charnock won 4-1 against Barnton at Mossie Park. Nathan Fairhurst, Ashley Young, Carl Grimshaw and Jon Hession scored the goals.
The Reserves fixture at Millom was postponed.
The Academy lost 4-2 in the Guildhall Cup at Souhport & Ainsdale. Mcloughlin and Lewis Pilgrim scored the goals.
Charnock Richard 4 Barnton 1
Saturday 27th January 2018 North West Counties League Premier Division
CHARNOCK RICHARD 4
Team: Adam Halton, Harvey Close (Anthony Hough 67), James Walker, Ross O’Farrell, Ryan Schofield, Ashley Young, Matt Davison, Nathan Fairhurst, Carl Grimshaw (David Sherlock 72), Joe Noblet (Jon Hession 76), Alex Ralph.
Barnton have struggled this season and with only one league win to their name arrived for this game at the foot of the table and they face an enormous task if they are to avoid relegation. Based on the two team’s positions in the table this looked a home banker and so it proved but often in games similar to this, complacency can cause an upset. Charnock had the game virtually won at half time by taking a three goal lead. The second half was disappointing from the Villagers aspect as they failed to convert a number of good chances and take the opportunity to improve their goal difference after it took a battering on the previous Saturday at Runcorn Linnets.
The starting line-up was the same as the one that had the 2-0 win at Northwich Victoria in midweek. With Spencer Bibby and Mark Woods both suspended and Mark Adams and Connor Loftus still on the injury list the bench was also unchanged.
A pitch inspection in mid-morning had declared the pitch playable but more rain later in the morning resulted in it cutting up somewhat. There were glimpses of a watery sun during the game and it was a lot milder than in recent weeks so the crowd of 121 enjoyed some improved weather conditions. There was a brisk westerly breeze that had an impact on the game.
Barnton won the toss and Charnock kicked of playing towards the Mawdesley Plantation end. There was little of note in the opening five minutes with Charnock content to maintain possession knocking the ball around at the back. An early cross from Alex Ralph on the left saw Carl Grimshaw and keeper Robert Cooke collide but both were able to resume without troubling the physios. Jack Irlam saw his free kick from 25 yards bring a diving save out of Adam Halton but overall the game at this early stage lacked impetus. Carl Grimshaw should have scored on 13 minutes when a cross from Nathan Fairhurst on the left gave him the chance of a clear header but the effort was straight at Cooke. However, it was the start of Charnock picking up the pace of the game and the scoring of the opening goal only minutes later. Grimshaw broke clear from what looked like an offside position but he was caught by the time he reached the penalty area and a decisive tackle deprived him of a shooting opportunity. On 16 minutes a left wing corner was partially cleared and when the ball was returned into the area FAIRHURST got enough on it for the ball to roll over the line. There was a suspicion of offside but the referee consulted his assistant and the goal stood. No VAR which is causing such excitement in the press here just the same centuries old system of the match referee making all the decisions and the teams having to accept them. Charnock had their noses in front and that is the way that the game progressed. Grimshaw had a flying header sail past the post after Harvey Close had sped down the right and delivered a great cross before another great centre from the left by Ralph, on 23 minutes, gave ASHLEY YOUNG a heading opportunity in front of goal and he made no mistake. The visitors could offer very little up front and Charnock continued to set the pace, Matt Davison popped up on the left to break clear but his shot was saved by the advancing Cooke. It was another left wing corner that set up Charnock’s third goal, the ball bobbing around in the area before Cooke pushed away a Ralph shot and then GRIMSHAW scored from close range. The game was all going the way expected but really it was as good as the game got from Charnock’s point of view. Jack Irlam had a shot for Barnton from distance that swung away from the angle of the goal on the mark of half time.
Barnton brought on Jack Woolly for their leading goalscorer and captain Chris Smith at the start of the second half. The visitors had had the benefit of the wind in the first half and whilst Charnock had not found it a handicap Barnton really struggled in the second half playing against it consequently there was very little action for Adam Halton. The team in green failed to take advantage of all the possession that they enjoyed and a succession of excellent chances were missed. The pitch was cutting up and it was a surface that was not beneficial for Charnock to play their normal quick passing game. Despite all their pressure, the home side conceded a goal in a rare raid by Barnton, a centre saw Halton leave his goal and miss his punch and the ball glanced off substitute Jack Woolly’s head and trickled over the line on the hour mark. At the other end Charnock continued to create chances but failed to score. Too many of their final passes were not good enough. A wild tackle on James Walker saw Patrick Hamid receive a red card on 66 minutes. Anthony Hough came on for Harvey Close after 67 minutes and in the next few minutes David Sherlock replaced Carl Grimshaw and Jon Hession was the final substitution on 76 minutes for Joe Noblet. It was the final substitution that finally saw Charnock increase their lead, JON HESSION, only three minutes after coming on, being put clear, Cooke blocked his first shot but the rebound was calmly hit into the net by the striker. There were a couple of further good opportunities for Charnock spurned before the visitors had a good chance to reduce the arrears in the final minute of the game but Halton was up for it turning the shot around the post.
Overall, although the standard of football had been disappointing, it was another good win for Charnock and the three points gained resulted in them moving up into third position in the table with 51 points, the same as Runcorn Town but having a superior goal difference. It was now all set up for the fixture against Runcorn Town at the Pavilions on the following Tuesday all subject to the weather being kind. On Saturday 3rd February the Villagers travel to another new venue, The Recreation Ground to play West Didsbury and Chorlton, kick off 3.00pm.