Charnock suffered a 4-3 defeat in the midweek fixture at home to Barnoldswick Town. Carl Grimshaw (2) and James Walker scored the goals for the Villagers.
Charnock Richard 3 Barnoldswick Town 4
Tuesday 13th February 2018, North West Counties League Premier Division
CHARNOCK RICHARD 3
BARNOLDSWICK TOWN 4
Team: Adam Halton, Anthony Hough, James Walker, Ross O’Farrell (Harvey Close 33), Ryan Schofield (Mark Woods 68), Ashley Young, Matt Davison, Nathan Fairhurst, Carl Grimshaw, David Sherlock (Jon Hession 68), Alex Ralph.
Charnock Richard and Barnoldswick Town first met in the West Lancashire League back in the 2000/1 season and in their 20 meetings at this level Charnock did not lose to them. Last season and this season have seen three further games and Charnock have won all three, so this defeat was the first one the Villagers have suffered at the hands of tonight’s opponents. It was another competitive game at Mossie Park, a fixture that should have been played on the previous Saturday but all the recent unsettled weather put pay to that; it had been agreed that should the game be postponed it would be staged on the following Tuesday subject to an improvement in the condition of the pitch. As it happened it was touch and go whether the game would go ahead but some hard work on the afternoon of the game finally resulted in it being given the go-ahead.
The pitch was perfectly playable but it cut up somewhat and resulted in a lot of TLC being required if the fixture against Maine Road was going to be played on the following Saturday. The visitors took a two goal lead to set themselves on the way to their first victory but the Villagers came back to level the scores by half time. Barnoldwick regained the lead early in the second half and increased it midway through the half; Charnock reduced the arrears as full time approached but failed to grab an equaliser.
There was only one change to the team that had the fine 2-0 win at Runcorn Town two weeks previously; Joe Noblet was struggling with a hamstring problem so David Sherlock started up front. Mark Woods, having completed his suspension, returned on the bench.
The attendance of 79 was the lowest at Mossie Park so far this season probably due to the weather and the lack of advance publicity of the fixture. It was a fine evening but it was decidedly parky. Barnoldswick won the toss and Charnock kicked off playing towards the Mawdesley Plantation end. It was a lively start by the Villagers and Jordan Gidley, who appeared in goal for Charnock earlier in the season, had to go down to save from Alex Ralph. Then Sherlock sent a shot from the edge of the area beyond the far post. Barnoldswick adopted more direct tactics and their long balls created problems for the home defenders. A miss-timed tackle by Ashley Young on seven minutes set up a free kick on the left corner of the penalty area and Zach Dale delivered a shot just inside the near post. It was a real blow for the Villagers and could have been even worse after 11 minutes, poor defending saw a ball crossed from the right, Mark Thelfall appeared to have a simple tap-in but somehow the ball went wide. Charnock were seeing plenty of the ball but it was the visitors who were carrying the greater threat. Sherlock saw his free kick from distance turned around the post and Schofield headed over the bar from the resulting corner. It was 2-0 to the visitors on 20 minutes, Zach Dale again finding the net from close range after he was first to a cross from the left. However, Charnock were back in the game only two minutes later with a somewhat lucky goal, Adam Halton came out of his area to make a last ditch clearance the ball sailed over the heads of the Barnoldswick defenders and GRIMSHAW was clear and he made no mistake. The game continued to be fairly even with both sides threatening but neither goalkeeper was really troubled. John Beckwith went clear and past Halton but was flagged offside and another long ball created problems in the home defence. Having been injured earlier in a tackle Ross O’Farrell had to leave the field on 33 minutes, Harvey Close came on as replacement in the centre of the defence. Another fine goal from CARL GRIMSHAW on 35 minutes saw Charnock equalise, James Walker hit a diagonal ball from the left that Carl headed powerfully over the head of Gidley. Charnock largely dominated the final minutes of the half with several shots being blocked in the area but Halton had to dive to turn away a long distance effort from John Beckwith.
The manner that Charnock had fought back in the first half suggested that they could go on and win the game in the second 45 minutes but it did not work out that way. The visitors came out for the second half looking very determined, Halton went down to collect a left wing cross and then on 50 minutes Barnoldswick regained the lead. A powerful shot from outside the area beat Halton and rebounded down off the bar once again Dale was the first to react and he completed his hat-trick. Charnock attempted to pick up their game but were far from their best and the heavy pitch did not help. The visiting defence put in a sterling performance and there were really only a couple of chances; Matt Davison cut a ball across the face of the goal from the right but there were no home players able to take advantage. On 59 minutes when the ball reached Ralph on the left of the goal it appeared he had a good chance but Gidley was fast off his line and when Alex went past him the angle became too acute. Poor defending on 65 minutes saw the visitors score again and really put the game beyond the Villagers. Beckwith got to the bye-line on the right, Ryan Schofield failed to prevent him centering and Mark Threlfall made sure that he was first to the ball to find the net from close range. Charnock then made their two final substitutions introducing Mark Woods and Jon Hession for Ryan Schofield and David Sherlock and Ashley Young dropped from midfield into a back three. The changes however failed to produce any real chances but the Villagers pulled a goal back on 82 minutes a JAMES WALKER free kick from just inside the Barnoldswick half saw the ball dropping just under the bar, Jordan Gidley failed to deal with it and the ball dropped over the line. There was a chance for the Villagers to get something from the game but Barnoldswick continued to defend well and the nearest that Charnock came to an equaliser was when both Hession and Grimshaw both went for a cross from the left and a header went narrowly past the post. In the added time Davison fired into the side netting after cutting in from the right.
It had been a disappointing evening for the Villagers but the game had been decided on the taking of chances and the visitors had been the most successful converting four out of the five decent ones they created.
Another home fixture is scheduled for this coming Saturday 17th February against Maine Road, kick off is 3.00pm.