Charnock lost 2-1 at Padiham, Nathan Fairhurst scored the goal.
The Reserves also were defeated by Millom 3-1 at Mossie Park with John Sanderson scoring the goal.
The Academy however won 3-1 at home to AFC Preston.
Padiham 2 Charnock Richard 1
Saturday 24th February 2018, North West Counties League Premier Division
CHARNOCK RICHARD 1
Team: Adam Halton, Spencer Bibby, James Walker, Ross O’Farrell (Mark Woods 90), Ryan Schofield, Anthony Hough (Nathen Fairhurst 67), Matt Davison, Ashley Young, Carl Grimshaw, Jon Hession (Louis Mayers 64), Alex Ralph, Subs: (Not Used) Joe Noblet, Harvey Close.
It is always difficult to predict how a team will react following a major cup tie so anticipating that the fixture at Padiham could be an anti-climax after an excellent display and all the drama of the penalty defeat by Clitheroe on the previous Wednesday in the LFA Challenge Trophy may have decided manager Andy Westwell to make the most of his squad and made a number of changes. Unfortunately the Villagers suffered another set-back in their quest to finish as high in the table as possible, a 2-1 defeat. It was difficult to pin point the cause of this disappointing performance, the pitch prepared by a part-time volunteer rather an tended by a paid groundsman as at Leyland was not conducive to the Villagers style of play, Nathan Fairhurst, who is a major factor in midfield, was on the bench and Charnock did not seem to have the same will to win which was evident in the opposition. Charnock took advantage last season when they won at Litherland REMYCA after the Liverpool based side were still enjoying their success over Everton in their previous game. This match saw a goalless first half with few chances created by either side. Padiham took the lead literally straight from the start of the second half but Charnock began to get on top as the half proceeded and levelled the scores with just over a quarter of an hour remaining. Unfortunately for the team in green Padiham went straight up the field and regained the lead and Charnock simply could not find an equaliser.
Ross O’Farrell started in the centre of the defence with Ashley Young moving into midfield. Joe Noblet and Nathan Fairhurst were dropped to the bench and Anthony Hough started in midfield. Jon Hession started up front and Alex Ralph replaced Mark Woods, who was on the bench, on the left of midfield. Louis Mayers who was ineligible for the Trophy tie was back on the bench.
Padiham won the toss and Charnock kicked off on a sunny day that was only spoilt by a bitterly, cold easterly wind. The host side had the benefit of it in the first half. It was very low key opening to the game with neither side managing to produce quality football. Charnock looked particularly jaded and their football throughout the game was far below the standard that we have come to expect this season and for many seasons previously. Padiham had the first two chances if you could call them chances, firstly when an O’Farrell clearance rebounded back off Hough to leave Charnock caught out but the blues failed to take advantage and then they broke through the middle after two missed tackles from Charnock but all that they finished with was a corner. The first real attack from Charnock saw Davison break through the middle exchange passes with Hession and fire a shot wide. Charnock should have taken the lead on 18 minutes, Grimshaw played Hession in but Burgess in the home goal beat out his shot and a follow up effort from Hough was blocked by a defender. Charnock’s performance was looking very disjointed, they had difficulty in finding their men and the uneven pitch was not helping their partiality to play the ball around on the ground. Davison, who had been such a threat with his runs on the perfect surface at Leyland, struggled all through the match. Having lost twice already to the Villagers this season Padiham were determined not to suffer another defeat if they could help it so whilst their football lacked the finesse of several of the top teams that Charnock have played this season they made up for it with a spirited performance.
As the half progressed Spencer shot over the bar from a good position for the home team and for Charnock, Ralph had a shot saved by Burgess with his feet, Hough ploughed through the middle and put a shot off target and Young headed narrowly wide. Finally, just as the half was coming in an end a Walker centre deflected off a defender and went narrowly past the far post.
There was a comment at half time that the game had 0-0 written all over it. That prediction was rubbished less than 20 seconds into the second half, Russell straight from the kick off ran through the Charnock midfield unopposed and his shot appeared to take a deflection that wrong footed Halton and Padiham were in the lead. Charnock continued to stutter along creating few chances and Padiham understandably were content to protect their lead. Louis Mayers replaced Jon Hession after 64 minutes and there was 65 minutes on the clock before Charnock threatened with a header from Schofield dropping just beyond the post with Grimshaw struggling to get to the ball. Nathan Fairhurst came on for Hough after 67 minutes and despite being far from at their best Charnock began to dominate the play. It was substitute FAIRHURST who equalised on 73 minutes, Ralph swung in yet another good right wing corner and Nathan, one of the smallest players on the pitch, somehow rose in front of the tall goalkeeper to head the ball home from close range. It looked as if Charnock could possibly go on to win the game at this point but a minute later a diagonal ball from the right out to the left, a decent pass but it looked fairly innocuous, saw substitute Fleming get his head to it and the ball dropped over Halton inside the far post. It was the killer blow for the Villagers, the nearest that they came to rescuing the game was full back Hoskin kicking a Grimshaw shot off the line after Burgess was beaten. Mark Woods came on for O’Farrell late in the game but Padiham hung on fairly easily to take the three points.
On Tuesday 27th February Charnock host 1874 Norwich who have won through to the semi-final if the FA Vase. It should be another exciting match at Mossie Park kick off is at 7.45pm. On Saturday 3rd March Charnock travel to play Irlam, kick off 3.00pm.