Charnock earn a point from a 3-3 draw at Winsford United. Carl Grimshaw scored all three goals.
Winsford United 3 Charnock Richard 3
Monday 19th March 2018, Hallmark Security Premier Division
WINSFORD UNITED 3
CHARNOCK RICHARD 3
Team: Adam Halton, Spencer Bibby, Liam McNally, Ashley Young, Ryan Schofield (Nathan Lindley 8), Joe Noblet (Lewis Pilgrim 88), Mark Woods, Nathan Fairhurst, Carl Grimshaw, David Prout, Alex Ralph. Subs: (Not Used) John Sanderson, Conner Loftus, Joe Winstanley.
This was Charnock’s third match in five days which is demanding enough but having to play this fixture with six regular squad players out of action put an enormous burden on the club. So a 3-3 draw in the circumstances was not a too disappointing result and there cannot be anything but praise for all the players who have played a part in this demanding sequence of games. Manager Andy Westwell had to spend all his free time following the game at Bootle on Saturday, which saw another four players added to the injury list, putting together a squad for this fixture. Despite a struggling start to the match Charnock had taken a 2-0 lead by the interval but Windsford were revitalised in the second half and had equalised by the hour mark. The Villagers restored their lead but could not hold on for the win and the home side made it 3-3 with 10 minutes remaining.
With Ross O’Farrell, James Walker, Matt Davison, Anthony Hough and Harvey Close all out injured and Richard Coley and Louis Mayers unavailable it was a case of calling on some of the reserve team members. Liam McNally started on the left of midfield with Nathan Lindley and Lewis Pilgrim on the bench. David Prout started up front and Joe Noblet was in midfield. Competing the five substitutes were Connor Loftus, John Sanderson and Joe Winstanley. It was a fine if chilly evening and the gale force easterly wind from Saturday had died down to a gentle breeze. The final figure for the attendance was 143.
Charnock won the toss and Winsford kicked off and set the early pace as the re-shuffled Charnock team struggled to adapt. The situation was not helped when Ryan Schofield who had declared himself fit went down with a re-occurrence of the injury he suffered on the previous Saturday within 2 minutes of the start. He struggled on but had to be replaced by Nathan Lindley after eight minutes. With the home team dominating and Charnock looking, not surprisingly, very disjointed it seemed as if they would be lucky to avoid a heavy defeat but after the first ten minutes or so they began to put some decent passing football together. Chapman in the home goal just beat Grimshaw to the ball and Prout burst forward and had a shot blocked. With Spencer Bibby now playing alongside Young in central defence and Lindley and Ralph playing as full backs in a flat back four the defence was looking much more settled and the direct tactics from Winsford were not causing any major problems. Charnock took the lead on 24 minutes, Woods back-heeled a pass from the left and GRIMSHAW was in on goal and he gave Chapman no chance to put the Villagers one goal to the good. Almost immediately afterwards David Prout had a great run from the half way line but he put his shot wide. McNally then saw his shot blocked when he cut in from the left as Charnock continued to produce some decent football. The home left back Damian Skolorzynski cut inside and shot from distance but it was never on target. The 37th minute saw Charnock increase their lead, a free kick from just inside the Winsford half by Ralph saw the ball headed on by Woods and GRIMSHAW hit a sweet half volley that never deviated from a path just inside the far post. So, from a very stuttering start to the game, the team in green were now definitely in charge. Charnock looked full of energy despite having completed 180 minutes of football in the previous 96 hours whilst Winsford ,who had not played for the previous six days, were looking distinctly lethargic. The remainder of the first half saw Grimshaw get his head on a cross from Prout but, under pressure, the ball went wide, Noblet had a great run from his own half only to see his centre just too far in front of Grimshaw and another free kick from the left set up Grimshaw for a left foot shot that went wide.
Winsford made two changes for the second half, Michael Koral and Callum Garner replaced Danny McLaughlin and James Rothwell and they looked a different side in the second half. As in the two previous games, Charnock were forced onto the defensive but on this occasion they conceded goals. The home team reduced the arrears only five minutes into the half, an attack down their left finished with Halton diving to collect the centre but the ball spilt from his grasp and Scott Taylor was on hand to hit the ball home. Winsford maintained the pressure and a shot rebounded off the post on 55 minutes and the teams were level after 62 minutes. A cross from the right was headed on and Bircumshaw coming in from the left beat Halton at his near post. The home keeper was having an easy time with Charnock struggling to mount attacks but similar to the cup game at Bootle, against the run of play, CARL GRIMSHAW scored another valuable goal and completed his hat-trick on 67 minutes turning home, at the near post, a free kick taken by Ralph on the right. Back in the lead it was a case of the Villagers hanging on and they could have increased their lead when Noblet broke clear down the left, he had the option of trying to find Grimshaw or shooting he took the latter and twice had his shots blocked. The home team equalised for a second time on 80 minutes, Halton went down to save a shot from distance, the ball spun free and Bircumshaw scored his second goal of the evening. Lewis Pilgrim came on for the final two minutes in place of Noblet. The Villagers dug in and there were no more scares and the game finished with Charnock collecting a point a result that probably most supporters would have gladly accepted prior to the kick off considering the patched up squad that Charnock had had to field. Special mention must be made of the debuts of Liam McNally and Nathan Lindley who came into the make-shift side and both produced excellent performances and showed the same will to compete that runs through all the teams at Charnock Richard.
The Villagers now face another away fixture on Saturday 24th March at Squires Gate kick off 3.00pm.