Charnock went out of the Macron Cup, losing the tie on penalty kicks following a 1-1 draw in normal time at Winsford United. Tyler Rufus scored the goal for Charnock.
Winsford United 1 Charnock Richard 1 (Lost 4-2 on Pens)
Monday 26th March 2018 North West Counties League, Macron League Cup Quarter Final
WINSFORD UNITED 1
CHARNOCK RICHARD 1
(Winsford won 4-2 on Penalty Kicks)
Team: Adam Halton, Spencer Bibby, James Walker (Mark Wood 38), Joseph Noblet, Ben Lightfoot, Harvey Close, Anthony Hough (David Prout 45), Nathan Fairhurst, Carl Grimshaw, Tyler Rufus, Liam McNally (Matthew Westwell 89). Unused Sub: Daniel Roccia.
Charnock just failed to reach the Semi Final of the North West Counties League, Macron League Challenge Cup when going out of the competition on penalty kicks following a hard earned 1-1 draw at the Barton Stadium against Winsford United. After surviving a first-half onslaught from their Cheshire hosts, the Villagers fell behind just before hour mark. However, the boys in green came back against all the odds with an equaliser six minutes later which changed the course of events and saw a late revival which could so easily have led to an unlikely victory on the night.
Manager Andy Westwell was forced into making no less than six changes to his starting line-up from the game at Squires Gate on the previous Saturday. James Walker returned following injury replacing Saturday debutant Jordyn Fitton at left-back. Anthony Hough replaced Mark Woods who took his place on the bench. New signing from Skelmersdale United, Tyler Rufus replaced David Prout as Carl Grimshaw’s running partner at the front; Prout started on the bench. Liam McNally, who had made his debut for Charnock in the league game between the sides the previous week was brought in for his second first team outing replacing Alex Ralph on the left of midfield; Ralph being cup-tied. New comer, Ben Lightfoot, transferred in from AFC Liverpool just prior to the registration deadline the previous Thursday replaced Mike Fletcher in the centre of defence. Just prior to kick off, the experienced Ashley Young broke down in the pre-match ‘kick-in’ and was replaced by Joseph Noblet who had been named as one of the substitutes. Matthew Westwell and Daniel Roccia also started on the bench.
The blue shirted homesters kicked off on a lovely spring like evening at the Barton Stadium and were soon imposing themselves on their guests. Charnock goalkeeper, Adam Halton, was soon in the thick of the action when saving low at his left hand post on just three minutes when a swirling cross from deep on the right by Michael Taylor was headed goal-wards at the back post by the inrushing Daniel McLoughlin. The Charnock goal then had a lucky escape only moments later when a hurried clearance by Halton from a half-hit back-pass slammed off McLoughlin and trickled just beyond the goalpost; much to the visitor’s relief. United looked the sharper and pushed the ball around with menacing confidence as the visitors tried to stem the tide. Callum Gardner broke clear of the ‘Villagers’ defence on 12 minutes as Charnock struggled to organise, but Halton came quickly off his goal-line and forced the United man into a hurried shot which struck the far post. Charnock were almost being overwhelmed and Halton was again on hand to keep out a Michael Koral snapshot from the edge of the box on the half-hour mark. Despite their obvious difficulties the Charnock defence were manfully holding out. United’s Declan Daniels shot just over the crossbar on 31 minutes from a Gardner corner-kick from the left. In a rare Charnock foray Nathan Fairhurst came close when United goalkeeper Matthew Green scooped away his corner kick from just under the crossbar. Charnock enjoyed a short spell on the offensive with Carl Grimshaw and debutant Tyler Rufus looking dangerous. A further blow to the Charnock cause saw James Walker limp from the fray on 38 minutes with a recurrence of his hamstring problem and the visitors were once again forced to reorganise having no recognised defenders on the bench with midfielder Mark Woods replacing the stricken full back. United wasted a chance just prior to the break when Daniels could only manage a weak header at the back post when well placed to have done better; Halton easily saving. Halton then made the save of the night diving at full stretch to turn away a fine effort by Koral. Charnock were happier to have heard the halftime whistle sound. However, they were still in the contest and had shown a lot of spirit despite.
The second period opened with a defiant Charnock side continuing to resist United’s attacks. Halton once again rose to the occasion on 58 minutes saving at point-blank range from Daniels. The brace Villagers resistance was broken on 62 minutes however, when Daniels headed home at the back post following a well-directed cross from deep on the right by Gardner. Shortly after the goal Charnock survived a goalmouth scramble and did well to clear their lines. The visitors broke on 68 minutes and grabbed an equaliser in dramatic fashion. Carl Grimshaw knocked the ball through a back-peddling defence and new boy TYLER RUFUS confidently smashed the ball into the roof of the United net giving the exposed home goalkeeper Matthew Green no chance. Whilst Winsford remained on the offensive the goal had knocked their confidence and the Villagers began to make serious inroads into the home defence for the first time on the night. Liam McNally came close to grabbing the lead for Charnock on 80 minutes when shooting narrowly over following a long punt up field by Halton which had been headed on by Grimshaw.
United did come close in the closing stages but the game finished all square and was ultimately decided on a penalty shoot-out in favour of the home side.
Charnock are at home to West Didsbury & Chorlton in the Premier Division this coming Saturday.