Charnock beat Northwich Victoria 3-2 at Mossie Park, Ross O'Farrell, Tyler Rufus and Matt Davison scored the goals.
Charnock Richard 3 Northwich Victoria 2
Thursday 26th April 2018, North West Counties League Premier Division
CHARNOCK RICHARD 3
NORTHWICH VICTORIA 2
Team: Adam Halton, Harvey Close, Jordyn Fitton, Ashley Young (Ryan Scofield 75), Ross O’Farrell, Mark Woods, Matt Davison (Joe Noblet 63), Nathan Fairhurst, Carl Grimshaw, Tyler Rufus, Alex Ralph (Alex Dodd 82). Sub: (Not Used) James Walker.
Charnock, in their quest to finish in the top six in the table, collected another valuable three points with this 3-2 win over Northwich Victoria. The Villagers took a three goal lead before the visitors came back with two goals in the final 25 minutes to create a tension filled finale to the match.
Initially there was only one change to the starting line-up that drew with Runcorn Town on the previous Saturday; Spencer Bibby had work commitments so Harvey Close started at right back. However, James Walker was injured in the warm up so Jordyn Fitton came in at left back. Joe Noblet, Alex Dodd and Ryan Schofield, back after injury, were on the bench. The visitor’s squad showed a considerable number of changes from the side that suffered a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Charnock at Townfield back in January.
It was a fine but chilly evening and the attendance was a little disappointing at 94. Northwich won the toss and Charnock kicked off playing towards the Mawdesley Plantation end. In the first seconds Grimshaw almost intercepted a back pass as Charnock started with the usual gusto they show in home games. Although their recent form has not been too impressive, Northwich soon showed that they were out to compete. When a neat through ball found Grimshaw he shot past the post. Then after 12 minutes Matt Davison chased back to win the ball and shoot from distance, his effort going narrowly past the angle of the goal. A free kick taken by Whittington for Northwich was turned over the bar by Adam Halton and the resulting corner saw a bullet header from Kieron Dale fly past the goal as the opening stages of the game were even. Charnock took the lead on 18 minutes, a right wing corner found Grimshaw his shot was beaten out by Mike Donlon in the visitor’s goal and ROSS O’FARRELL rifled a shot into the far side of the goal to record his first goal of the season. The game remained relatively even but with neither side able to create chances until the 31st minute when Alex Ralph hit a shot from distance that was intercepted by Tyler Rufus in front of goal but he struggled to get a shot away and the chance was gone. There was a real let-off for the Villagers after 35 minutes a left wing corner saw what looked like a goal bound effort turned over the bar by Brandon Barski right in front of the goal. There are no replays available to review the incident but that is how it looked from the grandstand. Then as Northwich had a spell of dominance Halton had to go full length to turn a shot from distance by Sam Fitton around the post. A miskick from a Northwich defender saw the ball loop up and drop for Rufus but his header over the keeper dropped just over the bar. TYLER RUFUS on 41 minutes held off two defenders and produced a left footed shot that went inside the right hand post to give the Villagers a relatively comfortable 2-0 lead at the interval.
The opening minutes of the second half were similar to the first with Charnock looking marginally the better side and producing some spells of neat, passing football. Early in the half Grimshaw had a chance to control the ball in a favourable position but it got away and subsequently Alex Ralph was presented with a chance on the left of the area but his effort lacked power and was straight at Donlon. Carl Grimshaw then produced a powerful shot that the keeper could only knock up into the air but it was scrambled clear. The 60th minute saw another of Matt Davison’s surges into the area, he lost the ball but it came to Ralph on the left who put in a cross and DAVISON lifted the ball over the goalkeeper’s head into the goal. Three goals down the game should have been over for Northwich and it could have been even more so two minutes later but a shot from Grimshaw was straight at the keeper. Joe Noblet came on for Davison after 63 minutes. The visitors kept plugging away and their tactics changed somewhat to delivering long balls at every opportunity. It was a free kick out on the left that saw Northwich reduce the arrears. Slack marking allowed a free header in the box to set up Matthews who headed over Halton into the net and give Northwich renewed hope. Ryan Schofield replaced Ashley Young on 75 minutes. Charnock were still carrying a threat and should have increased their lead when a great pass from Woods found Fairhurst who set up Grimshaw but he shot over the bar. The leading scorer did not have the best of luck in this game. Charnock made their final substitution on 82 minutes with Alex Dodd coming on for Alex Ralph. Two minutes later the Villagers’ lead was further reduced with Matthews finding room on the edge of the area and firing a shot into the top corner of the net. It was, similar to the previous game, a case of Charnock holding on and despite five minutes of added time they were more successful than on the previous Saturday.
It had been another decent performance from the team in green who having seen most of their injury problems now cleared up look, not surprisingly, much more like the side that reached second place in the table earlier in the season.
Saturday 28th April sees Charnock back for the third time this season at the St Luke’s Barton Stadium Winsford but this time to play 1874 Northwich, kick-off 3.00pm.