Charnock won 4-1 against Hanley Town at Mossie Park. Ashley Young (penalty), Joe Noblet, Alex Ralph and Carl Grimshaw scored the goals.
The Reserves lost 2-1 at Dalton United, John Sanderson scored the goal.
Charnock Richard 4 Hanley Town 1
Saturday 18th August 2018, North West Counties League Premier Division
CHARNOCK RICHARD 4
HANLEY TOWN 1
Charnock Richard: Connor King, Joe Noblet, Ross O’Farrell, Ashley Young, Jack Sanders, Mark Woods, Danny Regan (Jake Higham 85), Nathan Fairhurst, Carl Grimshaw, Oliver Oxley (Tyler Rufus 63), Alex Ralph. Subs: (Not Used) Ashley Stott, Patrik Bibby, Harvey Close.
Hanley Town: Owen Wyatt, Mackenzie Faulkner, Ryan Connor (Callum Tunstall 61), Martin Stanyer, Jamie Skellern, David Harry, Andrew Nicholls, Jonathan Sheldon, Joe Donaldson (Tom Ashton 61), Kartel O’Neill-Martin, Josh Bristow.
Charnock put the disappointment of missing out on a run in the FA Cup behind them with this emphatic victory over Potteries based team Hanley Town at Mossie Park. Two goals to the good at half time the Villagers took advantage of the visitors being reduced to 10 men early in the second half to score two further goals but they conceded a sloppy goal in the closing minutes of the game.
As expected there were a number of changes to the team that performed so disappointingly on the previous Saturday, Connor King was back in goal, Joe Noblet returned to wear the Number 2 shirt but play in midfield, Ashley Young dropped back into central defence. There was the welcome sight of Mark Woods, back from a rib injury in midfield, with available again Alex Ralph lining up on the left and Oliver Oxley made his full debut up front. Dropped to the bench were Ashley Stott, Jake Higham and Harvey Close, with Tyler Rufus and Patrik Bibby the other substitutes. Matt Davison and Spencer Bibby already on the injury list were joined by James Walker.
It was a fine overcast afternoon with a gentle west wind but the attendance of only 94 was disappointing. The pitch was in excellent condition, it is surprising what a little rain can do, and a complete contrast to the surface on which Charnock had to contest their FA Cup tie on the previous week. Charnock lined up with three at the back Sanders, Young and O’Farrell with Regan and Ralph as wing backs. Charnock won the toss so Hanley Town kicked off playing towards the Charter Lane end and it was the visitors who threatened first. A neat move from the kick off set up Bristow for a volley on the left of the box but his effort was well off target. It was important that the Villagers made a decent start to the game and they did not disappoint pressing almost from the kick off. Noblet got down the left but his centre was cut out by a defender. A quick throw in on the right resulted in Fairhurst swinging in a centre that Grimshaw headed well wide. On 10 minutes Fairhurst put Oxley into the area on the right he reached the bye-line and his cross flashed across the face of the goal. Oliver was looking very lively up front as Charnock continued to dominate the possession. Hanley at times put together some decent football but they failed to trouble King in the home goal. Carl Grimshaw should have given the Villagers the lead on 15 minutes, played clear into the area his shot from close range was straight at Owen Wyatt in goal, the ball rebound back to him but he got it stuck under his feet. Noblet again chased a ball down the left, the keeper came to the corner of the penalty area and Joe attempted a lob but Wyatt was able to catch the ball. Grimshaw had a shot from the right beaten out by the keeper before a great ball in from Sanders saw Oxley head into the side netting. Charnock were really pressing but failing once again to see their efforts rewarded with a goal. It all changed on 30 minutes, Grimshaw was tripped in the area and ASHLEY YOUNG stepped up to take the penalty and hit a shot high into the roof of the net which gave Wyatt no chance. Carl Grimshaw made himself an opening but shot just beyond the far post before Fairhurst hit a volley just past a post. On 41 minutes it looked as if Oxley had scored his first goal for the club when he got clear in the area and poked the ball past the advancing goalkeeper but there was not enough pace on it and a defender raced back to clear off the line. Charnock increased their lead on 42 minutes, a ball over the top saw Oxley and NOBLET run clear and Joe made no mistake placing the ball between the advancing Wyatt and the near post. The visitors were not happy with the lack of an offside flag but when defenders move out to catch offside attackers, breaking forward, it gives assistant referees a difficult situation. On the stroke of half time Grimshaw headed a free kick from Woods over the bar.
The start of the second half saw Handley reduced to 10 men; on 49 minutes Stanyer went through the back of Oxley in the centre circle and left him writhing on the ground and the referee produced a red card. Charnock continued where they had left off and carried on monopolising possession. A right wing corner saw Grimshaw head just beyond the far post. After 58 minutes Alex Ralph superbly controlled a cross near the left bye-line and his cross was deflected over the bar by a defender. A free kick from out on the right saw Grimshaw glance a header wide and then Tyler Rufus came on for Oliver Oxley. When Regan finished a good run down the right by finding Fairhurst his powerful shot hit a defender. On 73 minutes Ralph produced a real power driver from 25 yards that Wyatt did well to turn around the post. However, the resulting corner was taken short by RALPH to Regan who returned the ball to Alex and he hit another great shot that beat Wyatt and Charnock were three goals to the good. It was the talented winger’s first goal for the club. The Villagers spoilt a good performance when they gifted Hanley a goal on 77 minutes. A mix up on the edge of the area involving Connor King saw the ball roll free to Nicholls who fired into the empty net. Charnock continued to create chances, Noblet got into the area but was bundled off the ball by a defender, Fairhurst tried to go around Wyatt but the keeper manged to knock the ball away. On 85 minutes Jake Higham replaced Danny Regan, the latter having had his best game for the Villagers since his return to the club. In added time a great move involving Grimshaw, Rufus and Fairhurst finished with Ralph being robbed as he shaped up to shoot. After 92 minutes Ralph found Higham just beyond the right hand post and he headed the ball back across goal for GRIMSHAW to head home at the back post.
As expected manager Andy Westwell had made a number of changes to the starting eleven that performed so disappointingly the previous week and consequently the team had produced their best display of the season so far. The availability of Alex Ralph, Joe Noblet and Mark Woods had had a marked effect on the team with the industry of Woods in midfield being an important factor in the game. Hanley Town for all their endeavours never produced a shot for King in the home goal to save bar the unfortunate goal. The win resulted in Charnock claiming third place in the league table, early days but Charnock are on their way to winning enough points to maintain their Premier Division status.
Tuesday 21st August sees Charnock travelling to the TDP Solicitors Stadium to play Bootle kick off 7.45pm. On the following Saturday a revised fixture means that Charnock make the trip down to Stoke to play today’s opponents Hanley Town, kick off 3.00pm. The club are running a coach to the game contact Alan Baron on 07887 678011 if you are interested in travelling.