Charnock won 2-1 at home to Ashton Athletic, Carl Grimshaw and Jack Sanders score the goals.
Charnock Richard 2 Ashton Athletic 1
Tuesday 23rd October 2018, Hallmark Security League Premier Division
CHARNOCK RICHARD 2
ASHTON ATHLETIC 1
Charnock Richard: Adam Halton, Joe Noblet, James Walker, Ross O’Farrell, Jack sanders, Troy Carsley, Danny Regan, Alex Ralph, Carl Grimshaw, Oliver Oxley (Mark Adams 76), Jake Higham (Matt Westwell 88). Subs: (Not Used) Callum Darcy, Jordyn Fitton, Ashley Ball.
Ashton Athletic: Martin Pearson, Saul Guffog, Adam Howard, Aaron Cringle, Luke Holden (Danny Smith 81), Luca Defreitas-Hansen (Charlie Munro 70), Josh Nicholson, Callum Wilson, George Hassell, Matt Reid (Declan McLoughlin 60), Marcus Cusani. Subs: (Not Used) Declan Gallacher, Jason Foulds.
Charnock Richard recorded their first home win since mid-August with this narrow 2-1 victory over Ashton Athletic. The Villagers took the lead in the first half only for Ashton to level the scores before half time. The second half was similarly very even with Charnock re-taking the lead but having to defend in the closing minutes as the visitors went all out for an equaliser.
The Villagers’ injury list was reduced by one with Ashley Ball being named amongst the substitutes. The starting line-up showed three changes from the side that drew 0-0 with Runcorn Town on the previous Saturday only to lose 3-1 in a penalty shoot-out, Mark Adams, Matt Westwell and Jordyn Fitton dropped to the bench with Oliver Oxley coming in up front, James Walker at the back and Jake Higham on the left. Callum Darcy made up the five man bench.
It was a fine evening but there was a stiff north-west wind that was an assist to the team kicking towards the Charter Lane end which was Ashton Athletic in the first half. Following the improved display on the previous Saturday this was another encouraging performance from Charnock. Ashton Athletic have not had the best of starts to the season but they have had some impressive results away from home, the outstanding one being the 2-1 midweek win at Morpeth in the FA Cup. This game was played at a high tempo with both sides intent on playing football, the visitors’ tactics favoured the long ball but Charnock were far more direct than their usual style.
Charnock threatened in the first minute, a great ball from Noblet at right back found Grimshaw and he produced a shot that went narrowly wide. After the Grimshaw shot the opening minutes were even before on 11 minutes Regan combined with Oxley and the resulting centre saw Grimshaw find Carsley but he failed to get a shot away. Ashton retaliated with Cusani shooting over the bar and then another fine pass from Noblet found Grimshaw this time his shot was on target but Pearson in the visiting goal pulled off the save. Charnock were now shading the possession but when Howard got down the left for the visitors his cross dropped on top of the net. The Villagers took the lead on 24 minutes, when Higham did well on the left and found Oxley, his pass to GRIMSHAW in front of goal was inch perfect and the big striker made no mistake scoring his 399th goal for the club. The game continued to be close but there was a scare for Ashton on 33 minutes a Walker free kick from near the half way line was misjudged by Pearson and the ball was rolling towards the goal line before Wilson cleared it out for a corner. Ashton stepped up their game and Charnock were forced back on the defensive. When Guffog unleashed an effort from distance out on the right it eluded the home defence somehow and Halton had to go full length to turn the ball away for a corner. The resulting left wing corner saw Holden rise unmarked to head into the net and the visitors were back in the game in the 37th minute. The remainder of the half remained even with Oxley turning well but only shooting into the side netting and a James Walker mistake when he back heeled the ball to Nicholson but the shot was over the bar. It had been a hectic first half and there remained all to play for in the second period.
Ashton started the second half brightly and twice could have taken the lead. On 48 minutes an attack down their left finished with Hassell shooting straight at Halton and then a through ball put the same player in but Halton made a fine almost point blank save. The game then continued at pace with neither side able to carve out any chances. Ashton, on 60 minutes, brought McLoughlin on for Matt Reid. Oxley then set up a chance for Grimshaw but the ball was whipped off his toe in the six yard area as he was about to shoot. From the resulting right wing corner Ashton struggle to clear and eventually JACK SANDERS hit the ball home from close range. In a similar manner to the first half going behind seemed to revitalise Ashton, they stepped up their game and the home defence came under increasing pressure. Most sides with a one goal lead and time running out tend to drop back on the defensive and this is what happened to Charnock, by sitting too deep they encouraged the visitors to attack. Mark Adams came on after 76 minutes for Oliver Oxley who had again produced a non-stop performance with his willingness to chase everything up front. As the final 10 minutes approached the Charnock goal was not quite under siege but it was under almost constant attack. It did not help that with nearly everyone back there was no real ‘out ball’ because clearances were being picked up by the opposition and the ball returned. There were corners and crosses from Ashton but Halton was not really stretched, the closest that the visitors came to an equaliser was the ball brushing off the top of Danny Smith’s head and going for a goal kick. At the other end Adams hit a shot across the goal but beyond the far post. The referee played four minutes of added time which the Villagers survived to claim the three points.
There was relief in the Charnock camp to be recording a home win and credit must be given to another impressive display, lack of defenders recently has resulted in Charnock deciding to play three at the back but reverting to a back four has resulted in a more balanced look about the side. Joe Noblet is not naturally a full back but he seems to be growing into the role.
On Saturday 27th October Charnock travel to Whitchurch Alport who after a difficult start have had some impressive results recently, kick-off 3.00pm. On Tuesday 30th October Charnock host Burscough at Mossie Park with the kick-off being 7.45pm.