Charnock came away from Winsford with a point from a 1-1 draw with 1874 Northwich. Carl Grimshaw scored from the penalty spot.
The Reserves played their last game of the season losing 3-4 at Mossie Park to Walney Island. Jon Hession 2 and Tony Blackhurst scoring the goals,
1874 Northwich 1 Charnock Richard 1
Saturday 20th April 2019, Hallmark Security League Premier Division
1874 NORTHWICH 1
CHARNOCK RICHARD 1
Attendance : 208
1874 Northwich: Aghayere Nosakhare, Sam Hind, Matt Russell, Jack Pritchard (Matt Woolley 75), Lee Jackson, Mark Jones, Callam Gardner, Aaron Smith (Jake Parker), Scott McGowan, Sam Hare, Taylor Kennerley (Michael Koral 62). Subs: (Not Used) James Ormrod, Paul Connor
Charnock Richard: Kyle Haslam, Damian Dashti, James Walker, Ashley Young, Oliver Turner, Ross O’Farrell, Matt Davison (Alex Dodd 90+1), Nathen Fairhurst, Carl Grimshaw, Oliver Oxley (Joe Noblet 70), Jake Higham (Troy Carsley 62). Subs: (Not Used) Aaron Morris, Ryan Schofield.
Charnock Richard came away from the St Lukes’ Barton Stadium with battling point from a 1-1 draw against 1874 Northwich. The condition of the pitch was not conducive to passing football so the crowd of 208 had to be content with both sides using long ball tactics and consequently the standard of football was disappointing. The home team scored in the first minute but Charnock equalised with a contentious penalty 15 minutes later. Charnock had to defend in depth throughout most of the second half but Northwich failed to produce shots on target and the Villagers could have pinched all three points but for a fine save from the home goalkeeper in the closing minutes.
Charnock made three changes from the team that lost to Bootle the previous week, Troy Carsley and Joe Noblet dropped to the bench and Oliver Oxley and Jake Higham came in. Spencer Bibby was on holiday so there was a surprise return at right back for veteran Damian Dashti who has not appeared in the first team since the end of the 2016/7 season. It was refreshing to see a loyal player, who made his first team debut back in 2001, pulling on a first team shirt again. Ryan Schofield, recovered from his recent road accident, was on the bench.
It was a glorious afternoon with temperatures in the mid-70s and calm, ideal for watching football if not playing. The pitch as previously stated was in a poor condition with bare patches from which dust arose when disturbed and the surface all over the pitch was very uneven. 1874 won the toss so Charnock kicked off and conceded a goal within the first minute, a long ball out Kennerley on the left caught Dashti out and the flying winger cut in to beat Haslam. It was a real setback for the Villagers. Having had such a disappointing start to the game it has to be recorded that Damian went on to produce a fine performance once he settled down. Charnock had already decide that it was not a pitch on which they could produce their normal close-passing football and they kicked the ball long and the home team adopted the same tactics so spectating from the halfway line it often seemed more like Wimbledon as the ball was volleyed from end to end. Following the early set back it took some time for Charnock to get on the front foot and Northwich almost scored a second goal on 11 minutes with Pritchard heading a free kick from the halfway line onto the bar. Charnock got back onto level terms with a contentious penalty, a right wing corner apparently was handled at the near post; the home players protested but CARL GRIMSHAW stepped up and hit a ferocious spot kick giving Aghayere no chance. As expected the goal gave Charnock a boost and the game became more even. Haslam tipped over a thunderous shot from McGowan from distance and Smith threatened but the Villagers’ defence was standing firm and there were a number of excellent blocks to shots. Just before half time a Grimshaw header from just beyond the far post found the net but he was adjudged to have fouled the defender. So the teams went in at the break level at 1-1.
With the home team having the advantage of the slope in the second half they had the majority of the possession with Charnock having to defend in depth particularly for the first twenty minutes or so. Neither side had modified their tactics so hitting the ball as far was possible became the norm for Charnock and often it was a case of it coming straight back. As usual Ashley Young and Oliver Turner were outstanding at the back and the support that they received from their colleagues saw shots blocked and the home side often firing off target. Kyle Haslam punched away a number of crosses and it is difficult to remember him having to deal with a direct shot. He had to turn away an acute angled shot from McGowan at his near post as the prolific Northwich scorer outwitted Young on the right bye-line. On 62 minutes Troy Carsley replaced Higham and made an impact on the left. Oliver Oxley gave way to Joe Noblet on 70 minutes and Charnock were now becoming more of an attacking force as the home side began to run out of steam. A short drinks break was made, understandable on such a hot afternoon. Two corners saw Grimshaw almost score again then on 83 minutes an excellent save from Aghayere thwarted Grimshaw as he produced a great header from a cross from the left. The home stopper flying across his goal to turn the ball away for a corner. As could be expected the Villagers came under increasing pressure as the final whistle approached and they had to survive a loud shout for hand ball in the area from the home players in added time but once again their defending was first class and they hung on for a valuable point.
Overall having to change their normal style of play was a real struggle for Charnock with long clearances often sailing over the head of Charnock play-maker Nathan Fairhurst and the uneven surface caused problems for Matt Davison, a player who likes to get a ball down and to run at defenders. Overall it was a real battling performance and very satisfying to come away with a draw.
The Easter fixtures see Charnock at home on Monday 22nd April with Squires Gate being the visitors and then the final match of the season is also at Mossie Park with Whitchurch Alport travelling up from Shropshire. Both games kick-off at 3.00pm.