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 Latest News
Date                                             Headlines


Charnock Richard beat Abbey Hey 2-1 at Mossie Park. Mark Woods and Jake Higham scored the goals.
Charnock Richard 2 Abbey Hey 1

Saturday 5th Jan 2019, Hallmark Security League Premier Division


Attendance : 120


Charnock Richard: Kyle Haslam, Spencer Bibby, James Walker, Ashley Young, Ryan Schofield (Oliver Turner 87), Troy Carsley, Matt Davison, Nathan Fairhurst, Carl Grimshaw, Joe Noblet (Oliver Oxley 71), Mark Woods (Jake Higham 79).
Sub (Not Used) Ross O’Farrell.

Abbey Hey: Ross Haywood, Louis Edwards, Nathan Baxter (Tom Clarke 6), Arthur Okonkwo, Jamie McLellan, Stephen Solademi (Sam Oko 12), Lewis Haydock, Tom Murray, Oliver Walker, Dan Hopkins, Yawosei Opoku-Berchie (Taylor Maguire 63).
Subs (Not Used) Robert Swallow, Keiron Dale.

Charnock Richard had to fight hard for this 2-1 win over bottom of the table Abbey Hey who had the misfortune to lose two players in the opening 12 minutes. An early goal set the Villagers on their way to victory but it was late in the game before they added a second and a 87th minute penalty conversion for the visitors resulted in a frantic finish which saw both teams have a player sent off.

Charnock fielded an unchanged starting eleven for the third consecutive game and there were the same four players on the bench as for the Boxing Day game at Squires Gate.

It was a cloudy, chilly afternoon but the pitch was in fine condition. An attendance of 120 saw Charnock kick off playing towards the Mawdesley Plantation end after Abbey Hey won the toss. It has been a disappointing season so far for the visitors who were well adrift at the foot of the table with only 11 points, seven points behind Hanley Town, before the game kicked off. They had however received a boost on the previous Saturday with a win at Irlam. Abbey soon showed that they were determined to fight their way out of the relegation zone and produced a spirited display that brought the best out of the home defence. In the opening minute a Bibby through ball saw keeper Heywood just beat Davison to the ball and then Spencer cut through from the half way line to fire a shot wide. Baxter went down with an injury and had to be replaced by Clarke after six minutes. The visitors were full of running and it was a bright opening to the game by both sides; Noblet attempted a volley from 25 yards that just cleared the bar. Charnock took the lead on 12 minutes, a ball down the right found Noblet who raced towards the bye-line Solademi came across to tackle but missed out and Joe cut in and his cross found WOODS beyond the far post and he cut back and shot past the keeper. There was then a long delay while Solademi received treatment and eventually he was carried off on a stretcher and Abbey had to use a second substitute. Although Charnock had the lead the game was very evenly balanced with the visitors seeing plenty of the ball and at times the home defence was stretched. Bibby hit a free kick narrowly over the bar before the visitors’ Oliver Walker shot across the goal from the left, Haslam took a touch so it was a corner but it came to nothing. Abbey maintained the pressure and they should have equalised after 34 minutes when a left footed centre from the right found Haydock right in front of goal but his header was weak and straight into the arms of Haslam. Davison then sped down the right but his centre was too strong, however Woods picked up the ball and laid it back to Walker but his shot was high over the bar. Then on 37 minutes another free kick for the visitors caused the home defence problems, several attempted clearances were blocked before the ball came out to Murray on the edge of the area but he shot over the bar. It was then Noblet’s chance to shoot over the ball after he had exchanged passes with Davison. On the stroke of half time Noblet found Woods on the left, his cross reached Grimshaw beyond the far post but his header was over the bar. It had been a close matched first half with the game being played at great pace but the Mark Woods’ goal had given the Villagers the advantage.

The second half proved to be as close as the first with both sides out to attack, Abbey continued to produce some excellent football but as in recent games the Charnock defence stood firm. Maybe Charnock failed to create many chances but having taken the lead it was important not to concede and throughout the remainder of the game Abbey failed to calve out any real chances. Charnock could have increased their lead after 48 minutes when Woods found Noblet just beyond the right hand post but Heywood turned his shot from an angle out for a corner. When Bibby got forward to the right bye-line and pulled the ball back to Noblet he hit his shot high over the bar. Bibby kept a free kick from just outside the area low and it beat the jumping wall but Heywood was down to collect. The visitors were playing some good football up to the edge of the area but their attacks were breaking down at this point. When Grimshaw held off a defender in the area his shot was blocked. Oliver Oxley replaced Joe Noblet on 71 minutes. On 73 minutes Haslam came out to punch away a free kick and then blocked a shot. With the game balanced on a knife edge Charnock finally scored a second goal on 80 minutes, a through ball put Oxley into the area, Heywood could only get a hand to his shot and HIGHAM, who had only been on the pitch for one minute, swept the loose ball into the net. The visitors may be bottom of the table but they did not throw the towel in and the game continued at the same high tempo. Oliver Turner came on for Schofield on 87 minutes then Ashley Young was adjudged to have fouled a player in the box, the visitors had a chance to get back in the game and Oliver Walker made no mistake from the spot. So the game reached fever pitch for the final three minutes of normal time and five of added. Charnock ran the clock down by having a spell holding the ball up in their opponent’s left hand corner before a minor fracas saw Matt Davison carded. There was a surprise, however, when in the same incident Murray received a straight red card when all he appeared to do was kick the ball away against the pitch fencing. In added time there was an off the ball incident and Davison received a second yellow card and Haydock suffered the same punishment. After just over five minutes of injury time the final whistle was blown and Charnock collected the three points.

It had been another good performance from the Villagers; perhaps before the match started there were those who expected an easy game but Abbey Hey have re-organised and they produced a spirited display. Having gained an early advantage it was up to Charnock to hang onto it and they defended as a team as a result Abbey Hey had very few shots on target and it would have been another clean sheet but for the penalty in the dying minutes.

In the coming seven days Charnock have two away fixtures, both in Lancashire, on Tuesday 8th January they play Padiham kick–off 7.45pm and on Saturday 12th they visit the Silent Night Stadium to play Barnoldswick Town kick-off 3.00pm.

Keith Reader

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