With Prestwichís 3-0 victory at Atherton LR on the previous Monday ensuring that Charnock would finish in top place in the group, the Villagers had little to play for in this final group game whilst Atherton LR needed to win if they were to qualify for the Quarter-Finals. An entertaining game which became somewhat bizarre in the last quarter saw Atherton taking the lead in the first half before an excellent goal from John Sanderson levelled the scores. Charnock created plenty of chances in the second half but it was Atherton LR who stole away to score the goal that gave them victory and saw them through to the next round of the competition.
Manager Andy Westwell gave a start to those players who had sat on the substitute's bench in the previous two games. Chris Bennett and John Sanderson were up front with Keith Best and Alan Taylor starting in midfield.
Another warm but cloudy evening saw another decent attendance. In an early Charnock attack Dashti beat the advancing keeper to the ball but his chip went wide. Then Kevin Baldwin had to be sharp out of his area to clear a ball played over the top of the home defence. The game settled down into a midfield battle with neither team creating any chances. After two quiet games Kevin Baldwin in the home goal was seeing more action. Chris Bennett went clear after 30 minutes but his shot from the corner of the box over the advancing keeper was past the far post. A minute later a Charnock free kick created a panic in the visitorís goalmouth and Robertís shot was diverted for a corner. Baldwin got down well to save when a header came in from a corner but he was helpless when a cross from the left was met with a powerful shot to beat him at the near post after 35 minutes. Two minutes later Charnock had shouts for a penalty ignored after Bennett appeared to be felled in the area. Charnock equalised when Best fed SANDERSON on the edge of the area and he broke forward to beat the keeper from 15 yards. The scores were level at half time but Atherton had scored one of the two goals that they required to get level with Prestwich Heys on goals scored as they sought to continue their participation in the Goldline Trophy. They also must secure the three points.
Their survival in the competition almost took a nose dive in the opening minute of the second half when Chris Bennett broke clear and his lob over the keeper came back off the post. Charnock continued to make all the running as the half progressed and Jimmy King had a goal disallowed for offside after the goal keeper had made a hash of his long range shot. As often happens in these situations after all the home pressure it was Atherton who broke away to score their second vital goal and to take the lead. A long ball down the middle, after 62 minutes, eluded Priestley, playing in the centre of defence, and was diverted over the advancing Baldwin before being turned into the net at close range. Atherton now were in a position to qualify with goals scored equal to Prestwich and a superior goal difference but they continued to push forward risking everything in the false belief that they needed to win 3-1. Atherton hit the post but their failure to defend resulted in Charnock having a number of gilt edged chances to equalise and in fact go on and win the game. One example of Athertonís reckless chase for a third goal saw all the visiting outfield players go up for a corner and Jamie Dalton was left alone in the centre circle but when he received the ball he failed to capitalise.
A disappointing defeat but Charnock had won the Group which was all that was required.