After a first half that produced little excitement all the goals came in a 11 minute burst at the start of the second half. Charnock took the lead twice only to be pegged back by goals conceded by some sloppy defending. Another excellent penalty from Liam Hayton proved to be the winner as Charnock failed to convert several further chances but it could all have been different if Haslingden had been just a little more clinical in a late flourish as they looked for an equaliser.
There was only one change from the team that had beaten Fulwood Amateurs on the previous Wednesday, Chris Bennett started in place of Jamie Dalton.
Both sides started with plenty of energy but it was Charnock who edged the opening 15 minutes. A couple of early corners to Charnock saw Priestley’s header from the second one go wide. The best Charnock chance of the half came after 16 minutes when Bennett went clear he rounded the keeper only to blast the ball wide of an open goal. Haslingden began to make the running particularly in midfield and opportunities for both sides were few and far between. On the half hour a deep cross from the right set up a great chance for Haslingden but the shot was wide. After some promising early attacks there had been little threat from the Charnock strikers as the half drew to a close. It had been a hard fought game but neither side had set the game alight as regards football.
The second half, in which Charnock were kicking towards the Charter Lane end, opened in dramatic fashion. The Villagers now having the advantage of the wind, if there was any advantage as it seemed to be blowing across the pitch, took the lead in the 47th minute. The visiting defence failed to properly deal with a long ball through the middle and HAYTON, although under pressure, managed to hit a great shot over the keeper’s reach into the top corner. Two minutes later Haslingden equalised when a series of missed tackles allowed the home defence to be opened up and Baldwin had no chance. Less than a minute later Bennett won the ball back on the edge of the area, Roberts picked it up and rolled it across to JOHN SANDERSON who calmly stroked the ball past the keeper. Haslingden then again equalised on 54 minutes when a long ball from the left was met at the back post, Baldwin seemed to have a simple save but the ball ran out of his hands and trickled over the line. After a first half with few goal chances the ball was now hitting the back of the net every few minutes. Incredibly two minutes later Charnock were ahead again when Bennett was felled in the area and HAYTON converted impressively from the spot. Charnock now really dominated the game and Bennett got clear only to see his shot across the keeper finger tipped away and Hayton coming in at the back post under pressure almost turned it home. Then Sanderson swept an intelligent King free kick just over the bar before Hayton won the ball out on the right and set up Bennett whose lob was narrowly over the bar. As the minutes ticked away Haslingden pushed forward and Charnock had to defend fiercely. A cross sailed past the far post with no visiting player able to get a touch on it then a corner saw the Charnock defence having to rely on a header off the line. It was all a little frantic but Charnock hung on to ensure that they remained at the top of the table.