After a goalless first half Euxton sent Charnock's title hopes diving when Euxton's Liam Conway scored but Charnock fought back with two goals from Jamie Dalton to claim all three points.
Charnock Richard 2 Euxton Villa 1
Sat 11th April 2009, West Lancs League Prem Div.
CHARNOCK RICHARD 2
EUXTON VILLA 1
Scorer : Dalton 2
Attendance : 116
TEAM: Kevin Baldwin, Damian Dashti, Craig Banks, James Price, Phil Jackson, Lee Pennington (Alex Randall 57), Scott Priestley, Andy Roberts, Liam Hayton, Jamie Dalton (John Sanderson 83), Jimmy King (Lee Clitheroe 84). SUBS: (Not Used) Tony Hartley, Keith Best.
On a bright spring afternoon a large crowd witnessed another full-blooded derby game between these sides from adjacent villages. Charnock were anxious to keep their title hopes intact and Euxton were looking to finish as high as possible in the table and keen to do the double over their local rivals after a 1-0 victory in the league game on their ground earlier in the season. There were no goals at half time after both sides had failed to carve out any real chances. Euxton proved to be the livelier from the start of the second half and it was no surprise when they took the lead. Charnock then took up the challenge and two goals from Jamie Dalton gave Charnock the three points that they desperately needed to keep their title challenge on course.
After the draw at Dalton United the previous Saturday Jamie Dalton replaced John Sanderson and Lee Pennington started instead of Alex Randall.
Charnock started playing towards the Field End and the contest was very even over the opening minutes. The first goal threat came from Euxton when Baldwin mis-handled the ball but Charnock managed to scramble the ball away. The game continued at an impressive pace, Roberts put a cross in from the right but it was just too far in front of both Hayton and Dalton. Euxton’s direct style caused one or two tight moments in the home defence but Craig Banks kept a tight hold on the Euxton danger man David Heald. Matt Atherton broke into the Charnock area but a great tackle from Phil Jackson saw the ball just trickle into the hands of Kevin Baldwin. It was then goalkeeper Ross Baxter’s turn to drop a centre but, rather surprisingly, the referee decided that he had been fouled. Dalton, who was looking Charnock’s main danger man with his strength and speed causing problems to the visitors’ defence, centred from the right but the ball was too hard for Liam Hayton to control in front of goal. Half time arrived with no goals on the board.
Euxton came out really charged up for the second half and Charnock struggled to get hold of the ball let alone put any pressure on the Euxton defence. Euxton’s pressure paid off after 57 minutes when Baldwin went down to save a Liam Conway shot at the foot of the post. The ball spun out of his grasp and Conway hit the ball home from close range. It was a real sickener for the Villagers who suddenly saw their chances of the league title disappearing fast. Immediately Alex Randall replaced Lee Pennington in midfield and Charnock at last started to get their game together. After 62 minutes a great ball played in saw DALTON cut across two defenders on the edge of the goal area and beat Baxter comprehensively. Immediately Dave Bibby in goal replaced Ross Baxter who had only started after a fitness test before the game. Charnock were now in the ascendancy and it was the visitor’s defence that came under pressure as Charnock chased a winning goal. Randall had a great run into the area and after Bibby had come out and missed the ball it was kicked off the line. It was JAMIE DALTON again on 70 minutes who scored to put the Villagers in a winning position. Again he cut across the goal and after the keeper had blocked his first shot he followed up to knock the ball home. Sanderson replaced Dalton who went off with cramp and Clitheroe came on for King in the closing minutes. Euxton never really looked like pulling a goal back and it was just a case of Charnock keeping control of the game to ensure that the valuable three points were collected.
When the news came through that Blackpool Wren Rovers could only draw 0-0 at Dalton United there was great relief that the fate of the title was now firmly back in Charnock’s hands. Three wins in the last three games would ensure that the trophy came to Charnock Richard however Wren Rovers performed in their remaining four fixtures.