Charnock secured a fine 2-1 win at Alsager Town. The goals coming from Jon Hession and Anthony Hough.
Alsager Town 1 Charnock Richard 2
Saturday 1st April 2017, Hallmark Security League Division 1
ALSAGER TOWN 1
CHARNOCK RICHARD 2
Team: Adam Halton, Spencer Bibby, Josh Norgate , Ross O’Farrell, Ryan Schofield (Luke Gibson 42), Ashley Young, Matt Davidson, Anthony Hough, Carl Grimshaw, Jon Hession (Mark Adams 88), Danny Smith Subs: (Not Used) Damian Dashti, Joe Fielding.
In the North West Counties League all remaining league fixtures have to be completed by the end of April so this away game at Alsager saw Charnock play the first of nine matches scheduled for the month. Charnock have probably the toughest run in of the seven or eight teams challenging for promotion and this looked a very difficult match because Alsager won 4-1 at Mossie Park back in August. After an encouraging start by the Villagers the home side came more into the game and led by a solitary goal at the interval. Charnock took charge of the second half and went on to take all three points with two second half goals.
The starting eleven was the same for the third consecutive match but Mark Adams returned from injury to join Damian Dashti, Luke Gibson and Joe Fielding on the bench. Manager Andy Westwell was away on holiday.
It was a fine afternoon with little wind and the pitch did not seem to have had the amount of rainfall suffered by others in the North West area. There was a fair number of travelling supporters amongst the 147 crowd.
Alsager had arrived at Charnock in August with a strong experienced side and for this game their starting eleven again looked capable with two powerful central defenders and a tall centre forward. Charnock lost the toss, kicked off and made a decent start; Danny Smith’s early cross from the left was over Carl Grimshaw’s head. Anthony Hough’s through ball was just too powerful for Danny Smith but as Charnock began to falter the home side took up the running and a free kick on 13 minutes bounced dangerously on the Charnock bar. The Bullets relied mainly on the long ball and as is Charnock’s way they tended to mimic their opponents but for their two central defenders it was just too easy. Matt Davidson provided a cross from the right but it was too far in front of Grimshaw. Jon Hession was involved but when it became a case of strength with the defenders he had little chance. He did escape on 23 minutes and was fouled but the free kick was over the bar. He was clear again two minutes later but Fletcher, the home keeper, was out quickly to clear the ball off his toes. Matt Davidson then had Charnock’s only shot on target of the half cutting in from the right, Fletcher beat out his effort at the near post. Charnock’s defenders were standing up well to Grice’s height up front but the failure of their midfield to get hold of the ball was seeing the team in green coming under pressure. So it was not too surprising when Alsager took the lead on 33 minutes, a burst into the area on the left produced a cross to the unmarked Jon Kapend and he hit the ball into the net. Charnock were on the back foot and the situation got worse on 40 minutes when Ryan Schofield had to be helped from the field with a dislocated shoulder, Luke Gibson coming on as substitute. The half came to an end with Alsager having another couple of half chances and the Villagers struggling.
If there were any doubts about Charnock’s ability to fight back at half time they were quickly blown away by the Villagers start to the second half. Carl Grimshaw was twice played clear, the first time Fletcher beat him to the ball and the second time he beat away Carl’s attempt to lob him. Charnock had certainly upped their game and the tempo was causing their hosts problems. Fletcher punched out another effort to Hough but his shot was over the bar. Immediately Davidson was played in on the right but he shot into the side netting. Little was seen of the home attack and Charnock maintained their dominance. A Bibby free kick saw Young’s header go straight to Fletcher and when Smith got in on the left his shot was into the side netting. It had been 15 minutes of almost continuous attacking by the Villagers but they were still losing. It changed on 61 minutes Hough launched a diagonal ball from the left to Davidson on the right of the goal he appeared to shoot but mishit the ball and it rolled across goal and the in-rushing JON HESSION thumped it home. Could the Bullets respond? It quickly became apparent that they could not and Charnock maintained their dominance and another fine goal after 78 minutes clinched the valuable three points. A ball was played up to Grimshaw and a clever back heel of a bouncing ball put HOUGH clear and he burst into the area and made no mistake. It had been fine comeback from Charnock and their response to falling behind had been a welcome boost for the difficult games yet to come.