Charnock draw 1-1 at Burscough. Carl Grimshaw scored the goal.
The Academy beat Southport Trinity 3-2 at Mossie Close with two goals from Entwistle and the other from Pilgrim.
Burscough 1 Charnock Richard 1
Saturday 2nd December 2017 North West Counties League Premier Division
CHARNOCK RICHARD 1
Team: Jordan Gidley, Spencer Bibby, James Walker, Jack Sanders, Ryan Schofield, Ashley Young, Matt Davison, Nathan Fairhurst, Carl Grimshaw, Jon Hession (Joe Noblet 29), Mark Woods (David Sherlock 73). Sub: (Not Used) John Sanderson.
At the end of this match both sides had to be satisfied with a point from a 1-1 draw. Less than three weeks earlier Charnock had won 5-2 at Mossie Park but it was a different game at Victoria Park with the recent heavy rain making the pitch difficult. In a game that saw little flowing football Charnock took the lead on the half hour but the home side equalised in the final quarter of the game and despite both teams chasing a winner neither goalkeeper was really tested in the closing minutes.
The starting line-up was unchanged from the team that won 9-1 against AFC Darwen on the previous Tuesday. Adams was still unavailable due to illness, Hough had left the club and Loftus and O’Farrell were still on the injured list. Noblet and Sherlock were on the bench and they were joined by John Sanderson.
Burscough won the toss so Charnock kicked off playing towards the west end. Straight from the kick off it was obvious that producing neat passing football on a surface that caused the ball to bobble and bounce irregularly was going to be difficult and so it proved. Charnock made a bright start but the game soon settled down with the home team making most of the running and the Villagers struggling to get out of their own half. The long ball tactics employed by Burscough suited the conditions and Charnock really suffered as they tried to produce their normal passing style of play. It was an afternoon when, in defence, it was a case of clear the ball at the first opportunity rather than try to build attacks from the back. It all resulted in a half hour of rather poor football and little entertainment for the disappointing crowd of only 76. After Jon Hession had slipped when shooting in the first minute Charnock did not really threaten for the next 30 minutes. Burscough saw Cummings mis-hit a shot early on with Ryan Schofield clearing the ball as it bounced towards the goal line. Then Jamie Clark fired a chance wide from distance as the home team maintained the pressure but Jordan Gidley was largely not troubled. There was a blow for Charnock when Jon Hession had to come off on 29 minutes having appeared to have received a knock to his thigh. Joe Noblet came on and Matt Davison moved up front alongside Carl Grimshaw. Charnock took the lead after 31 minutes somewhat against the run of play, Mark Woods delivered a left wing corner and the unmarked CARL GRIMSHAW headed in at the back post. Inevitably taking the lead boost the Villagers and they came much more into the game offensively. Unfortunately the standard of football however remained disappointingly poor. Matt Ward had the best chance of the half for the home team on 34 minutes, the ball was worked across the Charnock penalty area and when it came to Matt he had the opportunity for a clear shot on goal but his effort was well off target. Ashley Young produced a delightful pass to send Davison free down the inside right channel and his shot from an angle glanced off the face of the bar. Burscough thought that they had equalised on 40 minutes when they found the net but the cross came from a player that was offside.
Charnock were playing up a slight slope in the second half and unfortunately the standard of football remained no better than in the first half; it soon became a case of Charnock hoping to hold onto their lead to depart with all three points. There was plenty of effort from the home side with a string of long balls pumped forward but Charnock’s defence coped easily with the threat. Nathan Fairhurst provided a shooting chance for Noblet early on but it was wide. Davison had reverted back onto the right of midfield at the start of the second half with Noblet expected to support Grimshaw. Possession was relatively equal and Grimshaw took two touches on the right bye-line but the angle was far too acute for him to have a shot on target. A left wing corner produced problems for the home defence and Davison cut back into the area, the attack finished with Williams in goal having to have two attempts to collect Noblet’s shot. As the half was progressing Charnock were becoming more and more dominating whilst the opposition seemed content to just launch the ball forward at every opportunity. The equaliser came on 78 minutes, not from a long ball but as a result of some poor defending on the right of the Charnock defence and a little bit of luck. Terry Cummings had looked the liveliest of the home attack and he cut in along the left bye-line and when he crossed the ball was scrambled home at the back post by Ben Maddocks. It was a disappointment for the Villagers. Following the goal the game opened up with Burscough showing enthusiasm to go on and grab a winning goal. David Sherlock replaced Mark Woods after 73 minutes and provided some added strength up front. Burscough did have the ball in the net on 86 minutes but their celebrations were quickly subdued when the referee made it obvious that his whistle was for a free kick to Charnock rather than to confirm the goal. In the closing minutes Grimshaw had two headers both off target and on at least one occasion he was offside and maybe the other so the result of the headers was immaterial.
Charnock came away with a point and that could not be too disappointing considering the conditions and they remain firmly ensconced in the top six in the table a position that they would not have though possible at the start of the season.
On Tuesday 5th December Charnock travel to Padiham in the quarter final of the LFA Partners Foundation Challenge Trophy, Kick off 7.45pm. Saturday 9th December sees Charnock again on the road to meet Winsford United at the St Luke’s Barton Stadium, Kick off 3.00pm