Charnock won 2-0 at Runcorn Town with goals from Matt Davison and Carl Grimshaw.
Runcorn Town 0 Charnock Richard 2
Tuesday 30th January 2018, North West Counties League Premier Division
RUNCORN TOWN 0
CHARNOCK RICHARD 2
Team: Adam Halton, Anthony Hough, James Walker, Ross O’Farrell, Ryan Schofield, Ashley Young, Matthew Davison, Nathan Fairhurst, Carl Grimshaw (Jonathan Hession 87), Joseph Noblet (David Sherlock 78), Alex Ralph (Lewis Pilgrim 88). Unused Sub: Gavin Bates.
The aficionados of the Mossie Park side enjoyed a double delight following this very impressive 2-0 success over fellow Premier Division ‘high flyers’ Runcorn Town at the Pavilions: Charnock’s first ever visit there. Records were made aplenty not least Carl Grimshaw’s 370th goal for the club in 311 competitive games: a truly magnificent achievement by any standards. Also, midfielder/defender, Ashley Young, made his 80th appearance and Central defender Ryan Schofield made his 50th start, on a night to remember.
Both sides performed admirably, on what proved to be a less than perfect surface with the homesters starting strongly before Charnock’s journey towards eventual ascendancy and second half dominance. A goal in each half; one a super strike by the menacing Matthew Davision in the first period, and then that historic moment just beyond the hour mark when Carl Grimshaw shot home his 32nd goal of the campaign and recorded an ‘unbelievable’ 370 goals to his name in the green shirt, was a just reward for a fine all-round performance by the visitors.
Charnock suffered a blow just prior to kick-off when full-back Harvey Close reported sick with laryngitis; forcing a change to manager Andy Westwell’s winning line-up from the 4-1 victory against luckless Barnton at home on the previous Saturday. Resultantly, Anthony Hough took the number 2 shirt and was replaced on the subs bench by young ‘reservist’ Lewis Pilgrim.
Charnock kicked off on the southern bank of the Mersey on a clear but bitterly cold evening facing the turnstile end and the early exchanges were fairly even. Indeed, the opening period was conducted at pace and despite a very bumpy pitch both sides played neat and attractive football; a feature which remained throughout. Town were first to threaten on 11 minutes when Mark Reed almost took advantage of a defensive mix-up at the back post but snatched at the chance which flew over the bar; much to the relief of the visiting rear-guard. Carl Grimshaw fired a Nathan Fairhurst knock-down high and wide at the other end as Charnock quickly responded. On-form, Matthew Davision, ran through on goal on 14 minutes but Town goalkeeper, Andrew Metcalf, came rapidly off his line to save at the Charnock man’s feet. The Cheshire side created plenty of problems for the visiters mid-field with some incisive play with the very skilful Harry Brazel particularly eye-catching with some menacing runs. He was to be the driving force behind most of Runcorn’s attacking forays throughout the 90 minutes. Town looked a well-balanced and capable combination and it was easy to see just why they had led the Premier Division table during the first part of the campaign. They were strong at the back, inventive in the middle of the park and pacy at the front. Despite this, they were not having things all their own way and Charnock matched them in both stealth and creative ability. Indeed, the Lancastrians drew first blood on 29 minutes with a superb goal which stunned the homesters. Anthony Hough took a throw-in deep in enemy territory on the right and found MATTHEW DAVISON near the right-hand edge of the six yard line. Davision was quickest to react and controlled the ball before firing home into high into far corner of the net in spectacular fashion beyond Metcalf’s reach. The goal galvanised the visitors into a flurry of raids as the seemingly reliable home side suddenly looked momentarily vulnerable. For a while the game became a little feisty but the football continued to be absorbing and intense. Grimshaw almost doubled Charnock’s account just prior to the break when his rising drive just cleared the crossbar. The first half had been well contested in both skill and passion but the visitors had begun to make inroads and he second period was to see an increase in Charnock’s grip on the game.
Indeed, the Mossie Park side started on the front foot and they began to increasingly dominate proceedings the longer the game went on. However, Runcorn remained dangerous in the early stages of the second-half and visiting goalkeeper Adam Halton had to be alert on 58 minutes when snatching the ball from the feet of Town substitute, Sam Henry, who had broken free on goal. However, the game was put beyond the Cheshire side just after the hour mark following a fine dribbling run out on the deep right by Joe Noblet who rode a couple of challenges before crossing. CARL GRIMSHAW was quickest to react and his close range shot created history whilst at the same time ensuring the points were Charnock’s for the keeping. Charnock were now well on top and almost grabbed a third goal on 67 minutes when Joseph Holt headed against his own goalpost under pressure from Grimshaw. Town tried to get something form the game with Brazel continuously prompting from mid-field. He sent Henry away with a great through-ball on 70 minutes and Halton did well to hold onto Henry’s looping shot just below the crossbar. The remaining minutes of the game saw the visitors well in control with efforts by Davison, Noblet and Grimshaw all going close. This was a fine winning performance against a very useful Runcorn Town side in what many would have billed as a ‘six pointer’.
Charnock are on their travels once again this coming weekend when they are guests of West Didsbury & Chorlton in the Premier Division.