Victory at Villa brings an 11th successive win

Josh Norgate scores for Charnock Richard
Josh Norgate scores for Charnock Richard

Top-of-the-table Charnock Richard notched up their 11th win on the bounce to see off neighbours Euxton Villa.

Andy Westwell’s side ran out 3-2 winners at the Jim Fowler Memorial Playing Fields to claim the derby day bragging rights.

Defeat for second-placed Blackpool Wren Rovers on Saturday means the Villagers need just six points from their remaining five games to be crowned Premier Division champions for a seventh time.

Matches between Villa and Charnock are always packed with incidents and Saturday’s game was no different.

Josh Norgate gave Charnock the lead before Mark Woods had a goal chalked off for offside.

Mark Swift drew the sides level from the penalty spot before David Burrows put Charnock back into the lead.

Jack Bennett then added a third before Andrew Leggett netted late on for Villa.

In a good start to the game, Charnock saw plenty of possession but it was their keeper Gavin Bates who was tested first as he saved well diving low to push wide a Dan Morris shot.

Villa keeper Struan Robertson was then tested too but he acrobatically saved to deny a disbelieving Carl Grimshaw.

Robertson was again in the action minutes later, having to save a looping Woods effort.

But the experienced Villa keeper turned the villain in the 13th minute.

He fumbled Burrows’ well-directed free-kick and the loose ball lopped straight to Norgate who, from one yard, nodded the ball home.

Charnock then had a second goal disallowed in the 24th minute.

Burrows’ shot thundered off the crossbar before Woods followed up to head home but he was denied by the offside flag.

Villa equalised 10 minutes before the break when David Fisher was adjudged to have brought down the lively Danial Hogg in the box.

It was full-back Swift stepped up confidently to convert from 12 yards.

Bates then denied Hogg in a one-on-one situation as Villa ended the half on top.

The second half saw Charnock rally.

Grimshaw headed against the crossbar, before Burrows fired Charnock into the lead from an acute angle, looping a shot over a helpless

Robertson.

And shortly after the hour, Bennett stabbed home from six-yards.

Charnock continued to pressure the Villa defence but failed to increase their lead.

And four minutes from the end, Leggett headed over Bates to reduce the deficit but Charnock saw out the final few minutes comfortably.

n Last Friday night, Coppull United’s Lancashire FA Amateur Shield final against CMB was abandoned due to a waterlogged pitch.

This weekend, Charnock Richard welcome Hesketh Bank in the Premier Division while Coppull travel to Crooklands Casuals.

Euxton Villa are without a league fixture.