Leaders shocked

Sam Nightingale in action for Charnock Richard against Fleetwood Hesketh
Sam Nightingale in action for Charnock Richard against Fleetwood Hesketh

League leaders Charnock Richard were left shellshocked after slumping to defeat against Fleetwood Hesketh.

The defeat is Charnock’s second in four games but the Mossie Park outfit still hold a four-point lead at the top of the West Lancashire League Premier Division.

The fixture was the only one to survive at the weekend as again like recent weeks the weather took its toll on the West Lancashire League.

Despite attacking against a strong wind, Charnock started the brighter of the two sides playing some expansive

football.

But despite that promising start the Fleetwood defence stood firm ensuring chances were hard to come by.

Despite the strong start it was Fleetwood who had the first real chance.

After a great spell of play down the right hand side the ball fell to David Brooks but his effort was straight at Gavin Bates.

Charnock immediately responded with Alex Porter breaking down the left.

His centre found Carl Grimshaw but he could only fire over the bar.

Then in the 24th minute, Damian Dashti conceded a free-kick 10 yards from the halfway line.

Steve Hoy sent the effort goalbound and the ball just kept on going sailing over Bates into the back of the net.

Charnock immediately hit back and felt harshly done by when David Burrows was bundled over in the penalty area but the referee deemed the defender won the ball first.

Fleetwood almost scored a second goal when a cross from the right resulted in a melee almost on the goal-line, but the ball was scrambled clear.

Ashley Young then had a header saved just prior to half-time and Porter was inches away from latching onto a Dashti cross to make it 1-1.

Charnock surged forward in the opening stages of the second half but again found a stern test in breaking down the Fleetwood back line.

Mark Woods and Porter both had chances and just after the hour mark the pressure told and Charnock equalised.

Woods drove the ball forward and with the defender failing to intercept, Burrows nipped in rounding the keeper and slotted the ball home.

But in the 75th minute, Fleetwood regained the lead as Dave Brooks took advantage of a Sam Nightingale error and netted.

Sub Danial Hogg then saw his header go wide before being denied a penalty after being tripped in the box.

Charnock pushed for an equaliser with Ross Bain having a header tipped over the bar and Banks shooting wide from inside the area.