Charnock complete the double with cup win

Winners of the Richardson Cup Charnock Richard
Winners of the Richardson Cup Charnock Richard
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West Lancashire League champions Charnock Richard capped off a memorable season by completing a league double after edging Fulwood Amateurs on penalties in the Richardson Cup.

Managed by former Chorley manager Tony Hesketh, Fulwood took the lead just before the half-hour mark through Jonty McDonald.

Charnock bombarded the Fulwood goal in search of an equaliser and it came right at the eath in the 97th minute when Liam Hayton lashed the ball into the back of the net.

Like the semi-finals, the tie would be decided from the spot and Charnock converted all five of their penalties, while Gavin Bates and the post denied Fulwood twice, to seal a 5-3 victory.

Relegated Fulwood started strongly and were more than prepared after not playing a fixture since April.

A thunderstorm meant a slick surface and Fulwood were boosted by the addition of former Preston North End player Lee Ashcroft, who marshalled the front-line.

Andy Roberts saw his effort brilliantly saved by Ellis Hawksworth after three minutes, the latter diving into the corner and palming the effort wide for a corner.

Ashcroft then blazed an effort over the bar as both sides searched for the opening goal.

After 25 minutes, Fulwood broke the deadlock.

A short corner found its way to McDonald and, after cutting inside, he unleashed a shot which Bates could only get a hand to and, after flicking the post, it rolled into the back-of-the-net.

Boosted by their lead, Fulwood tightened their grip on the game and Charnock struggled to create chances.

A tactical change saw Hayton swop positions with Damian Dashti and 10 minutes before the break, the latter hit the post with a long cross before the rebound fell to Hayton who again rattled the post.

The Villagers upped their game and largely dominated the second half.

Fulwood continued to defend deep and didn’t make it easy for Andy Westwell’s men.

Carl Grimshaw then had the chance of the half firing wide of goal then Roberts had a goal disallowed for foul prior to his effort crossing the line.

Alex Porter and Danial Hogg were introduced as Charnock went all out attack, and they had the ball in the net once again only to be denied by the linesman who spotted a player offside in the build up.

Then a competitive final was marred by an incident as the game entered stoppage time.

Hawksworth failed to hang on to a ball and Woods, well within his rights, challenged for the ball which infuriated several of the opposition.

Several punches and pushes were thrown and after the incident was dealt with Grimshaw was given his marching orders, while Fulwood’s Sam Braithwaite got a caution.

Fulwood were desperately hanging on and in the final seconds, a left-wing corner found Hayton and he hit the loose ball home.

Roberts, Porter and Ross O’Farrell all hit superb penalties, but they were matched each time by Fulwood.

Ryan Schofield made it 4-3 before a combination of Bates and the post denied Jim