Coppull spring shock as Leece fires in a treble

There was derby-day delight for Coppull United on Saturday as they left Mossie Park with a place in the third round of the LFA Amateur Shield after convincingly beating Charnock Richard.

Mitch Leece was Coppull’s star man as he bagged a fine hat-trick which Charnock had little answer to.

Charnock stalwart Andy Roberts did pull a goal back but it was another bad day at the office for Andy Westwell’s side.

The home side kicked off but they immediately fell


Leece broke at pace down the right wing and he unleashed a cross-come-shot which drifted over the head of Charnock goalkeeper Gavin Bates and rebounded off the post and into the back of the net.

Despite Charnock falling a goal behind, they enjoyed a strong spell which saw them create several chances.

First Roberts sent Alex Porter clean through on goal but his shot was saved by Coppull’s Gavin King.

Carl Grimshaw then beat the offside trap but as he entered the area, he seemed to run out of steam and fired straight at King.

Grimshaw was involved in the action again minutes later as he latched on to a Danny Nolan through ball, but the former fired wide.

The inability to convert their chances cost Charnock in this game as Coppull extended their lead just before the half-hour mark.

A long free-kick was sent into the area, the ball dropped and on hand was Leece who comfortably turned the ball past Bates.

Lady luck just wasn’t on Charnock’s side, as five minutes after Leece’s second strike, Grimshaw beat an on rushing King to the ball but his shot struck a defender on the line and the rebound was hit at pace by Jack Bennett but it was the same outcome as Coppull cleared their lines.

The half continued with Charnock producing the better of the chances.

Grimshaw rose above everybody but he could only head Porter’s cross over the bar.

Westwell opted to change things up just before the hour mark, with Dave Burrows and Spencer Bibby introduced, and the latter immediately caused a threat, as he raced away down the right-hand side, but his cross was diverted away just as Grimshaw was ready to pounce.

Former Chorley FC man Nolan then raced away but King stood tall to deny him.

Charnock finally pulled a goal back with 20 minutes remaining as Porter whipped in a free-kick and, from close range, Roberts headed home.

Charnock then went on the attack but Coppull boss Dave Houghton mixed things up to counter the Charnock threat.

With the hosts pressing, Coppull countered to put the game to bed.

Mike Fletcher was in the right-hand corner and without looking, he looked to play the ball to Bates but all he did was play through Leece and the Coppull man made no mistake to bag his derby-day hat-trick.

The win sees Coppull take on Hindsford AFC, who compete in the Manchester Premier Division.

The tie will take place on Saturday, October 25.

n This weekend both sides return to league action, with Charnock travelling to Cumbria to take on Crooklands Casuals while Coppull make the journey to Garstang.

The Richardson Cup draw has also been made – Euxton Villa welcome Hesketh Bank, Charnock take on Thornton Cleveleys and Coppull go to Lostock St Gerard’s.

Ties to be played on Saturday, November 8.