Ref in thick of things as Villa shock leaders

Charnock Richard attack the Villa goal
Charnock Richard attack the Villa goal
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Euxton Villa turned the form book on its heads as they thrashed runaway leaders Charnock Richard 4-1 in the West Lancashire League Premier Division.

Mark Swift gave Villa the lead before a Danny Hutton own goal drew the sides level.

But Charnock’s Andy Roberts was then sent off for foul and abusive language.

And after the interval, Euxton ran riot as Danny Marland, Dan Morris and Byron Andrew all scored to give Euxton an emphatic victory.

Delighted Villa boss Mark McDonnell said: “It was a massive turn-up but I know we are capable of producing results like that.

“I’m absolutely over the moon for the lads being able to win like that.

“The scoreline probably did flatter us but I think we shaded it.

“I thought the sending-off was very harsh as you hear that stuff very week.

“Overall I’m absolutely delighted with the win and hopefully we can kick on and finish the season strongly now.”

After a bright start from both sides, it was Villa who took the lead in controversial circumstances.

Andrew swung in a freekick and despite no appeals, the referee pointed to the spot adjudging Craig Banks pulled Dave Heald to the ground.

Swift took advantage of the penalty stepping up to slam the ball home past Gavin Bates.

Charnock immediately picked up the pace in the game and on-loan goalkeeper Dovey was forced into two excellent saves.

And after a long period of pressure as the half-hour mark passed, Charnock found themselves level.

After a series of corners, Mark Woods picked up the ball, fired in a cross low and hard and Hutton was the unfortunate man to turn the ball into his own net.

Then a minute later, there was more controversy, influential skipper Roberts said something the referee didn’t like and the young official gave Roberts his marching orders.

The rest of the first half passed with few chances and after the interval, the away side appeared fired up and started to dominate Villa.

But Dovey again produced a super save to keep the score at 1-1.

Then in the 65th minute, Andrew sent Marland clear and the latter outpaced Liam Hayton to slam the ball home.

Three minutes later it was 3-1 as Morris rose above everybody to power a header home from a Rick Wood freekick.

Charnock to continued to press but again Dovey was at his best, this time to deny Carl Grimshaw.

Euxton then rounded the game off in style as Andrew slammed home a free-kick in off the post leaving Bates no chances and giving Euxton a much-needed victory.

Charnock Richard boss Andy Westwell felt the referee played a huge part in the game.

He said: “I’m not taking

anything away from Euxton but the referee cost us.

“He gave a penalty for nothing and sent one of our lads of for something of nothing.

“But we will still go in to our game next week in good heart.”