Burscough : Monks, Moran, McMahon, Coughlan ©, Carnell, Elms, Riding, Boydell, Brewster, Ball, Boden
Subs : Middlehurst, Falloh, Canache, Pellegrini, Johnso
Burscough supporters went home from the Community Ground on Tuesday night disappointed to lose the “Parbold Hill Derby” but the reality was that they were beaten by a very good team. Charnock Richard have been one of the top half dozen teams in the North West Counties Premier Division for a few years now and looked a seriously good outfit against a Linnets team who despite a good start to the season are in transition.
You could argue that Burscough were caught a bit cold by the whirlwind start by Charnock and when they scored after just four minutes it wasn’t a shock. Nathan Nickeas was put away down the left-wing and he was too quick for Linnets right-back Niall Moran, on reaching the line he cut the ball back across goal where it evaded the Burscough defenders and was crashed into the net
from close range by Lewis Haydock.
The next ten minutes saw Burscough hanging on and it was to their credit that they did.
On 14 minutes Burscough could well have equalised, a powerful shot by Matt Coughlan bounced up and was only parried by Charnock goalkeeper Connor Eastham, Will Riding followed up but could only head the rebound wide.
The Linnets suffered the first of two injury blows that didn’t help their cause on 25 minutes. Experienced centre-forward Delial Brewster went up for a header but landed awkwardly twisting his ankle, he couldn’t continue and during the second-half he was sat in the stand with his foot packed in ice.
One Linnets player who was busy was goalkeeper Charlie Monks and just after half hour he made one of several very good saves diving low to his right to palm away a terrific 18 yard effort from Nickeas. On 37 minutes another blow to the Linnets and manager Richard Brodie when full-back Moran went down with what looked a hamstring injury, he was replaced by promising youngster Harry Middlehurst who went on to have a good game and at the same time a reshuffle saw Burscough go to a three man central defence.
However during the five minutes before half-time Charnock stepped it up, Monks made a great diving save from a Luke Power shot, before he was beaten on 42 minutes by a second goal, Charlie Duke scoring with a low skimming shot from around 20 yards.
Charnock continued after the restart and seconds in Monks needed all his handling skills to keep out Rustam Stepans.
One observation about Charnock Richard is their propensity to put plenty of shots in on goal, not just from a good build up and closer range but from anywhere around the 18 yard line.
Burscough were not entirely on the defensive and on 64 minutes might have halved the Charnock lead but a Middlehurst header hit the post and on 70 minutes Dylan McMahon brought a good save out of keeper Eastham.
The game became a bit feisty in the latter stages and referee Alan Butler who had done well to keep his cards in his pocket finally finished up pulling the yellow one out three times.
Keeper Monks saved his best until last, on 89 minutes tipping one over the crossbar from Power that was going right into the top corner. At the end both teams were in total agreement that the Linnets keeper was Man of the Match.
It reads like a bad night for Burscough but manager Brodie should take heart from the spirit his side displayed, they could easily have collapsed against a Charnock Richard side who looked the best seen this season. The one problem is the loss of Brewster who has been influential this season, by the look of his injury he won’t be back soon.
Sometimes in football you just have to just shake your head and succeed to a good team.