North West Counties Football League

Premier Division

Charnock Richard 2

Whitchurch Alport 1

Whitchurch Alport came within four minutes of their first Premier Division away draw, but Carl Grimshaw punished the Reds after Lee Pickerill lost possession just inside the Charnock half of the field.

You simply can’t give someone like Grimshaw gifts like that. With more than 400 goals for the Greens, he’s about as prolific as you can get.

The striker had already netted a 21st minute penalty and although Dylan Bath restored parity in the second half, Alport switched off at a key moment and paid the price.

The home side were hugely dominant in the first half with goal keeper David Parton making a number of really good saves.

Pickerill had the only shot on target for Whitchurch who were on the back foot for 45 minutes.

Mathew Davidson (three times), Joseph Noblet and Nathan Fairhurst were all kept out by Parton who completed every game in his debut season for the club.

After the break Charnock again started well but having weathered the storm, Whitchurch mounted a comeback with an excellent team move constructed down the right-hand side.

Bath struck a 52nd minute equaliser with a great shot across the keeper and in off the post. Three minutes after the goal, Aron Johns saw a shot deflected inches wide only for the ref to award a goal-kick.

This was definitely Alport’s purple spell and Joe Minshall and Leon Ashman both went close with headers from back to back corners, but Charnock always looked threatening on the break.

As the rains lashed down in Lancashire, a lapse in concentration cost the Reds a deserved point because once Pickerill had lost the ball, the home side sprung quickly to exploit the hole in the left back area and Grimshaw lashed the ball pall past a helpless Parton.

There wasn’t enough time for Alport to mount any kind of response with Charnock happy to run down the clock.

Alport finished a respectable 14th in their first-ever season in the Premier Division with a final record of played 38 games with 12 wins, sevens draws (all at home) and lost 20 games, with 54 scored and 59 conceded.