CHARNOCK RICHARD 0-0 CLITHEROE
(Clitheroe win 5-4 on penalties)
Partners Foundation Challenge Trophy semi final
Wednesday 21st February
The County Ground (Lancashire FA HQ)
A dramatic penalty shoot-out showdown saw Clitheroe seal their place in the Partners Foundation Challenge Trophy final at the expense of Charnock Richard.
Stephen Rigby netted the winning penalty for the Blues after a goalless 90 minutes saw chances for both sides to win the match in normal time.
Yet despite playing a step below their opponents, Charnock Richard put in a valiant display and can be proud of their performance.
They started the game swiftly with a dangerous through ball which captain Carl Grimshaw eagerly chased, only for him to be blown offside.
But after five minutes in, Clitheroe were already looking like the more likely team to score first, putting consistent pressure on Charnock Richard’s defensive line.
A Bradley Carroll through ball found Kurt Willoughby but the ball bounced off the back of his moving foot, meaning he missed out on a perfect goal opportunity, before
Charnock ‘keeper Adam Halton was forced into a save from George Hughes’ low shot.
The Blues continued to dominate play, sending multiple crosses towards the goal as both Willoughby and Ross Dent were denied, before Willoughby saw an effort ruled out for offside.
Shortly before the half hour mark, Grimshaw latched on to a Charnock free kick, leaping alongside two Clitheroe defenders but heading over the bar.
At the other end, Dimitri Tuanzebe tried to get his head to a free kick, but the ball ricocheted off Grimshaw and out of play.
Charnock Richard started the second half swiftly with the first shot on goal, as Spencer Bibby’s cross found Grimshaw but the striker fired wide.
Clitheroe then missed another golden opportunity minutes later; Carroll finding Willoughby in the box who couldn’t quite make the shot, leaving Halton to run out and claim the ball.
Shortly after the hour mark, Grimshaw received a promising ball on the edge of the penalty area and sent a low, fast ball towards the far corner, but Thompson made a diving save.
And minutes later Grimshaw again directed an angled shot at goal from the right-hand side of the box, which narrowly missed the far post.
Clitheroe substitute George West went close late on, running into the box and unleashing a shot, but Halton was able to make the save.
Although both sides came close to doing so, neither was able to break the deadlock within 90 minutes.
Leading the way for his side, skipper Grimshaw scored the first penalty for Charnock, but Nathan Fairhurst missed their second.
Clitheroe netted each penalty and it was Rigby who stepped up to convert the winning effort, his spot-kick crashing in off the underside of the crossbar to send the Blues into the final.
Charnock Richard: Halton, Bibby, Walker, Young, Schofield, Close (Hough, 76), Davison, Fairhurst, Grimshaw, Noblett, Woods
Subs not used: Bates, Sherlock, Hession, O’Farrell
Clitheroe: Thompson, Henson, Rigby, Rowlands, Brady, Hughes, Dent (Mitchell, 62), Carroll, Willoughby, Egan (West, 67), Tuanzebe
Subs not used: Byrnes, Gregory, Bromley