Injuries begin to take their toll on Charnock Richard
An injury-hit Charnock Richard fell to a 3-1 defeat at Squires Gate on Saturday.
Their fifth away fixture in a row saw Charnock defeated by a strong Squires Gate side at the Brian Addison Stadium.
When a rebound luckily put the home team away down the right, Adam Halton had to turn a shot from Dean Ing over, before Squires Gate took the lead in the 19th minute.
Isaac Sinclair got free down the left, and Gary Pett headed home his centre.
Carl Grimshaw managed to have a shot on target, but it lacked power and Ben Fletcher in the home goal saved easily.
Halton came out and clearly won the ball but a home player went down in the area and the resulting reaction from the home bench, shouting for a penalty, resulted in the Gate manager being sent off.
On 37 minutes, Mark Woods fed Alex Ralph, who cut inside and launched a shot from distance that dropped narrowly over the bar.
Ashley Young did well just before the interval, whipping the ball off the toes of Ing as he burst through, and then when Grimshaw set him up, Ralph again shot from distance but this time the effort went narrowly past the angle.
Charnock had to make a change for the second half, Louis Mayers replaced Mike Fletcher, who was suffering from double vision.
The Villagers started the half more impressively, and after one of their best moves of the game, David Prout produced a dipping shot that Fletcher turned over the bar.
Grimshaw equalised on 53 minutes, as Ralph hit a delightful diagonal cross that dropped just over the head of a defender, and the division’s leading goalscorer gave Fletcher no chance.
However, almost immediately after the restart, the referee awarded a throw in to Gate that should have been Charnock’s, and they broke down the right, and the centre set up Pett for his second goal.
The game went further away from Charnock on 63 minutes, as Spencer Bibby lost an aerial challenge, and substitute Max Rothwell broke clear to beat Halton.
Ralph produced a centre that saw Ben Fletcher save a header from Grimshaw before, on 72 minutes, Harvey Close replaced the injured Young, and Anthony Hough came on for Prout.
Fletcher again had to save a Grimshaw header before Mayers hit a powerful shot narrowly over the bar.
Charnock were given a chance to get back into the match when Woods was tripped in the area, however Nathan Fairhurst saw his penalty saved by Fletcher on 79 minutes.
The final stages of the game saw Halton make another fine save, and then after the final whistle Mayers was sent off for something he said to the referee.
It had been another disappointing day for Charnock – a succession of away games with little time for recovery and injuries to important players all contributing to a lack of confidence in the side.
The Villagers host West Didsbury and Chorlton on Saturday, kick-off 3pm.