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29th Apr 2024

Non-league club make history with record number of wins in nine days to guarantee play-off spot

Callum Boyle

Charnock Richard

Yet one 12:30 kick off is too much for some Premier League clubs

Premier League footballers and managers might want to take note of the incredible feat pulled off by a non-league side, who played a record number of games in nine days to secure themselves a play-off spot.

North West Counties Football League Premier Division outfit Charnock Richard were faced with the task of playing all four of their remaining games in just seven days.

The village side – based in Chorley – also had to win all four games if they wanted to get into the play-offs.

After being told by the league that the play-offs would initially take place on Saturday, April 27, Charnock beat Prestwich Heys 6-0 on April 18 to kickstart their run, before a 2-1 win over Glossop North End on April 20 followed.

It was then announced that the play-offs would be rescheduled to April 30, a day after Charnock had hammered Irlam 5-1.24 hours later they then beat Barnoldswick Town away from home before following that up with a 1-0 win against Colne on the Thursday.

With only one game left, Charnock knew a win would mean an extension to the season and they continued the run, winning 2-0 to finish fourth.

Now for the hard part

Regardless of what happens now, the ninth tier club can hold their heads high after the historic success and are now preparing to take on Bury FC at Gigg Lane.

Speaking to BBC Radio Lancashire after the win over Pilkington, Charnock Richard manager Ryan Donnellan said: “Thankfully, we’ve got two days off this week and then we go again on Tuesday at Bury.

“They’ve [the players] just put themselves through it every night. They have 24 hours off, they come in, get rubs off the physios to try and get their legs going.

“We’ve kept pretty much the same starting XI in every game as well. They’ve done unbelievable, and I’m so proud of them.”

This season alone they have scored 107 goals – which was only enough to be the third-highest in the league.

They’ve even had the odds stacked against them by not playing at their official home ground – instead playing home games at Burscough – who are in the same division – and 10th-tier side Darwen FC.

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