Garstang 0, Thornton Cleveleys 2
It was a disappointing return to action for Garstang as in only their second competitive game in more than two months they came up against a well drilled Thornton side - who not surprisingly had only lost one game this season.
Howell was in action in the opening minutes before a second chance fell to Hall but he screwed his shot wide as the visitors started much the stronger.
There were 18 minutes on the clock before Garstang made any impression on a well organised defence, Kinsey driving into the side netting after a good through ball by Pickles.
Thornton, somewhat fortuitously went in front after 20 minutes, when the ball struck Naylor’s arm on the edge of his own box. Frankland’s free kick appeared to go right through the wall leaving Howell stranded to the spot.
Richard Wilson and Shaun Couch took first half bookings for some over zealous tackles.
Garstang were lucky not to go in two goals down before the break when Frankland’s shot came back off the post and safely into the arms of Howell.
Howell was brought into action as soon as the second half got under way going full length to keep out another good effort, this time by Brookes.
Garstang’s Klas made a good run into the visitors box, along the goal line but it came to nothing.
Thornton always looked the most dangerous and had it not been for some good defending by Woodruff and Pickles in particular then things could have looked much worse. Dawson had created a number of problems for the Garstang defenders as did Langton who went close with one shot that skimmed the upright.
Garstang did have a strong shout for handball in the box but the claims were waved away by referee Stephens.
On 60 minutes Adam Roskell had to replace the injured Pennington and Butler replaced the injured Dawson for Thornton.
Didlock was booked for a foul on Pickles as Garstang cranked up the pressure on the Thornton goal but despite a series of quality corners and crosses by Andrews Thornton held firm and with only four minutes to go they sealed Garstang’s fate when after some untidy defending Thornton made it 0 – 2 deservedly taking the points.
GARSTANG: Howell, Pickles, Ross, Woodruff, Couch, Pennington (rep. A. Roskell 60 mins.) Andrews, R. Wilson, Kinsey, Naylor, Klas (rep. Wood 75 min.) UNUSED SUBS: P. Roskell, Melton, McDonough
Garstang’s MAN of the MATCH selected by Match Sponsors ALLAN’S BOBCAT was Carl Pickles
* FIXTURES: Saturday, February 19, Garstang Res v Fulwood Amateurs Reserves, kick off 3pm. At the time of going to press the first team are without a game.