Baker challenges Riversiders to bounce back

Dan Birch has left Garstang FC and moved to Lancaster City
Dan Birch has left Garstang FC and moved to Lancaster City

Garstang boss Lee Baker wants his players to bounce back from defeat when they host Whitehaven on Saturday.

Having ended 2016 by extending their unbeaten run to 14 games with victory over Hesketh Bank, the Riversiders began 2017 with defeat against the same opponents.

Baker’s players had enjoyed the perfect start with Alex Colquhoun giving them a first minute lead, only for goals either side of half-time to see them beaten.

“If something was going to stop the run then it would have been playing the same team directly before and after Christmas,” Baker said.

“We weren’t going to keep winning forever which we’ve explained to the lads but they’d carried us for 14 games.

“We didn’t want the Christmas break to come but, in some respects, it can be a positive for us provided we make it a positive.

“It doesn’t matter who we play on Saturday, however; we have to win that one and so we’ll look at the Hesketh Bank result, take it on the chin and go again.

“We have to win again so Saturday’s game is all about us really.”

Garstang’s return to action after the Christmas break saw them without Dan Birch, who made the move to Lancaster City inbetween the games against Hesketh Bank.

While disappointed to have lost Birch, the Garstang boss was philosophical after seeing him swap the West Lancashire League for the Northern Premier League First Division North leaders.

“I’d never stand in Dan’s way,” Baker said.

“Dan has been a great servant to the club and he’s a brilliant lad who I wish all the best.

“I told him before he went that I hope he gets a league winner’s medal at the end of this season.

“There isn’t a lad in our changing room who doesn’t wish him all the best which shows what they think of him.”