Baker warns players to expect some hard work over Christmas

Garstang hit Whitehaven for six goals at the weekend
Garstang hit Whitehaven for six goals at the weekend

Lee Baker has warned his Garstang players that the hard work will not end just because Christmas is around the corner.

The Riversiders play their final game of 2016 this Saturday when they entertain Hesketh Bank.

Last Saturday’s 6-0 win at Whitehaven extended their undefeated run to 13 matches in league and cup.

That run has seen them into the semi-finals of both the Richardson Cup and Lancashire Shield, as well as climbing to fifth place in the West Lancashire League Premier Division table.

While they are a dozen points adrift of third-placed Fulwood Amateurs and Euxton Villa in fourth, Garstang’s cup progress leaves them with four games in hand on those teams – and as many as seven on other sides in the division.

However, if any of Baker’s squad thinks a decent first half of the season is an excuse for a festive blowout, then the manager has other ideas.

“I wanted six points from our two games before Christmas and then people can say that we’ve had an okay start,” Baker said, having targeted wins against both Whitehaven and third-bottom Hesketh Bank.

“However, we’ll be keeping the players fit at Christmas and keeping them going.

“We’re going to give them a routine to stick to for the sessions we put on over Christmas.

“Having said that, though, we aren’t sure when we’re playing again after Hesketh Bank; it’s down to the league to release the fixtures.”

One match which has been scheduled is Garstang’s Lancashire Amateur Shield semi-final.

Their victory against AFC Monton in the last eight means Baker’s players now face Burscough Richmond from the West Lancashire League First Division in the last four.

They meet at Bamber Bridge’s Sir Tom Finney Stadium on February 15 (7.30pm).