Casual defending costs Garstang FC

Garstang had to settle for a point at Crooklands Casuals on Saturday

Garstang had to settle for a point at Crooklands Casuals on Saturday

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Garstang led three times 
before having to settle for a point and a 3-3 draw when they travelled to Cumbria to face Crooklands Casuals.

Carlo Matichechia came in for the absent Jack Swindlehurst, while Dave Jack retained his place in central midfield.

Garstang started well and created a number of chances, including Alan Coar charging down the keeper’s clearance and the ball rebounding inches wide of the goal.

However, the play was not helped at either end with the strikers on both sides being caught offside on numerous occasions.

If anything Casuals were knocking the ball round better but it was Garstang who looked the most likely to score – which they did on 28 minutes.

Crooklands keeper Kevin Edwards kept out a fierce effort but saw Ric Coar on hand to bundle home from close range.

Ten minutes later and the scores were level when Dave Mansergh weaved his way along the byline and his shot could not be kept out by Danny Birch on the line.

It looked like the score would remain that way at half-time but, in the last minute of the half, Matichechia burst through the middle and crossed to Alan Coar, whose header was converted from six yards by brother Ric to make it 2-1.

The visitors started the second half positively but couldn’t find the all-important next goal.

When Matichechia brought down the troublesome Mansergh in the box, keeper Edwards stepped up to convert the penalty and make it 2-2.

Ben Roberts was causing Crooklands problems down the right but it was a free-kick on the left that put Garstang ahead.

Alex Colquhoun’s delivery was met by Ric Coar’s head to complete his hat-trick.

It looked like Garstang had done enough to nick the points but in the 89th minute, 
slack marking at a free-kick led to Kieran Clark hitting the equaliser through a crowd of players from the edge of the box.