Changes pay off with late winner

John Hargreaves presents the award to Conor Crossley
John Hargreaves presents the award to Conor Crossley
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Garstang 3

Thornton Cleveleys 2

It wasn’t until the Garstang manager sent on Helliwell, Louth, and Glennie in the 72nd minute for Draycott, Hastings and Benson did it look like the home team would get anything out of this game.

The first half had been a fairly even affair. An own goal by Didlock who had sliced a clearance from a Draycott shot past his own keeper in the 21st minute had given Garstang the lead and it could have been two when Gierke could only place the ball into the Thornton keeper’s hands from a Draycott cross.

Thornton, whilst having plenty of possession, had been reduced to long range efforts until Hone brought a good save out of Brindle. Then Smith should have done better when he headed a good chance into Brindle’s hands.

Thornton who had started the second half looking much the better team deservedly levelled in the 51st minute when Dagger riffled home a great low cross by Thompson. Garstang spent the next 20 minutes on the back foot and it was no surprise when Smith outpaced the home defence before smashing the ball passed Brindle to put the visitors in front.

It was at this point that the home substitutions were made and the game began to change. Helliwell in particular was instrumental in Garstang’s recovery helping his team to retain the ball. However, it wasn’t until the 82nd minute that the equaliser came, Crossley rising high in the box to head home a perfectly delivered corner by Gierke.

Thornton were doubly stunned in the first minute of stoppage time, Poole had conjured up some space for himself before firing his shot at keeper Smith, the ball came out a long way only to be met by the advancing Bell who hammered the his shot into the roof of the net through a rook of players.

The game was sponsored by John Hargreaves who chose Conor Crossley as his Man of the Match.

Garstang: Brindle, Bell, Hastings, Baker, Crossley, Benson, Melling, Fawcett, Poole, Gierke, Draycott. Subs: Glennie, Louth, Helliwell

Thornton Cleveleys: M. Smith, Breakell, Didlock, Thompson, Atkinson, Hone, Nay, McAlpine, P. Smith Rawcliffe, Dagger. Subs: Ralston, Bailey, Cropper.

Garstang FC fixtures for Saturday, September 14:

First team: Away v Turton (LFA shield 2pm ko)

Reserves: Away v Tempest Utd (3pm ko)

Sunday, September 15:

Youth team v Lostock Hall SC (11am ko)