Thornton Cleveleys Yth 5 v 4 Garstang Yth
Garstang Youth went down fighting but a disastrous first half left them too big a mountain to climb.
Thorton started the game the brighter team but hard work from Garstang meant that their attempts to play the ball out from the back were generally thwarted. Once Garstang won the ball they were guilty of giving it back to easily trying to play the long ball when they should have been passing the ball better.
Carter was having success down the left flank and nearly opened the scoring when he got clear but the keeper saved his first effort and the rebound went just wide. Things started to go wrong midway through the half when a corner bounced of Murphy’s head into his own goal and two more goals followed in quick succession when slack defending left Graham exposed in the Garstang goal. When the fourth goal went in before half time it looked like the visitors were heading for a humiliating defeat.
A half time chat and a change of system had an immediate effect with Assalone getting a bit more joy up front and first Smith and then Applegate putting dangerous crosses from the right flank. It was no surprise when Mullin burst through on the hour mark and reduced the arrears. Five minutes later Roberts jinked into the box and played the ball across to Smith who should have scored at the back post. It was only a temporary reprieve for Thornton as a minute later Applegate put in a ball to Assalone who twisted and hooked his shot over the keeper 4-2.
Thornton were now looking rattled so were grateful when a rare foray into the Garstang half lead to a corner which was headed in unchallenged at the far post.
Garstang were not done and Murphy reduced the arrears from the penalty spot when Assalone was brought down and then Carter made it 5-4 with a great run and finish in the last minute but unfortunately the clock ticked down before Garstang could complete the unlikeliest of come backs.
Great spirit shown by the team not to capitulate after such a shocking start.
Garstang wore some specially designed poppies on their shirts to commemorate those lost in the first World War.