West Lancs. Premier league:
Garstang 2 blackpool wren rovers 1
A historic day for Garstang Football Club will be remembered by all connected with Garstang Football club after the team played and won their first competitive match under their new floodlights.
The team celebrated the occasion with a disciplined and gutsy performance to beat a very good top of the table team in Blackpool Wren Rovers.
The visitors gave a clear indication of what to expect in the first ten minutes when first Tobin waltzed round Taylor before shooting wide then Clark brought the first of a number of brilliant saves out of Brindle. The nearest Garstang came to a goal was on 14 minutes when Taylor dinked a sweat cross from the left hand side of the box but unfortunately it was just too high for the advancing Poole.
Bell, playing in an unaccustomed central defensive role alongside Crossley were immense defying a very creative Wrens attack. The home team’s best chance came in the 25th minute, Bell found Poole with a superb pass to the right wing, the Garstang striker turned provider putting the ball into the path of Taylor who slid into the ball that went narrowly wide.
Garstang were right back into the game, the recalled Mattichechia threatened the visitors defence with some strong runs. McGahon drove forward before releasing Poole but this time the Garstang “hot shot”struck the ball well wide.
Louth did well heading a dangerous cross by Tobin out for a corner, from the resulting kick Brindle did brilliantly again to keep out a great strike from Wrens top scorer Ric Seear ensuring a 0 – 0 half time score line.
A poor defensive header by Chris Morris gave Fawcett a good opportunity but the Garstang skipper couldn’t capitalize on the chance shooting straight at Smith.
Wrens took the lead in the 56th minute when Greenhall riffled home following up on a defensive block that had come back out to him. Ric Seear could perhaps have sealed victory minutes later when he blasted over. Garstang were having to dig deep when Brindle pulled off another wonder save. On 64 minutes Manager Crossley decided that a change was required sending on Graham for Dodd. An under pressure Garstang defence saw their post struck before Roskell replaced Taylor in the 71st minute. Then came the turnaround courtesy of a 40 yard free kick by Bell into the Wrens penalty box that evaded everyone before nestling into the net 1 – 1. Gierke looked to have been pushed over in the penalty box but referee Mr. Geldart disagreed, Gierke picking up a booking for his remonstrations.
The winner came in the 87th minute, a good run and shot by Graham was hacked away for a corner. The Garstang crowd went mad when from the resulting kick, the ball came out to Roskell who fired the ball through a rook of players with maybe a deflection off Graham’s boot but certainly off the inside of the post and into the net.
With three minutes and five minutes stoppage time still to play Garstang remained defiant to the end extending their league run to eleven unbeaten games.
Manager Neil Crossley must have been delighted with the spirit shown by all of his players with the back four of McGahon, Bell, Crossley and Louth with a special mention for Jim Brindle who was magnificent throughout picking up his second Man of the Match award in two weeks.
The match was sponsored by ANDREW AYRETON BUILDERS.
GARSTANG TEAM: Brindle, McGahon, Louth, Bell, Crossley, Taylor, Dodd, Fawcett, Poole, Gierke, A. Mattichechia. SUBS: Graham, Roskell, Ireland, Thornley
BLACKPOOL WREN ROVERS: Smith, Corless, Greenhall, Pickering, Donaghy, C. Morris, R. Seear, Pearson, D. Morris, Clark, Tobin. SUBS: B. Seear, Crolla, Pitt
FIXTURES: December 13 K.O. 3pm. Garstang v Slyne with Hest
December 13 K.O. 2pm. Coppull Utd. Res. v Garstang Res.