Promotion clinched with narrow win against Wyre

Leon Gierke, left, picks up his Man of the Match award from match sponsor Allan Smith (Allan's Bobcat).
Leon Gierke, left, picks up his Man of the Match award from match sponsor Allan Smith (Allan's Bobcat).

Garstang 3

Wyre Villa 2

Garstang secured promotion to the West Lancashire Premier League with two matches to spare, but this match was far from easy in a roller coaster of a game against local rivals Wyre Villa.

Starting with a missed Poole penalty after only 30 seconds, Garstang bossed the early exchanges, Mattichechia, an Anderson free kick and Jack should all have done better with their opportunities.

A Wyre break saw Landless slice his shot wide whilst Parry was yellow carded for kicking the ball away after the referee had blown for a free kick. By the half hour Wyre had crept back into the game and it was Garstang who were relying on the break, and break to good effect they did. Firstly Poole put in the energetic Fawcett, who had made another of his trademark runs, but the skipper lost control. Then another quick break gave Garstang the lead in the 44th minute when Poole lobbed the oncoming keeper.

But Garstang couldn’t hold on to half time. Crossley was sent off for disputing an awarded penalty, the spot kick was saved by Brindle but the ball fell to Bradshaw who turned it back for Danson who fired in from close range.

As often happens it was Wyre who looked like they had gone down to 10 men as the hosts dominated play, Gierke and Poole never let Wyre settle and it was no surprise when Poole put Garstang back in front in the 62 minute. But again it was a lead that they couldn’t hold on too when it looked like Anderson had got the final touch trying to head out a crossed ball into the box, a minute later.

It was a fitting moment when, in the 71st minute, the irrepressible Leon Gierke chased another long punt up field that keeper Wilkinson completely missed leaving Gierke to place the ball into an empty net from an acute angle. Garstang did have another scare before the final whistle when substitute Winterbottom had the goal at his mercy but he sliced wide.

No one could deny that Garstang deserved their victory in an afternoon of up and down emotions as manager Iain Swan went off with his players into the dressing room to celebrate “a job well done”.

The game was sponsored by “Allan’s Bobcat” who chose Leon Gierke as their Man of the Match.

Garstang: Brindle, Mattichechia, Jack(rep Louth 73 mins), Glennie, Crossley, Benson, Anderson, Fawcett, Poole, Gierke (rep Sutcliffe 86 mins). Unused sub: Graham

Wyre Villa: D Wilkinson, Raby, Danson, Bradshaw, S Wilkinson, Webster, Wurledge, Landless, Parry, Ashworth, Pope. Subs: Winterbottom, Wilson, Rowling

FIXTURES: Following on from Monday’s first team home game against Furness Rovers on Saturday, May 11, Garstang v Hawcoat Park. The reserves following on from their fixture away to Fleetwood Hesketh on Tuesday, on Saturday, May 11, they travel to Haslingden St Mary’s to complete the season.