Reds’ youth stars

Nat Benson receives his Man of the Match award from Match sponsor Geoff Hargreaves for his winning performance against Furness Rovers.
Nat Benson receives his Man of the Match award from Match sponsor Geoff Hargreaves for his winning performance against Furness Rovers.

West Lancashire League

First Division

Garstang 2

Furness Rovers 1

The manager rested a number of first team regulars for this bank holiday fixture.

Included in the starting line up were 18-year-old Tom Graham, 19-year-old Dan Sutcliff and new signing Gary Louth, who came in at left-back.

On a warm sunny afternoon on a rock hard pitch both teams were finding it hard to stamp any real authority on the game in the early encounters.

That was until the 19th minute when Sutcliff made a surging run down the middle before finding Graham on the right. His run and cross left Poole with a simple tap in to make it 1 – 0.

Garstang had comfortably dealt with any Furness threat until the 38th minute when Brindle fumbled a Lowe corner under the crossbar. Fortunately, Squirrell was on hand to hack the ball away.

On the stroke of half time Poole should have increased his goal tally after some good work by Graham, but the Garstang striker pulled his shot wide.

Crossley replaced Poole, who had a hip problem, at half-time.

Furness were soon level when, for the first time, the Garstang defence were outnumbered, leaving McCracken the time and space to pick his spot.

Fawcett replaced the injured Graham after 53 minutes. Some brilliant footwork by Draycott preceded his pull back for Fawcett, but the midfielder shot wide.

Mattichechia came on for Glennie on 59 minutes and a spell of Garstang pressure saw shots from Fawcett, Draycott, Squirrell and Sutcliff all either blocked or kicked away to safety.

When the visitors did look like breaching the Garstang defence, Benson stood firm between man and goal.

A smart turn and shot by Gierke that took a defection gave Garstang the winning goal after 72 minutes.

Although further opportunities came Garstang’s way before the final whistle Manager Iain Swan must have been well pleased in particular with the performances of his young players and the final score line.

Garstang: Brindle, Glennie (Mattichechia 59 mins) Sutcliff, Benson, Squirrell, Louth, Anderson, Draycott, Poole (Crossley 45 mins.) Gierke, Graham (Fawcett 53 mins.) Unused sub: Curwen

Furness Rovers: Liddicott, Cunningham, Woodburn, Johns, Wrathall, Pearce McGarry, Mccracken, Spence, Crompton Lowe. Subs: Shields, Herbert, Staunton.

The match was sponsored by Geoff and Marion Hargreaves and they selected Nat Benson as their man of the match.