Reserves equal to tough challenge

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West Lancashire Division One Reserves

Coppull Utd 2 Garstang Res 2

The good news was that the game was on, the bad news was that Coppull’s first team game was off so understandably the first team manager wanted to give some lads a run out and consequently the opposition was even tougher than it might have been.

Considering the recent weather the pitch was in great condition and although there was a bitterly cold cross wind the quality of football from both sides at times was excellent. With manager, Paul Bailey, “fettling an old boiler”, Dave Graham kept Alec Curwen company in the dug out.

Garstang were up for this one from the start and looked the more determined of the two sides, however, they suffered a set back on 10 minutes when Miller’s clearance struck the back of the Coppull striker who was able to advance to the byline and pull the ball back for Vasney to poke home.

Undeterred the visitors took the game to Coppull but couldn’t take advantage of several free kicks and corners and half time came with the one goal deficit.

Garstang thought they had equalised three minutes into the second half when Roskell’s cross shot came back off the post, Graham turned it back in for Assalone to poke it a yard over the line before a defender hacked the ball out.

Unfortunately the referee was not in a position to see it and the linesman couldn’t help out so Garstang were denied.

It was only a temporary reprieve for Coppull as on 55 minutes McAvoy rose highest to thump home a header from a Sutcliff corner and at this point the home side were rocking.

Luck was again on Coppull’s side when a lucky deflection saw the winger get free down the right and his cross flew off the unfortunate Miller’s head and into the net giving Curwen in the Garstang goal no chance.

Chris Barnett came on to make his debut.

Goal of the game came on 66 minutes when the ball broke to ‘Rocky’ Roskell 25 yards out and he hammered the ball into the bottom corner for the equaliser.

Alex Swale was another youth team player who made his senior debut coming on for Southward who had worked himself to a standstill.

Roskell nearly scored a deserved winner in the last minute when his long range shot looked to be heading in the top corner but the keeper managed to palm it away.

Considering the opposition and the number of young players on show this was an excellent performance from Garstang. Miller, Ireland and Baldwin were solid at the back, the midfield worked their socks off and the front two chased everything.

Garstang: Dan Curwen, Johnny Baldwin, Joe Miller, Andy Ireland (Capt), Dave McAvoy, Paul Southward, Adam Roskell, Dan Sutcliff, Carlo Matichechia, Tom Graham, Liam Assalone. Subs: Chris Barnett (for Assalone 62), Alex Swale (for Southward 75), Andy Taylor (for Matichechia 80).