West Lancashire League - Reserve Divison 1
Tempest United Reserves O - Garstang Reserves 2
The Reserves travelled to Tempest looking to maintain their leadership grip in the division. Garstang welcomed back Hay and Jack from first team duty last week.
On a very soft, compact pitch, Garstang almost scored after 30 seconds. The Tempest centre half made a half clearance which fell to Jack who was loitering in the centre of midfield and Jack let fly with a stunning 30 yard volley which the goalkeeper just managed to tip over the bar. The omens looked good for Garstang as it was clear they were facing a disjointed Tempest team.
Garstang worked hard in midfield but were guilty of giving the ball away far too many times much to the displeasure of manager Bailey. Tempest were unable to cope with the games stand out performer Swindlehurst and resorted to illegal challenges to keep him in check. The games break through came when wing back Matichechia whipped in a cross from the right wing straight into the path of Crook who made no mistake and Garstang were 1 up.
There was time for Garstang to almost extend the lead when Miller hit a pinpoint cross field free kick on to the head of Hay whose header was destined to nestle in the bottom corner of the goal but only to see the Tempest keeper make a superb finger tip save. HT score 1:0 to Garstang.
The second half was similar to the first, Garstang working hard to control midfield but not really crafting any clear chances. Assalone, who is getting back to full fitness after a long lay off, had a shot well saved following a cut in from the wing and other half chances came and went. The excellent defensive axis of Baldwin and Miller supported by the safe hands of Curwen restricted Tempest to a handful of half chances and Garstang were never in any danger of losing this. The lead was extended mid way through the half when Swindlehurst ran beyond the pedestrian Tempest centre halves to cooly slot the ball past the keeper. 2:0 and Garstang saw out the remainder of the game with Bailey bringing on 3 youth team players who all made contributions. Final result Tempest United Reserves 0 Garstang reserves 2.
Garstang did enough to win without ever getting anywhere near the quality of football they are capable of playing. Certainly against the divisons stronger teams they will need to play much better but the result does see Garstang sitting at the top of the league for a further week.
Next week Garstang are back at The Riverside entertaining 3rd Place Haslingdon St Mary’s who will provide a much sterner test than today. kick off will be at 2pm.
Garstang Team: Curwen, Southward (Roberts 52), Hay, Miller, Baldwin, Matichechia C (Murphy 75), Jack, Shepherd, Swindlehurst, Assalone (Bailey 80), Crook Subs: Roberts, Bailey, Murphy
MOM: Jack Swindlehurst