Riversiders’ less than perfect preparation for Saturday

Neil Beesley and Lee Baker pick up their manager of the month awards from league president Bob Freeman
Neil Beesley and Lee Baker pick up their manager of the month awards from league president Bob Freeman

Garstang boss Lee Baker admits his side faces a step into the unknown this weekend.

Fresh from last Saturday’s victory against Whitehaven, the Riversiders meet an Eagley team lying bottom of the West Lancashire League table.

However, as Baker admits, he’s unsure as to what his players will encounter.

He said: “If you look at their results then they have been scoring goals which is worrying.

“If you play a team that can score goals then they are dangerous, especially if you let them get ahead in the game.

“Whitehaven did that to us but we managed to equalise and eventually got the win.

“Eagley might be bottom of the table but they are a bit of an unknown quantity because we haven’t played them this season.

“I usually make notes on other teams – what formation they have and the players that stand out – but I haven’t been able to do that this time.”

The Whitehaven win was a good way for Garstang to recover after losing their opening game of the year against Hesketh Bank a week earlier.

Typically, however, that defeat came just after the Riversiders had been named as the league’s team of the month for December and Baker had won the manager’s award.

While Baker played down his prize, he was keen to highlight the contribution of his assistant, Neil Beesley, to their recent success.

“Neil has been brilliant,” Baker said.

“When you’re a manager, you take the gamble to see whether you can do the job and, last year, I didn’t have anybody with me; I had to see the season through on my own.

“I’m still young and I’m still learning but Neil has been superb for me; he gives me a second opinion and he’s very good at what he does.

“We both have the same footballing ideals of how it should be played; we’ve been at the same clubs and he’s one of my best mates.”