Spot-on Garstang’s Shield success

Garstang FC defeated Manchester Gregorians 7-6 on penalties to reach the Lancashire Shield quarter-finals
Garstang FC defeated Manchester Gregorians 7-6 on penalties to reach the Lancashire Shield quarter-finals

Garstang moved into the last eight of the Lancashire Shield as they beat Manchester Gregorians 7-6 on penalties after a 0-0 draw.

Once again, manager Lee Baker had a very strong squad to select from.

On a very difficult, older surface it was always going to be a challenge for Garstang to play their fluid, passing game and the first half was very stop-start with both sides struggling to play decent football.

Garstang looked the stronger, more composed side early on and could have taken the lead after three minutes but Rick Coar was unable to head Tom Graham’s corner goalwards.

The same player saw a cross-shot go just wide, while Alan Coar fired narrowly off target before chipping just over from close range.

Alex Colquhoun and Chris Byrne worked hard to break up Gregorians’ play in midfield with the Manchester side reduced to one clear chance in the half which Dan Curwen pushed away at full stretch.

Although Kyle Lewis hit a number of excellent crosses from the right-back position, Garstang were struggling to create many clear cut openings for the Coar brothers as the score was 0-0 at half-time.

The second half saw Gregorians come into the game more and they enjoyed more possession than the first half but without really troubling the Garstang defensive unit.

Curwen’s handling was excellent as the Manchester side started to launch quite a few high balls into the Garstang penalty area.

At the other end, Jonny Hothersall went close as did Alan Coar but as the half progressed, the game became very attritional with both sides cancelling out each other.

Neither side really created any clear chances to break the deadlock and, at full-time, the score was still 0-0 and moved to a penalty shootout.

The quality of the first batch of penalties was superb with both sides being successful so the shootout moved to sudden death.

With the score at 6-6, Curwen made an excellent save and Adam Roskell stepped up to convert Garstang’s seventh consecutive penalty to move into the last eight.