Squirrell’s fine display sends the crowd nuts

Celebrations all round for Garstang FC following Chris Squirrell's first half, last minute equaliser.
Celebrations all round for Garstang FC following Chris Squirrell's first half, last minute equaliser.
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Burscough Richmond 2 - Garstang FC 2

Although Garstang were never in total charge of this game, on chances they could have won it, but the big news for Garstang supporters was the return of Jim Brindle in goal after a three-year absence.

Brindle was one of three changes from the side that lost to Euxton Villa, the others being Glennie and Poole, who was making his first start after a long time out through injury.

Sloppy defending allowed Caine to give his side an early lead with a crisp shot, then Murt diverted a Morton free-kick wide of the upright in the 12th minute.

As Garstang came to terms with a lively Burscough attack, and a very strong wind, they began creating chances of their own.

Home centre-back Clandon headed out a Gierke free-kick for a corner, Squirrell heading the resulting kick over the bar.

Poole brought a good save out of Moore, Stone lobbed the keeper, but the ball cleared the bar.

Garstang’s best chance fell to Sawicki after good work by Stone and Gierke, but the winger put his shot wide. On 31 minutes, Sawicki again brought another good save out of Moore in the home goal.

Brindle did well to claim a good cross from Murt, but Garstang were still creating chances.

An Ireland throw-in to Stone in the home team’s box saw a smart turn and shot that flew over the bar.

Garstang’s efforts were rewarded in the 45th minute, when Squirrell headed home an Anderson corner to make it 1-1 at the interval.

Garstang were at sixes and sevens at the beginning of the second half.

Squirrell headed away a cross from the ever-dangerous Hanson, and as the pressure built, Anderson was booked for a late challenge on McNabb.

In the 60th minute, Gierke brought another good save out of the home keeper, as Garstang looked to have regained their composure, but there was more panic in the visitors’ defence when Squirrell lost possession, resulting in Caine shooting over the bar.

Two defining moments came midway through the second half.

First, a cruel tackle by Cox left Squirrell in a heap, then after a long delay, a good run by Poole into the box saw the Garstang man bundled over, the referee taking no action for either of the two incidents.

Gierke was booked for comments made to the referee, presumably relating to the two previous incidents.

Sawicki had yet another chance to give Garstang the lead, but he shot straight at the keeper. The visitors were shocked as Glennie deflected a Murt effort past Brindle to give Burscough the lead with only eight minutes to go.

Buczynski replaced Stone for the last five minutes. The substitution and subsequent reshuffle turned out to be a masterstroke for manager Swan.

Squirrell, who had been pushed forward, inspired the deserved equaliser with four minutes to go.

The skilful central defender weaved his way into the Burscough penalty box, the ball broke for Fawcett, who had it all to do, before slotting the ball home from an acute angle.

BURSCOUGH RICHMOND: Moore, Dixon, Winrow (Cooney 78 mins) Disley (Mason 50 mins) Clandon, Morton, Caine, McNabb, Cox, Murt, Hanson. Subs not used: Taylor.

GARSTANG: Brindle, Shaw (Benson 75 mins) Ireland, Squirrell, Glennie, Anderson, Poole (Syson 75 mins) Fawcett, Stone (Buczynski 85 mins) Gierke, Sawicki. Subs not used: Crossley.