Garstang make their point...but finish with nine men

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Slyne-with-Hest 2, Garstang 2

GARSTANG ended the game with nine men as this eagerly awaited clash between two fierce rivals turned ugly in the second half.

Bardsley and Jack were both given their marching orders late on as tempers frayed with the match finely balanced.

The blue touch paper was lit as soon as the 6th minute when an Entwisle free kick from outside the box was deflected past the stranded Howell to give the hosts an early lead.

Garstang’s response was immediate when player manager Michael Stringfellow rose high to head a Swash corner towards goal, Squirrell claiming the final touch before the ball entered the net.

The goal gave Garstang more belief in themselves. Rice stole a yard on his marker when he headed over a good cross from Stone then Gierke was presented with a good chance but he shot straight at Donlon in the home goal.

It was a good contest on a poor surface as both sides battled for superiority in what was always going to be a tense struggle.

Garstang took the lead on the 37th minute when Gierke was pushed over in the penalty box as the ball came in from a Swash cross. Squirrell made no mistake from the spot.

Slyne came back strongly. Bardsley was given the first of his two subsequent yellow cards when he hacked down Parkinson shortly before Slyne’s equaliser a minute before the break. There didn’t look to be any danger to the Garstang goal when Entwisle spotted Howell off his line before exquisitely lobbing the Garstang keeper to make it 2 – 2 at the break.

Slyne made a brighter start to the second half, Entwisle again, bringing a full length save out of Howell. The hosts maintained the pressure with waves of attacks most of which were adequately repelled by a well organized Garstang defence. Stringfellow did well when he headed away a goal bound effort from a Bell free kick.

A midfield disagreement between Entwisle and Jack earned both players yellow cards as the temperature on the pitch began to rise.

On the hour Garstang brought on Poole for Rice but the change in personal didn’t prevent Slyne from surging forward. Star man Entwisle set up a good chance for Ogley but Howell did enough to block his shot.

An inconsistent performance by referee Mr Cox did little to help the players’ tempers. Swash was booked purely out of frustration then matters really got out of hand when Bardsley brought down Love prompting a free for all resulting in a Bardsley dismissal and a yellow for Love despite being guilty of throwing punches.

In between the lack of discipline from all concerned Garstang had created their best chance of the half when Jack headed a Gierke cross wide.

Garstang were reduced to nine men in the 82nd minute when Jack received his second yellow for a foul before Love received his marching orders two minutes later for a foul on Squirrell and if that wasn’t enough Mr Fox still had time to add the names of Jackson and Stringfellow to his notebook before the final whistle.

GARSTANG: Howell, Collins, Bardsley, Squirrell, Benson, Stringfellow, Rice (rep.. Poole 60 mins.) Jack, Gierke, Stone, Swash. UNUSED SUBS: Horton, Sawicki, Panepinto, Bee

Fixtures: On Saturday, January 14, Garstang are in action in the Richardson Cup, kick off 1.30pm, against Lostock St Gerards.

Sun. 15th January Kick Off 11.00p.m. Garstang Youth v Euxton Villa