Garstang 1, Coppull United 3
Garstang’s dismal season continued against a workmanlike and effective Coppull team.
Manager, Stuart Darley was forced into more changes due to the unavailability of Ross and Andrews and an injury to Keeper McDonough who was replaced by Howell.
Couch came back into the side at left back with a surprise return to the club by Adam Brookes at centre back.
Early exchanges were fairly even until Kinsey brought a good save out of the Coppull stopper, King on 15 minutes. The home team’s confidence seemed to grow. A slick move involving Osbourne and Couch resulted in a good run and shot by Morris that was charged down.
Garstang were in control of the game at this point with a better shape and more purpose to their play but they were served a warning in the 34th minute when a whipped in cross was almost turned into his own net by Brookes but for a brilliant save by Howell.
A super strike by Morris almost gave Garstang the lead a minute later but his shot came back off the post and was safely cleared. Pickles, Woodruff and Brookes were equal to anything that Coppull had to offer. No one could get a touch to another dangerous cross by Morris before disaster struck for Garstang a minute before the break.
A corner came out to Hartley on the corner edge of the penalty box, he fired the ball back in, Craddock diverted the ball past Howell to give the visitors an unlikely half time advantage.
Garstang started the second half poorly. A scramble on the goal line almost led to Coppull’s second but Hine could only hit the post when it seemed easier to score.
The momentum was with Coppull who sent on Mason for Grimshaw then Smith was booked for a late challenge on Pickles.
Garstang’s second half performance in contrast to the first could only be described as inadequate failing to create anything worthy of note. Their fate was sealed in the 80th minute when Craddock scored his second goal in a similar manner to the first, guiding a strike into the Garstang box, into the net.
Worse was to come when a loose ball from Osbourne into the path of Smith gave Coppull the easiest of goals cementing the home teams misery.
Couch pulled one back with the best goal of the game on 90 minutes but it was a case of too little too late in another very disappointing afternoon at the Riverside.
GARSTANG: Howell, Pickles, Woodruff, Brookes, Couch, Roskell (rep.Klas 80mins.) Bullock, Osbourne, Morris, Kinsey, G.Wilson (rep.Hunt 87mins.) UNUSED SUBS: P. Roskell, R. Wilson,
The match was sponsored by Graham Anthony Associates who chose Simon Howell as their man of the match.
* On Saturday, March 19, Garstang are at home again, this time against Freckleton. The Reserves are away at Fleetwood Hesketh Reserves.