Garstang 2nd XI (2) v Brookfields 1st (0)
After last week’s scare against Windermere, Garstang were back to near full strength against third placed Brookfields, who in theory could catch Garstang on points and deny them second place and promotion.
Garstang made a good start and were back to their quality passing game early on.
After a disallowed goal for Brookfields seven minutes in, Garstang were playing well and looked to have the game in hand. At 12 minutes Garstang made a good attack down the centre and twice came close to scoring with Olivia Mason oh so near.
However Garstang then faded and Brookfields came in to their own with some good attacks to test the young Garstang defence of Backs Ellie Harrison and Ellie Moss, new sweeper Holly Wilson and Jemma Hampson at centre back.
Ellie Moss made a good clearance to the side and the defence were in business despite the loss of Georgie Hampson to the 1st team.
At 18 minutes Brookfields won a penalty corner (PC) and after a Brookfields fluffed stop at the top of the Dee made a fast break and came near to scoring. Stephanie Roe came on for Gemma Livesey and her pace added a new dimension to the Garstang attack but sadly Garstang kept going the same route to the top of the Dee and Jo Hargreaves of Brookfields kept stopping Garstang in their tracks. Nevertheless Garstang again came close to scoring 20 minutes in.
Wendy Howarth had to leave the pitch after 25 minutes because she was feeling sick – something to do with a chicken snack. Fran Tanton–Williams came on to fill the gap. Garstang Keeper Zoe Mather made an excellent left foot save on her post and the half petered out with no score.
In the second half, a new Garstang came out of the blocks early and after a quiet first half Julie Nightingale started to make strong runs up the right wing linking up with sisters Stephanie Roe and Rachel Roe.
Garstang won a double PC and Garstang were in business. Jemma Hampson started to maraud forward and made the first of several quality passes in to the Dee. Brookfields made a good break and Ellie Harrison ran at least 50 meters to catch the ball near the back line and deny Brookfields.
Stephanie Roe and Julie Nightingale’s pace started to put Brookfields on the back foot and they backed off conceding space for Wendy and Rachel. A series of one touch passes ended with Wendy in the Dee on 12 minutes and she scored a good goal 1–0. Five minutes later Rachel Roe came near to scoring at the end of another good speedy attack. Brookfields broke back and some excellent blocking groundwork by Keeper Zoe Mather denied a score but ended in a PC for them.
Moments later Jemma Hampson made a great clear and Julie Nightingale made a good attack up the wing to earn a PC that again came close. Garstang ramped up the pressure and after 30 minutes Rachel Roe scored from and excellent cross out flanking the keeper; 2–0.
This was a much better Brookfields side than for the 4-0 game earlier in the season and brought the best out of Garstang. With Promotion back to Div One and second place guaranteed there was an outbreak of noisy morale, champagne (seniors only) and photographs.