Red Army marches to 5-2 win

Di Roe of Garstang Ladies  Hockey Club scored two and came close twice at Clitheroe
Di Roe of Garstang Ladies Hockey Club scored two and came close twice at Clitheroe
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Clitheroe and Blackburn 2 (2) Garstang 1 (5)

On Saturday Garstang went away to Blackburn to play their old enemies Clitheroe and no valentine cards were in the offing.

Garstang failed to warm up properly and after less than two minutes were rudely awakened when Clitheroe made a good reverse stick shot in to goal making it 0-1.

Stung Garstang stormed back and some excellent passing work ended with a penalty corner (PC). Fran Summers made an excellent flick from the top of the Dee and the scores were level, 1 – 1.

Garstang were playing awesome power hockey with Fran Summers on the left and Di Roe on the right constantly threatening the Clitheroe Dee. Sadly after 10 minutes Nicky Oddie paid the price for the poor warm up and pulled her calf muscle so badly she could take no further part in the game.

Some great and well-disguised passing put real pressure on Clitheroe and their keeper made the first of many great blocking saves.

However Fran Summers made a good break and a reverse stick pass to Catherine Godbold saw her calmly out flank the keeper and score her first goal; 2 – 1.

More strong attacks followed with the mid field engine room of Josie Rice, Lyndsey Hayes and Jude Chapman supplying the forwards well. But Clitheroe were always a potent threat on the break and a tall skilful and aggressive forward; No 4, had to be contained by the defence.

Nearly every time she got though the mid field she was met by Donna Richardson at the top of the Dee and when she decided to ‘get physical’ she found a very robust Debbie Huyton and Vicky Bradley ready to do battle.

Inevitably Garstang pressure and possession told and after 19 minutes Catherine Godbold made a good break and passed across the Keeper for an on fire Di Roe to open her account; 3 – 1.

Clitheroe broke back but were met by Donna at the top of the Garstang Dee.

Georgie Hampson came on and added her pace in midfield. After 23 minutes the Clitheroe keeper made a great save; stopping Catherine with a diving block in front of goal.

Almost immediately Garstang won a corner and a superb raised but legal strike by Di Roe made a resounding thump on the back board; 4 – 1.

Just as Garstang looked as though they were going to tear Cliterhoe apart they slowed and a spirited Clitheroe put their first sustained pressure on Garstang.

With 32 minutes gone Debs made a great clear after a brilliant diving save by SJ but moments later Clitheroe won a PC and a slip left ended with a good shot in on SJ’s post ; 4 – 2 at the half.

The second half started with Garstang bombarding the Clitheroe goal for 5 minutes. The Clitheroe Keeper made at least five superb diving ground saves and was simply superb under pressure.

After seven minutes Clitheroe broke back only to have Di Roe steal the ball and go straight back up the pitch. Clitheroe came back to the game and the Garstang mid field started to misfire badly under pressure. Capt Lindsay Thornhill lost the ball at the top of the Dee but redeemed her self by a great along the line clearance at a Clitheroe PC moments later.

Clitheroe won another PC and Vicky Bradley cleared well following Lindsay’s example. At last after 11 minutes Catherine made a good break to relieve the pressure and Garstang won a PC.

A superb three moves from a slip right ended with Catherine Godbold just putting the ball past an open goal. Josie Rice came storming back in attack and helped win another Garstang PC.

From a well-drilled move Josie was perfectly placed to deflect the ball in to score; 5 – 2. The game became one of attacking breaks by both sides with Donna Richardson containing the powerful Clitheroe forward and a series of superb diving saves by SJ and the Clitheroe Keeper.

Di Roe made a great steal and running the length of the pitch was only just stopped from scoring by the Clitheroe Keeper’s outstretched toe.

Clitheroe won a PC after 25 minutes and SJ made another great diving save. After 33 minutes Di Roe aided by Georgie again came close. The game fizzled out and at the whistle Garstang had won a good hard match 5 -2 against a powerful Clitheroe side who belied their lowly place in the Division.

That having been said Garstang played some awesome hockey for about 25 minutes of the game and where it not for the Clitheroe keeper they would have won by at least two more, if not three goals.

At the risk of tempting fate an undefeated Garstang are now 11 points clear at the top of the Premier Div with only five games to go.