GARSTANG played Preston Seconds on Saturday, in a game that had previously been postponed because of bad weather.
This should have been a relatively easy match for Garstang given the teams’ relative positions in the league – second from top and second from bottom – but Preston seem to be a bogey team for Garstang, and are always well organised in defence.
Garstang were yet again short of key players and given that both players were from the right side, this unbalanced Garstang, who failed to compensate adequately; although all the individuals put in excellent efforts with again only two substitutes.
And after 10 minutes Garstang’s Josie Rice, from the halfway line, played a ball up to Fran Summers, who slipped to Grace Holder who finished well – 1–0 to Garstang.
Garstang won a penalty corner with two minutes in the half to go. A good move and slip manoeuvred the goalkeeper out of place, only for a weak shot to be saved by a back-fill defender.
In the second half, Garstang’s strong defensive combination of Sarah Skelton in goal, Sarah Muir/Nicky Oddie, Lindsay Norton and above all Donna Richardson, stood firm and Preston simply failed to get a threatening shots away.
After 21 minutes Garstang at last got several players in the D and the Preston Keeper made a superb double save.
The Garstang midfield of Grace Holder, Josie Rice, Lyndsey Hayes, Midge Muir, Jude Chapman and Jen Moss started to dominate for substantial periods but up front Lily Helme and the powerful Fran Summers were isolated time and again.
On the right, Grace Holder was her tireless self making run after run up the wing, only for the cross to fail to meet a Garstang stick in the D.
After 28 minutes Garstang did much better at a penalty corner and were most unlucky not to score.
After 31 minutes, Garstang conceded a hit outside their D and Jen Moss tapped the ball away in frustration only for the young umpire to immediately signal for a penalty corner. It passed innocuously – perhaps given the number of Garstang supporters on their knees in prayer.