Garstang 1 (1) Blackpool 1 (0)
Garstang went in to this Premier Division match as leaders on goal difference with two games in hand against second placed Blackpool 1. A nervy Garstang made a poor start and conceded a Penalty Corner (PC) after only a minute and a half.
However the defence stood firm and moments later launched Di Roe up the wing on the first of a huge number of high-speed runs. Some superb passing moves resulted in a near miss from Fran Summers with a classy reverse stick shot that slid past the goal.
Blackpool however won another PC after six minutes but again the Garstang defence were equally well drilled and cleared. After nine minutes Alice Matthew’s mighty cannon shot misfired across the Blackpool goal after some real Garstang pressure on the Blackpool defence. The Blackpool defence stopped pass after pass in to the Dee and soaked up pressure.
After 14 minutes Garstang won their first PC and a drag flick went too straight; - on to the Keepers pads. The Garstang midfield came back on form and after 20 minutes Fran Summers just missed a slide in on the post to tip the ball in to an open goal. Josie Rice made a superb balletic tackle and launched Fran on a series of commando raids on the Blackpool Dee showing great skill and a compelling presence. The pressure at last told and after 22 minutes Garstang won a PC and with a well struck shot by Alice Matthews opened the score; 1-0 to Garstang.
Blackpool came back hard and Sarah Skelton (SJ) made some well judged clearing kicks and a couple of quality dives to keep her clean sheet. Becky Worthington made some classy runs but having made the space in the Dee her passes just did not go to stick. With five minutes to go Di Roe protested to the umpire after repeated barging from a Blackpool back and Coach Dave Gee wisely brought her off to have her bleeding knees attended to before she boiled over.
In the second half Garstang again started nervously but got back in to the game much more quickly and started to dominate Blackpool with the midfield team of Josie Rice and Jude Chapman holding the ball in the Blackpool half. Becky made some more dazzling runs and Alice Matthews with an open goal in front of her made a huge air shot completely missing the ball. After six minutes a vengeful Di Roe on a mission made some great breaks down the wing and some superb crosses again just did not go to stick.
After 13 minutes Donna Richardson again contained a Blackpool break and Catherine Godbold made some good wing runs in place of Di. A minute later Blackpool made two great crosses that a young forward just missed converting sliding in on the Garstang goal post.
Di Roe just missed a goal, as did Alice Matthews with a shot across the Keeper. Blackpool came back in to the game and after 15 minutes and won a PC that on injection went sailing up the pitch with no stop at the head of the Dee.
Blackpool had a last flurry in the Garstang Dee with SJ hammering the shots away from her right post.
Garstang then had the presence of mind to hang on to the ball to play time out without jeopardising their one goal lead.
Garstang did not play well in this game; - in marked contrast to a recent high quality friendly against KGS, but their dogged determination and preponderance of firepower against a worthy defensive Blackpool side merited the win.