Baker backs the Riversiders to improve

Garstang manager Lee Baker
Garstang manager Lee Baker

Lee Baker has challenged his Garstang FC players to show they are good enough to improve on last season’s fortunes.

The Riversiders finished the last West Lancashire League season in ninth place after Baker took charge midway through the season.

They also reached the final of the Richardson Cup, only to be beaten 4-1 by Charnock Richard.

Fast forward seven months or so and Garstang are among a clutch of clubs targeting a top six league place.

They are also in the last eight of the Richardson Cup with Cumbrian-based club Vickerstown – who saw off Longridge Town – their hosts on Saturday (1.30pm).

“If I’m being honest we got to a cup final last year with a team I was left with,” Baker admitted.

“In some respects we’ve got a better team this year and we need to try and target something.

“If you said to me that’d we finish in the top five or six in the league, then I’d probably accept that.

“We’re an organised team, a fit team; I think we do things correctly here and we’ll see where things take us.”

Nevertheless, there is a nagging frustration at the way external factors – mainly the weather – have shaped Garstang’s season.

Despite sitting sixth in the table, Baker’s team have played fewer games than anyone else with as many as six matches in hand.

Heavy rain saw matches with Hesketh Bank and Eagley postponed in August.

Showers and snow saw their Lancashire Shield tie with AFC Monton called off twice – affecting the back-to-back league games with Turton.

Baker said: “We got to the point where we were looking good and catching teams.

“Now the teams in and around us can win their games and leave us down there in the table.”