Garstang were made to fight all the way for this latest victory over promotion rivals Burscough Richmond, on a bright sunny afternoon down at the Riverside.
With only two minutes on the clock Garstang took the lead, when a superbly struck free-kick over the wall by Anderson was palmed out by Moore, but it was Jack who was the quickest to react, turning the ball into the Burscough net.
It wasn’t long before the visitors were back on level terms. Jack had done well in his own box to steer a dangerous cross by Murt away for a corner, only for the same player to head home the resulting kick by Beesley.
Burscough were dictating the play, without ever breaching a strong and resolute defence marshalled by the magnificent Crossley.
It was another Garstang free-kick that gave the home side the lead in the 30th minute, when Gierke’s clever ball to the near post was touched past Moore in the Burscough goal by Squirrell.
The goal seemed to settle Garstang, as they safely negotiated the remainder of the first half. Burscough looked determined to get back into the game but much as they tried, a well-disciplined Garstang side denied them any real shots at goal, and the closest they came to a goal was a strong appeal for a penalty that was waved away.
In another incident, Anderson was booked for what looked like a perfectly good tackle.
Meanwhile, Garstang broke to good effect. The Burscough keeper just beat Gierke to an excellent through ball by Draycott, then Poole and Gierke combined well to tee the ball up for the oncoming Fawcett, but he couldn’t keep his shot down.
Mattichechia replaced Gierke, who had worked so hard for 82 minutes, before Squirrell weaved his way into the visitor’s penalty area, releasing the ball to Draycott, who sliced his shot wide.
The Garstang midfielder made amends for that in stoppage time. Stuart had replaced Poole on 87 minutes, and he made his mark on the game with a neat ball into the box for Draycott, who showed great footwork before shooting past Moore.
Garstang: Brindle, Jack, Benson, Glennie, Crossley, Squirrell, Anderson, Fawcett, Poole (Stuart 87mins) Gierke (Mattichechia 82 mins) Draycott.
Burscough Richmond: Moore, Dixon, Dean, Disley, Taylor, Jones, Mason, Morton, Murt, Beesley, Howson. Substitutes: Caine, Lorde, Clandon.
The game was sponsored by Andrw Ayrton Builders Ltd. who chose David Jack as their Man of the Match.
Fixtures: Following Garstang’s Reserve game at home to Eagley Reserves on Monday, and the first team’s home game against Ambleside on Tuesday, the Reserves go to Thornton Cleveleys on Thursday to play Norcross & Warbreck Reserves in the semi-final of the Houston Cup. On Saturday, April 27, Garstang are at home to Lytham Town, while the reserves travel to Charnock Richard.