Emley AFC 2 Garstang FC 1: Riverisders concede costly early goals

Jonny Hothersall had the best second-half chance as Garstang lost at Emley
Jonny Hothersall had the best second-half chance as Garstang lost at Emley

Garstang FC lost 2-1 when they travelled to Emley AFC for a game blighted by difficult conditions.

They had gone without the suspended Alan Coar and Josh O’Neill, while Dave Rossall was also unavailable after a knock in the midweek defeat at Pilkington.

Defending the slope, and with a howling gale in their faces, Garstang made the worst possible start when they conceded after only four minutes.

The defence was slow to react to a pass into the box and this allowed James Eyles a straightforward finish past keeper Will Kitchen.

The lead was extended six minutes later when Declan Dawson’s cross from the right-hand side was blown over Kitchen’s head and into the goal by the gale force wind.

As has been the case recently, Garstang only seemed to wake up after that opening spell and, eventually, they started to play themselves into the game.

The Emley lead was halved on 18 minutes when a half-clearance fell to Cameron Ross 30 yards out and he hit a tremendous low shot past the helpless keeper.

The game was now quite even with both defences making last-ditch tackles.

Kitchen made a fantastic save to keep the score at 2-1 before Ric Coar was unlucky when he threw himself at a cross and his diving header from 12 yards flew just wide.

The second half, however, was dominated by the weather with winds in excess of 30mph as well as driving rain for both sides to deal with.

Even though Garstang had the wind at their backs, this offered no advantage as even the most straightforward clearance or through pass was carried out of play.

Both sides did their best to playfootball in poor conditions.

Although Garstang were the stronger side by far in the second half, they still needed Kitchen to make a couple of excellent saves.

Jonny Hothersall had the half’s best chance when he cut in from the left-hand side but his shot was well saved by the home keeper from close range.

Emley did everything to slow the game down as Garstang pressed them into the final third, but despite all the possession, the Riversiders were still unable to create many clear-cut chances as the game ended in defeat.