Garstang 0 AFC Blackpool 1: Missed chances haunt the Riversiders

Garstang lost against AFC Blackpool at the Riverside on Saturday
Garstang lost against AFC Blackpool at the Riverside on Saturday
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Garstang were beaten 1-0 by AFC Blackpool on Saturday in what was a frustrating game for the Riversiders.

It was a defeat brought about by anxious finishing, resolute defending and competent goalkeeping from an AFC side who completed the league double over Garstang in the process.

With Tom Graham absent, Shaun Sailor took an unfamiliar right-back position and Jake Salisbury replaced Ric Coar as Garstang adopted a 4-2-3-1 formation with Jonny Hothersall, Billy McKenna and Jake Salisbury supporting Alan Coar in attack.

Blackpool took the game to Garstang and forced a number of early corners with Will Kitchen also making a fine smothering save before Alan Coar saw an effort forced away for a corner at the other end.

AFC Blackpool mounted some dangerous attacks with Ben Duffield forcing Kitchen to scramble across his goal and make a save.

Two minutes later and they took the lead when Sailor gave away a free-kick from which Danny Pickering headed them in front.

A skirmish triggered by a Tom Entwisle foul ended with the Garstang man cautioned before Blackpool had a good shout for a penalty turned down when Kieran O’Connor appeared to trip his opponent.

Garstang looked to capitalise upon their fortune and saw McKenna have a shot blocked for a corner before the visitors had Jake Darnell cautioned for pulling back Alan Coar, who also had an effort headed off the line before the break.

Neither side made any changes at half-time and AFC Blackpool started the second period well with a powerful run leading to a corner.

However, five minutes after the restart, McKenna was chopped down by the already cautioned Darnell, who was shown a second yellow and then dismissed.

Most people thought that Garstang would now take advantage of this and, indeed, a Sailor shot was spectacularly tipped over before Alan Coar sent an effort flying wide of the target.

The changes started just after the hour mark with both sides bringing on substitutes.

A rare visiting attack saw Duffield shoot off target before Garstang had three chances in midweek succession, the last of which saw Jack Bennett’s shot whizz off target.

The same player again failed to hit the target following Hothersall’s mazy run, and although Garstang had good combinations all over the pitch, an equaliser continued to elude them.

Alan Coar made way for Andrew Murphy on 75 minutes with another substitute, Ric Coar, heading into the keeper’s arms before mishitting a shot when played in by Murphy.

Murphy also saw the ball taken off his toe as he was about to shoot as Garstang threw everything at a resolute visiting defence.

Ric Coar had a good header saved and two further shots were blocked in quick succession.

As the match entered added time, AFC keeper Alex Cameron held a Ric Coar shot at the second attempt before breaking up another attack with a hacked clearance.

Murphy was booked for a charge on the keeper when he had a firm grip of the ball before the same player’s shot sailed over in the last action of the game as Garstang were left frustrated after creating enough chances to win several games.