Garstang 3 AFC Darwen 0: Brothers fire Riversiders to home victory

Josh Westwood was well placed to maintain Garstang's lead with a goalline clearance
Josh Westwood was well placed to maintain Garstang's lead with a goalline clearance
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Garstang’s first home game since the middle of February ended with them beating AFC Darwen 3-0.

In front of an excellent crowd of 130, both sides produced an exciting game which was full of chances.

Garstang should have taken the lead after three minutes when Alan Coar fed brother Ric who, with the keeper to beat, hit his shot straight at the keeper from close range.

Garstang were the sharper of the two teams in the early stages and had a number of crosses intercepted or blocked just before the attackers could get their shots away.

It was not all one-way traffic as Darwen started to play themselves into the game and were unlucky when a 25-yard effort cannoned off the base of the post with Will Kitchen well beaten.

The keeper held another Darwen shot from a tight angle, while at the other end, Ric Coar sent an effort across the face of goal.

The deadlock was eventually broken when Jonny Hothersall beat a number of players before finding Alan Coar.

His first shot was blocked but he was able to get a second effort away that went into the corner of the net.

Darwen went close again before the break when Josh Westwood cleared off the line with Kitchen well beaten to keep Garstang 1-0 in front.

Garstang started the second half on the front foot with Alan Coar going close, Phil Nagy having a 25-yard effort brilliantly saved and Ric Coar sending in another good attempt.

They were rewarded when a scramble saw Westwood volley the ball into the path of Tom Graham, who was able to score from close range.

Although 2-0 down, Darwen were still in the game and forced Kitchen into a wonder save from an effort heading for the top corner.

The keeper had to make a smart save, and when Darwen eventually got the ball in the net, it was disallowed for offside.

Garstang weathered the storm and, as the half progressed, started to become more dominant.

Ric Coar had another effort well saved following great work by Nagy, while Jack Swindlehurst saw a 20-yard volley fly just wide of the post.

Their pressure was eventually rewarded with the game’s final goal when Ric Coar got on the scoresheet.

Alan Coar held the ball up brilliantly and hit a perfect ball into his brother, who was free at the back post with the simplest of tasks to score from close range and wrap up a deserved three points.