Garstang boss targets semi-final success

Garstang hope to be celebrating an appearance in the Lancashire Shield final
Garstang hope to be celebrating an appearance in the Lancashire Shield final
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Garstang boss Lee Baker has challenged his players to make their return to football a winning one this evening.

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The Riversiders meet Euxton Villa in the semi-final of the Lancashire Shield at Chorley’s Victory Park stadium (7pm).

It will only be their third game in the last nine-and-a-half weeks following a spate of postponements either side of the Christmas period.

The latest was last weekend when they should have been at Hesketh Bank, only for a waterlogged pitch to see it called off the day before.

While Baker acknowledges that level of inaction is not ideal, he also believes there are some benefits.

“It’s been very frustrating, especially when you want to play week to week,” he said.

“When it’s been stop-start then it’s been hard to plan but what we have done is change the training around to twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays – and then Saturdays if we haven’t had a game.

“On the flip side, it’s also helped those lads who have had niggles or illness to get over them.

“While it’s been frustrating, there is nothing you can do about it; there’s no point moaning and groaning.”

One of those recent postponements was the return league fixture against Euxton at the end of January.

The two sides had already met early in the season when Tom Entwistle’s goal gave Garstang a 1-1 draw.

Villa have enjoyed a consistent season and sit fourth in the West Lancashire league’s top flight, eight points and two places beneath Garstang.

“We battered them and came away asking how we hadn’t picked up three points,” Baker said.

“That’s what Euxton do though; they hang in there and they don’t give anything away.

“If you look at their results throughout the course of the season, then you see they have always nicked games and kept clean sheets, which is something I admire about them.

“However, they are beatable and we can cause them a lot of problems if we get it right.”