Charnock Richard 3
Garstang FC lost 3-1 away to table-topping Charnock Richard in the West Lancashire Premier League.
The Riversiders were punished for a first-half horror show, Hastings saw red and they conceded three early goals against the league leaders.
Garstang’s plan had “gone to pot” within a minute and 15 seconds of kick-off, a communication mix-up between Benson and Brindle gifted Charnock the lead.
Burrows doubled the lead after nine minutes, fighting off a Sutcliffe tackle to pick his spot.
Garstang responded well a minute later with their first shot on goal, an Osbourne strike that flew over the bar.
Charnock’s keeper Bates was brought into action for the first time on 21 minutes when he brilliantly tipped a Poole effort over the bar.
Garstang looked to have steadied the ship, but Charnock restored their superiority as Banks headed a third on 31 minutes.
Sutcliffe could have considered himself lucky only to receive a yellow card when he brought down the lively Burrows who was bearing down on the Garstang goal.
Garstang’s fate was sealed on the stroke of half time when a penalty was awarded and Hastings was sent off for handling the ball on the goal-line. Morgan missed the spot-kick, but Garstang still found themselves 3-0 down at the break.
The Riversiders goal came under siege for the first 15 minutes of the second half but Charnock were unable to increase their lead.
Gierke replaced Sutcliffe and Helliwell came on for Osbourne as Garstang eased their way back into the game.
Substitute Gierke was brought down on the edge of the box on 73 minutes, before Anderson curled a beautiful free kick into the top corner of the net to pull a goal back.
Garstang could not build on that momentum, the 3-1 defeat leaves them sixth in the league on 20 points.
Garstang FC manager Iain Swan was dismayed with his side’s first half performance.
He said: “We gave a goal away after the first couple of minutes. So the match was an uphill battle from the start, we gave ourselves too much to do.
“I’m proud of the team’s second half performance, we showed a good character. We were down to ten men, but the lads reacted well.
“I am disappointed with the start to the match, we shouldn’t be finding ourselves in that position early on.”
Garstang will face Eagley FC – who lie eighth in the table – at home on Saturday, but Swan believes the Riversiders can bounce back.
He said: “They are a good side, and are probably under performing this season. It will be a hard match, but hopefully we can take three points.
Garstang: Brindle, Bell, Sutcliffe, Benson, Baker, Osbourne, Anderson, Fawcett, Poole, Hastings, Melling: Subs: Gierke, Helliwell, Louth.