West Lancashire League Division One
Hesketh Bank 2
Garstang completed their first double of the season against promotion rivals Hesketh Bank.
An excellent all-round performance saw Ian Swan’s Riversiders net four goals to take the points and keep close on the tails second-placed Wyre Villa.
Garstang are currently fourth in the West Lancashire League Division One table and just three points off a promotion spot.
The side have won seven of their 11 games and will be looking to push on when they take on Furness Rovers in another away game on Saturday.
Manager Swan brought back Brindle, Fawcett and Draycott, with Jack and Sawicki dropping to the bench for the match. Squirrell took up the unfamiliar role of lone striker in a 4 -5-1 formation.
In a ding-dong opening it was Garstang who drew blood first in the 17th minute when Squirrell, with his back to the goal, laid the ball back to Gierk,e whose sliced shot sped past the outstretched hands of Sergeant in the Hesketh goal.
A minute later Garstang had a strong claim for a penalty turned down when Squirrell was chopped down in the box.
The home team drew level in the 23rd minute when Burns broke free down the right before cutting inside and blasting past Brindle.
Anderson was yellow carded for an over vigorous challenge on Thompson, who needed extensive treatment before resuming play.
Hesketh’s equaliser had put the hosts in charge, Brindle making a magnificent save from Royle to keep the scores level. But he could nothing to prevent a Birkby free kick, which went round the wall and into his net on the stroke of half-time.
Five minutes into the second half it was 2 – 2. An accurate cross field pass by Gierke found Draycott who skipped past his man before coolly slotting the ball home.
Garstang had taken a stranglehold on the game and emphasised their superiority in the 65th minute, Squirrell was brought down in a central position 35 yards from goal and up stepped Makin, who struck a superb free-kick inside the keeper’s right hand post to make it 3-2.
Although Garstang had control of the game Hesketh were not finished yet, Birkby bringing another good save out of Brindle.
The game had become a fascinating contest. Sergeant saved well at the feet of Anderson after a combination of good passes between Gierke, Squirrell and Anderson.
Jack came on for Anderson for the last 20 minutes and then came Garstang’s fourth goal. A long clearance by Brindle was headed into the path of Squirrell by Gierke and the lone striker exquisitely lobbed the on rushing keeper to make certain of all three points.
Panepinto came on for Gierke and Sawicki came on for Draycott to see out the game and contribute to an excellent all round performance by a team that is maturing together under the stewardship of manager Iain Swan.
HESKETH BANK: Sergeant, Cox (rep. Yates 68 mins.) Norgate, Thompson, Royle, Hulme (rep. Dickinson 61 mins.) Greenwood, Smethurst, Burns, D. Birkby, Wharton (rep. Henerty 71 mins.) Unused subs: Connolly, A. Birkby
GARSTANG: Brindle, Mattichecchia, Ireland, Benson, Crossley, Makin, Anderson (rep. Jack 71 mins.) Fawcett, Squirrell, Gierke (rep. Panepinto 80 mins.) Draycott (rep. Sawicki 85 mins.) Unused sub: Buczynski
Fixtures for October 27 KO 3pm: at the Riverside Garstang Reserves v Euxton Villa Reserves; Away: Furness Rovers v Garstang