Garstang FC boss has high praise for Riversiders’ keeper

Garstang keeper Will Kitchen
Garstang keeper Will Kitchen

Garstang boss Richard Cookney believes he is working with one of the Hallmark Security League’s top keepers in Will Kitchen.

Since his arrival at the Riverside at the end of August, Cookney has revamped the squad he inherited from his predecessor, Andy Payton.

That has seen a number of players come to the club as they bid to escape the lower reaches of the First Division North.

However, Kitchen is one of those players to have escaped the cull, not least because of his ability in saving penalties.

The keeper has proved adept at keeping out spot-kicks in his time at the Riverside; a trend he continued in their recent Macron Cup win against Stockport Town.

Having had to settle for a 1-1 draw after 90 minutes, Garstang saw Kitchen make two saves in the shootout to claim a 4-2 victory.

Shootouts might traditionally be a time for nerves but Cookney admitted that he felt more optimistic given his goalkeeper’s penalty-saving prowess.

“I was told about Kitch when I came to the club,” Cookney said.

“I heard all about him being a phenomenal penalty saver and he proved it.”

Having carried out surgery to the Riversiders’ squad, done fitness work and changed formation, Cookney is hopeful that the coaching staff’s work will soon pay off.

With last weekend’s game against AFC Darwen having fallen foul of the wet weather, the Riversiders are back in action on Wednesday evening when they host Prestwich Heys (7.45pm).

“We have been figuring out a formation,” Cookney said.

“We’ve got one now and Alan Coar loves it because he’s been scoring goals.

“We’re sticking to it and what we’re doing is picking a tactic every week to work on during the games.”