Garstang FC's reserves draw on their return to action
Garstang FC’s reserves and Coppull United drew 3-3 as the West Lancashire League Regional Cup began at the weekend.
The Riversiders’ second string, who are currently in division two, have been drawn in a group with three teams in the top five of the Premier Division, as well as a First Division side.
As a result, while the schedule is going to be a challenge, getting in some game time is the top priority.
On a perfect day for football at the Riverside, Coppull almost took the lead in the first two minutes when Aaron Evans struck the woodwork with Josh Handley blocking the follow-up.
Having survived that early scare, Garstang managed to get a foothold in the game as they looked solid at the back and created problems for the Coppull defence.
There were big shouts for a penalty when Tom Graham went down in the box but the referee awarded a goal-kick.
The opening goal came Garstang’s way when Graham hit a corner to the back post, where Jake Salisbury met the ball with a bullet header that gave the keeper no chance.
Garstang were now well on top and went close on several occasions before doubling their lead when Andrew Murphy fired in a free-kick from the edge of the box.
The second half saw the visitors pressing higher up the pitch without creating too many opportunities.
That was until they pulled a goal back when a cross from the left was met by a great header from Danny Marland.
However, it wasn’t too long before Garstang made it 3-1 when Salisbury turned his man and wriggled through to slot home his second.
The visitors looked down and out at this point and Murphy missed a great opportunity to seal the game when he scuffed a chance wide.
This was to prove costly as Coppull were awarded a penalty on 78 minutes when Nat Lindley was fouled and Marland scored from the spot.
Coppull then levelled five minutes from time when a corner was headed out to the edge of the box, where Matty Bullock volleyed it back into the bottom corner.
Although the visitors’ keeper was sinbinned for the last few minutes, neither side could find a winning goal.
It was rough justice on the hosts, who deserved to win but it was a great performance against a very good side.
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