Garstang pay the penalty for conceding a late goal with a shootout defeat

Garstang lost against FC Oswestry Town at the Riverside on Saturday
Garstang lost against FC Oswestry Town at the Riverside on Saturday

Garstang exited the PlayerMatch.com Cup on Saturday after a penalty shootout defeat against FC Oswestry Town.

The Riversiders were beaten 5-3 on penalties after the match at the Riverside had ended in a 2-2 draw.

The first half was generally a cagey affair with neither side creating many clear chances.

Garstang more than matched their visitors, who top the First Division South, as the home side’s defence and midfield units looked far more solid than over recent weeks.

The visitors, however, looked sharper up front and the running off the ball ensured the Garstang defence always had to be alert.

They took the lead when a corner was cleared to the middle of the Garstang half but a ball back into the box was smartly met and finished by Sean Jones from close range.

The game became quite attritional in midfield as neither team were able to dominate each other.

Garstang had some joy down the flanks as Andrew Murphy and Jake Salisbury were starting to see some possession but never in the areas which could hurt the opposition.

No further chances were created and the half ended with the visitors leading 1-0. Early on in the second half, Riversiders’ boss Richard Cookney made a number of changes which had a significant impact on their fortunes.

Alan Coar and Ben Roberts were introduced to refresh the attack and suddenly Garstang looked dangerous.

Ric Coar went close to equalising when he managed to get a goalbound effort away.

However, he was at full stretch which meant he was unable to get any power behind the shot and the ball was cleared off the line by a covering defender.

Roberts’ pace was caused issues down the left as the visitors started to push deeper to cope with this new attacking threat.

Garstang were winning more of the ball further up the pitch as the impressive Kristian Stephens and Billy Joyce began to dominate midfield.

The game’s equaliser came on 73 minutes when Roberts got behind the visitors’ right-back and whipped the ball across the face of goal and Alan Coar finished coolly from close range.

Garstang’s tails were now up and confidence returned to their old levels, culminating in them taking the lead three minutes later.

It came from Garstang’s best move of the game as Roberts again broke free down the left.

Phil Nagy ran 40 yards from left-back to overlap and was fed by Roberts for a pinpoint cross towards Alan Coar, who buried a header into the net.

As the clock wound down, the visitors won a corner on Garstang’s right with two added minutes played.

The corner was swung in and Jones was again was on hand to bundle the ball home from close range.

Soon after, the referee blew for full time as the game proceeded to a shootout which duly went in the visitors’ favour.