Garstang FC boss Iain Swan had to be content with a point as a tight encounter with Vickerstown ended in a goalless draw on Saturday.
Swan is relishing his first taste of the top division as Riversiders’ manager, having won promotion last season, but he has spoken of the need to make an impact among tough competition.
He said: “We have had a great start for a team that has been promoted, but I know that we can play better.
“Most of the lads were with us last season, and have shown that they are capable of playing at the higher level, but we have lifted our standards and I expect more.
“We are still without Paul Osbourne, Ryan Dodd and Aaron Helliwell, three very good players who have played at a higher standard, and they will add quality to the squad when they are fit and available.”
Up until Saturday Garstang had been on a four-match winning run, taking their total to six wins, and second place behind Charnock Richard in the table.
The away draw at Vickerstown on Saturday brought a halt to winning ways, but despite wanting to come away with three points Garstang were grateful for one, particularly after an incident in the first five minutes, when keeper Brindle came out of his goal and brought down Vickerstown’s Erdis.
Fortunately for Garstang, defenders had got back and so Brindle was given a yellow rather than red card.
Garstang led the offensive in the early stages, holding possession and leaving Vickerstown to defend some dangerous corners, Fawcett narrowly missing the first of a number of chances.
Vickerstown made a quick reply, with Cloudsdale misjudging the final touch on a dangerous cross by Round and this was followed with a missed chance by Gooding.
Following the break, the play continued to be entertaining, but Garstang could not find the finish they needed. It left an uneasy feeling that the home team might steal the points.
The worries increased when Gooding blasted over and then, with time running out, Erdis drove his free-kick inches over the bar.
Garstang: Brindle, Benson, Anderson, Baker, Crossley, Louth, Bell, Fawcett, Poole, Gierke, Melling. Unused subs: Hastings, Sutcliffe, Swan
Next fixtures: Saturday September 28, West Lancs. Premier League: Garstang v Burnley Utd. ko 3pm; West Lancs. Reserve Div. 1 Burnley Utd. Res. v Garstang Res.