West Lancashire League
With a number of the Garstang squad unavailable, manager Lee Baker had to shuffle his squad and tactical set-up.
On an excellent playing surface, the first half was very even and neither side created many clear chances.
Garstang linked well down the right-hand side, always looking to try and get behind the full-back, while Scott Sailor was again effective in breaking up Euxton’s play, although his distribution was sometimes wayward.
But, to be fair, time and space were at a premium in the middle of the park as Tom Entwisle was dropping deeper to pick up the ball.
Garstang keeper Dan Curwen saved well at the foot of the post following an Euxton attack down the left before a defensive mix-up almost let Euxton in for the game’s opening goal.
At the other end Rick Coar managed to intercept a defensive header back towards the Euxton keeper; having rounded him, his shot from a tight angle was blocked.
Ryan Dodd and Jonny Hothersall were not seeing enough of the ball and Rick Coar was a little isolated up front and, as a consequence, most of the half’s action was in a congested midfield.
With neither side doing enough in the offensive third of the pitch to break the deadlock, the score was goalless at half-time
The second half proved to be very similar to the first with few clear-cut chances.
The game’s best move of the game saw Garstang take the lead after 51 minutes following a sweeping move down Garstang’s left,
Rick Coar did well and pulled the ball back into the path of Entwisle who fired a tremendous shot into the Euxton net from 25 yards.
The lead, however, was shortlived when the referee awarded a soft free-kick in the middle of the Garstang half.
The free-kick was hit into Garstang’s box and Curwen, under heavy pressure, was unable to collect the ball cleanly.
It fell to Euxton’s Sam Bolton who fired home from close range to level the scores.
Baker tried to freshen the team up by bringing on Mark Murphy for Chris Byrne and, later, debutant Luke Walker for Dodd.
Both sides continued to press for the game’s winning goal.
However, both defences were tight and neither side was able to fashion a further clear-cut chance of note in a very tight game.