Match report: Euxton Villa 1 Garstang 3

Garstang's Dan Birch
Garstang's Dan Birch
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Garstang will meet either Slyne with Hest or Fulwood Amateurs in the final of this season’s Lancashire Shield after their semi-final success on Thursday night.

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Lee Baker took a very strong squad to Chorley with Shaun Sailor and Tom Graham returning to the starting line-up.

On an excellent playing surface Euxton started the stronger side and were playing some neat passing football in midfield as Garstang worked hard to contain them and gave away a number of free-kicks.

One of those resulted in the game’s opening goal on eight minutes when Euxton were awarded a free-kick on the Garstang left.

The kick was whipped in and Rob Walker rose unchallenged to head into the corner of Dan Curwen’s net from 10 yards.

Villa continued to press as another free-kick almost resulted in a carbon copy of the first goal but, on this occasion, a free header went just the wrong side of the post.

This seemed to kickstart Garstang and, as the half progressed, the Riversiders came back into the game with Jake Salisbury seeing a lot of the ball.

It was Salisbury who equalised in the 22nd minute when he fired home from the edge of the box after being found by Jonny Hothersall.

The game was very even as both sides looked to attack at every opportunity, though Curwen’s handling was excellent throughout as the Garstang defence looked to get the better of the Euxton forward line.

Clear chances, however, were at a premium as the scores were level at 1-1 at half-time.

The second half started with Garstang playing with a much higher tempo, further up the pitch.

They were soon rewarded when, two minutes into the second half, Dan Birch made a 30-yard run through the Euxton defence and calmly shot home from 10 yards to give Garstang the lead.

That advantage was doubled six minutes later when the Euxton keeper made a hash of a clearance under pressure.

He cleared the ball straight to Tom Entwistle who, seeing the keeper well off his line, hit an audacious shot from 45 yards into the corner of the net.

Euxton rallied and had a procession of corners which caused the Garstang defence some hairy moments as they hit the bar from close range and saw a goalbound effort deflected.

However, Garstang held firm with Euxton unable to convert any of their chances.

The Riversiders then missed a couple of further excellent chances late on to kill the game off once and for all.

Nevertheless, they proceeded to see out the game without any further major scares.