Match report: Fulwood Amateurs 1 Garstang 2

Garstang got the better of Fulwood Amateurs when the two sides met on Saturday
Garstang got the better of Fulwood Amateurs when the two sides met on Saturday
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West Lancashire League

Manager Lee Baker made two changes with Jonny Hothersall and Jake Salisbury coming into the side to replace the unavailable Alan Coar and the injured Dan Birch, who had suffered a freak hand injury at training.

Garstang won a succession of corners in the early stages of the first half which Fulwood struggled to deal with.

Dan Towers was unlucky when he headed a Tom Entwistle cross towards goal from close range but a Fulwood defender managed to get his body in the way and deflect the header past the post.

Hothersall made an excellent 30-yard break and found Entwistle 30 yards out but, again, a defender was on hand to deflect the effort away for a corner from which Kieron O’Connor’s header was deflected onto the bar and over.

At this stage, Garstang were the most dangerous team but, despite having the half’s best chances, they were facing a dangerous Fulwood side.

A quick break almost caught out Garstang when a 40-yard diagonal ball was played over the top of the excellent Tom Graham.

The ball was then whipped into the Garstang box and a goal seemed inevitable as it was turned towards the top corner, only for Dan Curwen to produce a superb save in pushing the ball over the bar.

Garstang again tested the Fulwood defence’s resilience as another excellent Entwistle corner found O’Connor, whose header was tipped over.

Their pressure was eventually rewarded when Ryan Dodd found Entwistle with a neat 30-yard pass before he was unceremoniously fouled 20 yards out.

Entwistle hit the resulting free kick goalwards and with the ball taking a deflection off the wall and flying into the net with the keeper wrongfooted.

Fulwood pushed hard to get back in the game and should have done better than shoot high and wide from seven yards out.

Ric Coar had a chance to extend the lead, rounding the keeper after a defensive mix-up but stumbling after contact with the keeper and unable to get his shot away.

Dodd went close, shooting wide from close range, before they doubled their lead as Entwistle hit a superb shot into the top corner, giving the keeper no chance and making it 2-0 at half-time.

The second half was a different affair to the first with Fulwood pushing hard to get back into the game.

The change in Fulwood’s attacking tempo saw Garstang adopt a different game plan for the half to counter the extra possession that Fulwood enjoyed.

From front to back the Garstang defensive play was superb and all of their players made significant contributions.

Fulwood did eventually get onto the score sheet when Towers barged over a Fulwood attacker for a clear penalty.

The spot-kick was smashed into the corner of the net by Phil Blackwell but that proved to be the only shot on goal of merit.

Fulwood hit a number of crosses into the box but Curwen’s handling was up to the task as Garstang were able to see out the remaining 12 minutes of the game without any further scares.