Garstang booked their place in the last four of the Richardson Cup with a 3-2 win against Fulwood Amateurs.
These games are usually incident-packed and full of talking points – and this cup tie proved to be no exception.
On a very good playing surface the home side started off by far the better with Garstang looking lacklustre and leggy in the early exchanges.
Fulwood were playing one out and out forward against the Garstang backline and, time and again, Fulwood were attacking down their left, getting behind the defence and creating opportunities.
This proved to be the outlet for the opening goal on seven minutes when the Fulwood left-back overlapped and hit a cross to the back post for Chris Bennett to turn home from close range.
Against the run of play, Garstang were back in the game five minutes later when Jake Salisbury made a run inside and was found by an excellent through ball from Tom Entwistle.
Salisbury got his shot away but it came back off the post in to the path of Ric Coar, who calmly slotted home from close range.
With the scores even Garstang continued to sit back and defend deep, allowing Fulwood to play some neat football and retake the lead when a six-man move was finished smartly by Danny Parkinson to give them a deserved lead on 17 minutes.
This goal saw Garstang push further up the pitch and deny the home side time and space in midfield.
Garstang began to play themselves back into the game and, with half-time looming, a half clearance found its way to Salisbury 25 yards from goal.
With the ball sitting up nicely, Salisbury fired home from 25 yards, leaving the keeper stranded and equalising with the last meaningful kick of the half.
At the restart Matty Poole replaced Alan Coar and the second half proved to be a totally different proposition as Garstang looked back to their usual self, harrying and closing down.
Jonny Hothersall made a superb 50-yard break down the wing, hitting in a low cross which Ric Coar – at full stretch – could only turn the wrong side of the post.
Coar’s excellent work rate was almost rewarded when he won the ball down the inside-left channel but saw his shot well saved by the outstretched leg of Fulwood’s keeper.
Chances came and went as the Riversiders pushed for the winner, while at the other end, Fulwood had a fair amount of possession but were unable to translate it into goalscoring attempts.
Penalties looked to be on the cards as the clock ticked down but there was still time for a free-kick to be hit into the Fulwood box.
The ball reached Salisbury just inside the box and he was upended for a clear, uncontested penalty with just two minutes to go.
Entwistle calmly stepped up and sent the keeper the wrong way to give Garstang an unassailable lead and a deserved passage into the semi-final.