Match report: Garstang 2 Hesketh Bank 0

Garstang claimed three points with victory at the weekend
Garstang claimed three points with victory at the weekend

Garstang were 2-0 winners against Hesketh Bank in their first home game since January 13.

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Following Thursday’s success in the LFA Shield semi-final, manager Lee Baker made a couple of changes with Dan Towers and Mark Murphy replacing Dan Birch and the unavailable Alan Coar in the starting line-up.

Both sides struggled to come to terms with the soft pitch but Garstang looked to play their passing football at every opportunity.

The early exchanges saw both sides weighing each other up and chances were few and far between.

Garstang had to make an early change when Shaun Sailor, who had started the game well, suffered a facial injury after the ball stuck him from close range and he was replaced by Byrne.

Although the first half was even Hesketh did not trouble the Garstang defensive unit.

The deadlock was broken when Jake Salisbury, who was continuing his excellent mid-season form, was found by a great ball from Tom Entwistle and he made no mistake, calmly slotting home from eight yards.

The home side could have extended their lead further when the influential Entwistle went close with a free-kick and Jonny Hothersall shot high and wide from just outside the box.

Baker had to make another change late in the half as Gary Fawcett had to be replaced by Josh Westwood following a back injury.

With the second half under way Garstang should have extended their lead when Hothersall hit a pinpoint cross from the left wing straight to Salisbury, who headed agonisingly wide of the post from close range.

Hesketh started to grow into the game and nearly scored when a header from a free-kick was deflected just wide of Dan Curwen’s goal.

Hothersall went close when he shot from just outside the box but his goalbound effort was deflected just wide of the post.

Soon afterwards, the visitors’ keeper was called into action when Ric Coar chased a lost cause, won the ball on the line and saw his close-range shot well saved by the opposition keeper.

As the half progressed and legs got tired on the heavy pitch, Ryan Dodd was introduced for Hothersall and this change soon paid dividends.

Dodd got behind the Hesketh back line on the left, beat two players with a smart piece of skill and was subsequently upended in the box for an undisputed penalty.

Entwistle calmly stepped up and sent the keeper the wrong way as Garstang doubled their lead.

From this point they never looked in any further danger as they proceeded to collect another three points in their quest for the league title.

The games now start to come thick and fast for The Riversiders, who host Burscough Richmond at the Riverside on Wednesday evening (7.30pm).