Match report: Garstang 5 Millom 2

Garstang eventually booked their place in the Lancashire Shield quarter-final
Garstang eventually booked their place in the Lancashire Shield quarter-final
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Lancashire Amateur Shield

With Storm Brian heading their way Steve Baker, Bob Freeman, management and committee members worked miracles to get the game on.

Although the conditions worsened throughout the game the pitch held up for the full 90 minutes but it was a good job the kick-off was 2pm and not 3pm or it would have been a different story.

Garstang kicked off into the wind and tested the visitors defence straight away but Millom showed they weren’t just there to make up the numbers.

On five minutes a ball played over the top saw Carl Waters get ahead of Gary Fawcett and make it 1-0 to Millom with an exquisite chip from the edge of the box.

The home side responded with a Tom Entwistle free kick clipping the crossbar, Shaun Sailor playing in Ric Coar who screwed his shot wide and Jonny Hothersall having a header hacked off the line.

The Cumbrians were defending manfully and nearly extended their lead when a break down the right saw a cross just too long to be turned in a the far post.

On 34 minutes Waters worked his way into the box and set up Theo Wilson for a simple tap-in to double the visitors’ lead.

Garstang were well and truly in a game now and, three minutes later, there came a pivotal moment when Waters found himself one-on-one with Garstang keeper Dan Curwen.

He had the chance to put the game to bed but Curwen flung himself to his left and pulled off an outstanding save.

This let-off provoked The Riversiders into action and, on the stroke of half-time, they pulled a goal back at a vital time when Entwistle played in Ryan Dodd down the left and his cross was turned in from close range by Hothersall.

There was still time before the half-time whistle for Sam Frith to have a shot cleared off the line.

Garstang manager, Lee Baker, with the strong wind behind for the second half, opted to go for three at the back and brought on Alan Coar for his first action for several weeks along with Dan Towers.

The reshuffle almost saw Garstang caught cold in the first couple of minutes when Millom right-back Pattinson popped up in the box and somehow missed the target from six yards.

He knew it was a big moment and it turned out to be the vistors last real chance of the game.

Garstang piled on the pressure and got back on terms seven minutes into the half when an Entwistle corner went straight in with a bit of wind assistance.

Soon after Alan Coar had a good chance from a Jake Salisbury cross but headed over, Ric Coar battled his way through but his shot hit the keeper and the resulting corner was headed wide by brother Alan.

Having weathered the storm it looked like Millom might hang on until the penalty shootout but, on 77 minutes, Dodd was pulled down in the box and Entwistle stepped up to make it 3-2 from the penalty spot.

Two minutes later Alan Coar put the game beyond doubt when he hammered a low shot into the bottom corner from 20 yards.

The Cumbrians tried to respond and Curwen made a good save to tip the ball over from a well hit shot.

However, Ric Coar put the icing on the cake when he got his head to a pinpoint cross from the excellent Sailor and diverted the ball into the top corner.