Garstang went top of the West Lancashire League Premier Division on Saturday thanks to a 6-0 win against Longridge Town.
In front of the Riverside’s largest crowd of the season, the visitors started the stronger of the two sides and had the game’s first chance.
That came when Mitch Newsham beat Dan Curwen with a cross shot from the inside left position and, with the away team about to celebrate a goal, Josh Westwood got back and managed to brilliantly block the goalbound effort.
Garstang soon found their feet and the deadlock was broken after 15 minutes when, following a corner, the ball found its way to Jonny Hothersall on the right.
He fired a cross into the visitors’ box which they failed to deal with and the ball found Alan Coar at the far post, where he kept his composure to fire into the roof of the net.
The visitors responded with a couple of speculative crosses which were well dealt with by Dan Curwen but, after 30 minutes, Longridge almost equalised when Charlie Egan’s shot from outside the box went just the wrong side of the post.
As the half progressed, the Garstang midfield unit started to take command of the middle of the park.
Shaun Sailor seemed to be everywhere, winning tackles and breaking up play, while Hothersall, Jake Salisbury and Tom Entwistle were all having good games.
Salisbury had a shot well saved and Dan Birch was unlucky when he made one of his trademark runs from full-back.
Coar had an effort blocked from close range and, as half-time approached, the normally clinical Hothersall waited too long before shooting when presented with a clear chance 10 yards from goal following great work by Sailor and Salisbury.
The first half gave little inkling of what the second half would present to the large crowd.
From the first whistle, the Riversiders’ performance went up a couple of levels.
Longridge were given no time on the ball as Garstang tackled and harried the visitors all over the pitch.
Garstang won back possession much higher up the pitch and were able to switch from defence to attack very quickly, often catching the Longridge side out of position.
Longridge keeper Lee Dovey was kept busy as Garstang attacked down both flanks and their defence struggled to contain the Riversiders.
The home side’s improved tempo was rewarded with another goal when Sailor won another header in midfield, finding Coar down the right.
He got to the line and hit a pinpoint cross towards Entwistle at the back post, where he calmly shot home from seven yards.
Surprisingly, at this point, the visitors’ heads seemed to drop and Garstang took full advantage in the next 10 minutes with two poacher’s goals from Coar, who was back to his best form.
With one eye on the busy upcoming schedule, Garstang manager Lee Baker made a number of changes.
Those substitutions did not affect their dominance, however, and with the clock ticking into injury time, Coar scored his fourth before Ryan Dodd rounded off their best result of the season with the sixth goal.