Match report: Garstang FC 3 Whitehaven 1

Garstang FC were 3-1 winners against Whitehaven FC on Saturday
Garstang FC were 3-1 winners against Whitehaven FC on Saturday

West Lancashire League

Garstang manager Lee Baker recalled Andrew Murphy to the starting line-up and Jamie Enefer replaced the absent Gaz Fawcett in the defence.

They almost took the lead within the first 20 seconds when Jack Swindlehurst, who was excellent throughout, hit a diagonal crossfield pass into the path of Jonny Hothersall, whose low ball was just ahead of his team-mates.

There was disappointment for Enefer when he was injured after five minutes and had to be replaced by Carlo Matichechia in a like for like swap.

Whitehaven thought they had taken the lead when some neat interplay saw Connelly break free and he fired home only to see the assistant referee flag for offside.

Soon afterwards, Garstang also had the ball in the net when Alan Coar shot home from six yards but, again, this was ruled out for offside.

Rick Coar went close when his close range header was blocked at point-blank range by Pettit in the Whitehaven goal following excellent work by Tom Graham down the right wing.

Dan Curwen saved well from close range at the other end and the game was tight with neither side able to exert control.

Rick Coar pulled a shot just wide of the Workington goal following a clever flick on from brother Alan, while a Whitehaven counter ended with Andrew Murphy’s interception denying Kevin Connelly.

The deadlock was broken in the 37th minute when Connelly ran onto to a through ball and calmly chipped it over Curwen from 12 yards to give Whitehaven the lead.

That advantage was shortlived as Hothersall shot home after good work by Chris Byrne to bring the scores level.

Just before the interval Garstang took the lead when Rick Coar scored from close range following some great control from Alan Coar.

The second half started with Whitehaven pushing hard for the equaliser and Garstang grateful to Matichechia, who kept out a goalbound effort.

At the other end, Matichechia could have extended the lead further when he headed just wide from a Graham corner.

Hothersall, who was always in the game, hit a pinpoint pass into the path of Graham, who shot tamely at the keeper before Dave Jack replaced Matichechia with the game becoming a little more stretched.

The game swung on a key moment when, following some smart play, a low cross was met seven yards out only for Curwen to make a tremendous, full stretch save.

Rick Coar went close when his shot was headed off the line but the game ended as a contest when Hothersall collected a cross and calmly finished to extend Garstang’s lead and enable them to run down the clock.