West Lancashire League
Alan Coar returned to the team after missing last week’s cup game as manager Lee Baker looked for Garstang to continue their excellent form in all competitions.
On a decent playing surface Garstang played the first half against quite a strong wind and seemed lethargic early on as Vickerstown were winning all the second balls.
Dan Curwen was called into action early on when a Vickerstown player attempted an audacious 35-yard lob after seeing the keeper off his line but he was able to save the effort at full stretch.
Garstang started to get into the game, applying pressure which resulted in the opening goal after 15 minutes.
Vickerstown failed to clear their lines, the ball falling to Dan Towers who crossed for Kieran O’Connor to score from close range.
Towers and the impressive Jake Salisbury were combining well down the right as Garstang continued to press with chances now being created.
Ric Coar had an effort well saved after being found by Tom Entwistle pass, Salisbury had an effort brilliantly stopped and Jonny Hothersall saw an effort fly high and wide.
Totally against the run of play, Vickerstown levelled on 33 minutes when a wind-assisted clearance by the keeper was not intercepted.
The ball found its way to Sean Patterson who was able to fire past Curwen from eight yards and equalise.
At this point the game started to get niggly and the home side started to dispute almost every decision and the referee was working hard to keep order.
The game was now quite even although Garstang looked to have the much greater firepower in the final third.
This proved to be the case in the final action of the half as Shaun Sailor won the ball and found Hothersall.
His pass was collected by Salisbury, who fired home from 12 yards without breaking stride to give the Riversiders the lead at half-time.
Garstang had to make a change at the break when Towers, who had taken knock in first half, was replaced by Chris Byrne at right-back.
After the restart, Garstang nearly extended their lead following an excellent move which ended with Salisbury unable to convert a cross at full stretch.
Salisbury’s running power was causing the home side problems down the right and Garstang continued to look dangerous.
Alan Coar had a shot which was blocked and his follow-up struck the hand of a Vickerstown defender but, despite loud appeals, the referee failed to award the penalty.
It wasn’t all one-way traffic as Vickerstown looked to press for en equaliser at every opportunity.
Garstang started to give some fouls away with Byrne eventually seeing a yellow card for persistent offending.
Salisbury again went close with a 25-yard effort and Sailor had a long-range shot well saved as the game started to become attritional.
It saw Garstang reduced to 10 men when Sailor, at full stretch, caught a home player with a challenge that was deemed worthy of a red card.
Despite a man advantage, Vickerstown only created one clear chance to equalise but Curwen made an excellent save with his foot.
There was still time for Coar to go close with a header as Garstang saw the game out for a deserved three points.