Match report: Whitehaven 0 Garstang 3

Garstang won at Whitehaven on Saturday
Garstang won at Whitehaven on Saturday
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West Lancashire League

The Riversiders made the long trek to face a Whitehaven side who have been in good form recently.

With both Shaun Sailor and Tom Entwistle unavailable due to suspension there was a recall to the starting XI for Matty Poole, who was making a welcome return following an injury lay-off.

On an excellent surface Garstang looked the superior side as reflected in the league table.

Wide men Jonny Hothersall and Jake Salisbury were seeing a lot of the early ball and Salisbury, in particular, caused problems for his full-back every time he got the ball.

In contrast, there was only one real scare in the first half for the Riversiders after a free-kick was cleared by the home side.

A counter-attack gave them a three on two advantage but a superb interception from Dan Birch prevented the centre-forward from having a clear shot on goal.

At the other end, it was a tale of missed chances as Garstang spurned a number of clear opportunities that, on another day, could have seen them four up by half-time.

Ric Coar headed wide from three yards, Poole sent two efforts off target and Alan Coar sent a difficult header over.

The deadlock was eventually broken in the last seconds of the half when Alan Coar thundered home a header from close range off the underside of the bar.

The second half saw Garstang raise the tempo further as the Riversiders pushed the home side deeper into their own half.

Poole started to see a lot of the ball in the centre of the park and was using it well, particularly from set pieces.

An excellent header in midfield saw the ball find Hothersall, who attacked down the left and, after beating his man, crossed for Alan Coar to head just over from 10 yards.

However, he made no mistake in doubling Garstang’s lead, slotting home after Hothersall’s shot from 18 yards was only half-saved.

Garstang’s pressure was now becoming relentless and this dominance was rewarded with a third goal when Hothersall shot home after being found by the lively Mark Murphy.

Baker made two more substitutions, bringing on Ryan Dodd and Sam Frith for the tiring Poole, who was excellent in the second half, and for Tom Graham who was as consistent as ever at full-back.

Garstang keeper Dan Curwen was eventually called into action, saving well from close range,but their lead was never in doubt as the home side started to lose their way as the clock ticked down.