Riversiders’ boss prepares for a step into the unknown

Garstang meet Wythenshawe Amateurs in the Lancashire Shield on Saturday
Garstang meet Wythenshawe Amateurs in the Lancashire Shield on Saturday

Garstang manager Lee Baker admits they face a trip into the unknown when their Lancashire Shield campaign begins on Saturday.

The Riversiders are at home against Manchester League opposition in Wythenshawe Amateurs (2pm), seven days on from their Richardson Cup victory over Longridge Town.

“They are a bit of an unknown quantity really,” Baker said of Saturday’s visitors.

“Other than myself having played against them before – and the same with my assistant Neil Beesley – we don’t know that much about them.

“We’ve played a lot of the Manchester League sides in cup competitions so we know about the standard of the Manchester Premier even if we don’t know a lot about Wythenshawe.”

Baker’s players go into the game on the back of an impressive start to their season so far.

They lie third in the West Lancashire League table after their opening seven games, the first of which was a 3-0 loss to Haslingden St Marys.

Since then, four wins, two draws and 21 goals have lifted them up the table, most notably the 9-2 win against Slyne with Hest as well as three-goal defeats of Coppull United and Burscough Richmond and a four-goal victory over Turton.

“We’re just a little bit frustrated with the Haslingden result,” Baker said of his players’ opening month to the season.

“However, that was to be expected with the number of lads who we had missing.

“That’s not making me excuses though as Haslingden were much better than us on the day.

“Other than that I’d have bitten your hand off for the start that we’ve had when you remember we struggled a bit in the first five games last year.

“If we have a middle part ot the season like the one we had last year then who knows what might happen – but we certainly aren’t getting carried away by what we’ve done so far.”