Garstang 4 v 4 Lytham St Annes YMCA
Garstang won 2-0 on penalties
Garstang progressed to the semi final of the Syndicate Youth cup with a stirring comeback on a cold wet day on Lytham seafront.
Although Garstang had a home draw the game was switched to Lytham as The Riverside was unfit. The pitch at Lytham was in good condition much firmer than expected and with the wind at their backs in the first half Garstang had trouble stopping the ball running away from them and it took a while to get to grips with the conditions.
Garstang went behind on 10 minutes when a mistake on the half way line led to the Lytham striker racing through to round Graham and stroke the ball home.
The Riversiders had the territorial advantage but didn’t create any clear cut chances until the 30th minute when Roberts latched onto a through ball, took on the last defender and dinked an exquisite shot from the edge of the box into the top corner for a goal which even the opposition management applauded. The first half ended 1-1 with no inkling of the drama to follow in the next 45 minutes.
The second half kicked off and within a minute Assalone used his strength to break free in the box only to be hauled down and the referee pointed to the spot. Murphy stepped up to confidently dispatch the penalty. Two minutes later it was 2-2 as Lytham took advantage of some slack defending and not long after they were back ahead when another close range effort gave Graham in the Garstang goal no chance. The game looked over in the 68th minute when Murphy conceded a free kick. Graham was unable to gather the resulting shot and the YMCA forward was quickest to react to poke home the rebound 4-2.
Garstang went to 3 at the back and pushed Applegate up alongside Assalone and with 10 minutes to go Applegate smashed in a 20 yard free kick off the foot of the post to reduce the arrears. Lytham were now hanging on but with two minutes left on the clock a superb five man move released Assalone into the box and he powered away before gleefully hammering in the equaliser.
So to the penalty shoot out. Lytham went first which went high and wide, Murphy had his saved, Graham saved YMCA’s second, Applegate scored, Lytham missed, Smith made it 2-0 Garstang and when Graham saved the fourth penalty it was game over and Garstang had pulled off an unlikely victory.
Garstang Squad: Graham Hoffstetter Briault Bailey Murphy (Capt) Blackburn McGrath Handley Ball Bevan Carter Smith Applegate Assalone Roberts