Vets succumb to friendly defeat

Veterans First Team.
Veterans First Team.

Galgate Vets 6 v Garstang Vets 3

Garstang strolled into this fixture against their local rivals unbeaten in the previous encounters and full of confidence however they ended up getting stuffed like the Christmas Turkey. Galgate were the younger, fitter, quicker and better side with the final score line flattering Garstang to some degree. The hosts were clearly desperate to avoid another defeat and freshened their squad with up with younger vets who still play on a Saturday, this was highlighted best in midfield where the Garstang players were a total of 30 years older than their opponents.

It was clear from the outset that Garstang were going to struggle as the playing surface favoured a quick passing game, and Galgate were on top from the first whistle. The hosts dominated the early play without creating any real chances, whilst the visitors struggled to string two passes together. That said Garstang still tried to play football which was probably their undoing, the first goal came when they played the ball out of defence into midfield. The ball was played into Dave Rimmer on the half way line and he was robbed by Geoff Wilson and Galgate broke at speed feeding the ball out to the left wing. The winger whipped the cross in and Geoff Wilson had the freedom of the box to head in the opening goal. Things got worse for Garstang shortly after when Galgate broke down their left hand side, this time a low cross evaded the defenders and an unmarked Simon Gold slide in at the back door to double the hosts lead.

Garstang were backs against the wall at this point and not troubling the Galgate defence. A big moment in the game then arrived as Armstrong’s long goal kick was headed back towards his goal by a Galgate defender, the keeper missed it and Si Painter found himself clean through with the simple task of just rolling the ball into the empty net, however the keeper recovered to rugby tackle him from behind and prevent a certain goal. Cliff Trickett blew the whistle and rightly awarded the penalty but was then faced with a dilemma, the Galgate players who had been crunching into tackles and moaning about his decisions suddenly started saying it was only a friendly and not to sent him off. The red card was brandished to the keeper and Geoff Wilson donned the gloves, however after protests from the Garstang players agreeing that it was a friendly the ref agreed to only “sin bin” the keeper and he was allowed back on after five minutes. The normally reliable Si Painter then struck the spot kick firmly but unfortunately well wide of the mark.

Matters got worse for Garstang as they conceded against the ten men, again they were caught trying to play the ball out of defence. This time Dave Rimmer was robbed by Richard Wilson who burst clean through and finished to make it three nil.

The hosts were then restored to eleven men and remained into total control of the game, special mention should be made of their flying full back Alex Spence who had a great game both defending and attacking well. As half time drew near Lee Nuttall forgot his Christmas spirit with an old fashioned two footed studs up challenge as the last man on Si Painter as he was about to shoot from the edge of the box. Garstang were then rewarded with a free kick and no action against the player, however they should have scored from this. The initial effort went harmlessly into the wall but the ball was then crossed in, Hands headed towards goal and Barber found himself three yards out but he managed to scuff his shot which was easily saved.

At half time Mick Gornall was introduced for the visitors and he had an instant impact, nutmegging Richard Lambert before laying the ball back to Si Painter who fired in from the corner of the box. This gave the visitors hope and they had a ten minute spell during which they looked they may get back in the game but they could not sustain the tempo.

Galgate extended their lead when Allan Smith got caught in two minds about how to deal with a cross, he could not decide between heading it away or bringing it down. He tried the latter and only succeeded in giving the ball to Geoff Wilson who could not believe his luck as his mis-hit shot went in. The fifth goal came shortly after when Garstang forgot the basic rule of playing to the whistle. A pass was knocked down the right wing, two players went for, one who was offside and one who was onside. The onside player got the ball but as the offside player had run towards it the visitors thought he was interfering and stopped. The ball was rolled across the box and Geoff Wilson was on hand to tap in and complete the easiest hat-trick of his life.

To their credit Garstang kept plugging away and did not give in. They had two strong penalty appeals turned down, the first when Si Painter chased a long ball and appeared to be brought down by the keeper. The second when following a half chance the ball broke to Si Painter who saw his shot brilliantly saved by the centre half Nuttall who was back on the goal line.

Galgate’s sixth goal game when a free kick was whipped in from the left wing which the unmarked Pedder stooped and headed tamely towards goal. This weak header though somehow found it’s way past the Armstrong who had ran past the ball totally missing it before making an unsuccessful comical attempt to redeem his error.

As Galgate took their foot of the gas the visitors grabbed two late goals to make the scoreline slightly more respectable. Firstly Si Painter took a long ball on his chest and ghosted past the static Nuttall before curling the ball into the bottom corner. Mick Gornall then beat his man and laid the ball off into Colin Barbers path and he fired in from the edge of the box to make the final score six three to Galgate.

This was an eventful and entertaining game with plenty with of good football on display, mainly from Galgate, and lots of talking points that were discussed to death over several beers. It was one of those days when nothing went right for Garstang but that said Galgate were by far the better team and thoroughly deserved their comfortable victory.

Squad: Marc Armstrong, Sean Rafferty, Jamie Painter, Allan Smith, Colin Barber, Dave Rimmer, Neil Parkinson, Mark Bendall, Simon Hands, Si Painter, Danny Thompson, Mick Gornall, Jim Kippax.