Eagley 2, Garstang 2
GARSTANG secured another point in their fight to avoid relegation and have now only lost once in their last seven games.
But despite their dramatic turnaround in fortunes, Michael Stringfellow’s rejuvenated side know that they may yet run out of time in their bid for survival.
With just four games left to play Garstang are still three points adrift of safety but will take great heart from another spirited display, this time against third-placed Eagley.
And with all their remaining games to be played at the Riverside, and all against suides in the top half of the division, the fate of their season could yet go down to the final day.#
Against Eagley Connor Crossley made his first start replacing suspended club skipper Chris Squirrell and the versatile Anderson came in for the injured Preston at left back.
It had been a tight opening first 15 minutes before Gierke’s snap shot from distance flew inches wide.
The game came to life in the 20th minute when Eagley striker, Carr clashed with Garstang keeper Clifton as both challenged for the loose ball and both players earning yellow cards for their actions.
Garstang were coping well with all Eagley had to offer and creating further chances of their own. A goal bound strike by Gardner was blocked before a long ball assist by Gardner provided Gierke with the opening goal when the Garstang striker rounded the home keeper to make it 0–1 in the 38th minute.
Stringfellow was booked for a professional foul on Eagley’s danger man, Carr then Crossley did well preserving Garstang’s half time lead when he headed away a Leece cross.
Straight from the kick off Clifton did well to keep out a good strike then a good break by Bamba and cross into the box found Gierke but on this occasion he wasn’t able to make the best of the opportunity.
The pressure was beginning to build on the visitor’s defence, firstly Whiteside hit the bar before the inevitable equaliser in the 55th minute when Carr’s superb strike gave Clifton no chance. The game was turned on its head two minutes later when that man Carr again headed home at the far post, from Eckersley cross to make it 2–1.
Garstang took some time to regain their composure making a crucial substitution in the 72nd minute when Bryson came on for Gardner in a reshuffled forward line.
Gierke’s shot-cum-cross looked to be heading for the bottom corner of the net when Lever in the Eagley goal just did enough to palm the ball to safety.
Garstang’s equaliser came courtesy of a Bryson, speciality long throw into the box that seemed to get a touch off two defenders before crossing the line.
Eagley’s man of the match, Carr had two more opportunities before the final whistle to grab all three points but it was no more than Garstang deserved than to come away with a valuable point against third in the table opposition.
This was a game that would have been lost earlier in the season but manager Stringfellow has introduced a more resilient set of players with Crossley, Anderson, Clark with Gierke and Higgins up front always providing a real threat.
GARSTANG: Clifton, Crossley, Anderson, Swan, Stringfellow, Clark, Gardner, Buczynski, Higgins, Gierke, Bamba. SUBS: Stone, Shaw, Bryson (rep Gardner 72 mins)
* ON Saturday Garstang start their run-in of home games against Euxton Villa, while the reserves travel to Fleetwood Hesketh. On Easter Monday Garstang have a mouth-watering clash against league leaders Charnock Richard (kick-off 3pm).