WITHOUT a win this season Garstang’s first victory was no fluke against a very good Burnley side.
Team selection wasn’t easy for player-manager Stringfellow, himself out through suspension, along with three other members of his squad.
Collins and Horton had both pulled out in the week through injuries, giving opportunities on the bench for Panepinto and Jamin, both successes from the flourishing youth team.
New goalkeeper Clifton, signed from Ambleside, took up his position between the posts.
The visitors were asking all the questions for the first 10 minutes of the game. Garstang’s Bucznski did enough to prevent Barski getting the final touch to a Dugdale cross, then Clifton did well to tip a good strike from Collins over the bar.
Garstang took the lead in the 11th minute, when Preston picked out Poole with a perfect crossfield pass. The striker took a couple of touches before drilling his shot home.
Clifton made a point-blank save from Crossley, and for Garstang, Squirrell headed a Swash corner over, then Gierke saw a shot hacked off the line as the half drew to a close.
Within three minutes of the second half starting, Burnley had levelled. It was a magnificent strike from distance by Riley, that fizzed past Clifton.
Garstang came back strongly. Gierke rounded the keeper, only to see his shot kicked off the line for a second time, then Poole forced Reid into a good save, before Gierke tested the keeper with a superb effort.
Some poor Burnley defending gave Poole another opportunity, but this time the Garstang striker could only hit the side netting.
With only 13 minutes to go, Burnley sent on Cheetham for Collins, but what turned out to be the decisive substitution was in the 81st minute, when Jamin replaced Poole.
The youthfulness and energy of substitutes Panepinto and Jamin helped to secure the all-important first win, when Jamin’s clever pass into Gierke in the penalty box, saw the striker bundled over, leaving it for the Squirrell to slot the penalty.
You could almost hear the sigh of relief from the Garstang faithful at the final whistle.
GARSTANG: Clifton, Squirrell, Leigh, Benson, Preston, Rice (A Roskell 55 mins.) Anderson, Bucznski, Swash (Panepinto 73 mins.) Gierke, Poole (Jamin 81 mins.) UNUSED SUBS: (GK) Howell, Cutts
Match sponsor: Geoff Hargreaves
Man of the Match: Nat Benson
l ON Saturday, Garstang are at home again, this time to Lostock St Gerrards, kick-off 3pm. The Reserves are away at BAC.