NEW player-manager Michael Stringfellow didn’t get the start he would have liked to his regime at a wet and windy Bourne Park as Garsang lost 1-0 to Thornton Cleveleys.
His two new signings, Michael Rice and Leon Gierke, who had previously been with the club, took up places on the bench.
Stringfellow named himself in the starting line-up, alongside Adam Leigh.
Garstang could have found themselves behind as early as the sixth minute when Howell failed to get good contact on a Warwick free-kick.
The ball fell invitingly to Hone, but he fired over the visitors’ bar.
A Didlock cross then evaded everyone in the Garstang box , before a great tackle by the new gaffer on Beaver prevented the winger from pulling the trigger.
The visitors had another let off when a mistake by Collins gave England a chance, but the Thornton striker pulled his shot wide.
Having rode their luck on occasions, Garstang had still defended well and deserved to reach half-time goalless and very much still in the game.
In the second half, pitch conditions deteriorated as both teams battled against the elements.
A minor fracas in midfield resulted in a booking for Thornton’s England.
Gierke came on for Kelsall in the 57th minute, but it was Thornton who seized the initiative 10 minutes later, when Hone scored the all important goal, curling his shot round a crowd of players.
Didlock was booked for a foul on Preston as the visitors mounted a spirited fightback.
A good strike by Gierke was pushed wide for a corner.
Then the Garstang substitute created space for himself before crossing, but no one could make the good work count.
Rice came on for Squirrell in the 73rd minute, before Stone was booked for a late challenge on Dust.
A Collins free-kick fell to Stringfellow, but his shot was blocked and scrambled away for a corner.
Kennerley replaced Breakwell in the 82nd minute as Garstang pushed hard for the equaliser.
Home keeper Smith denied Garstang their last real chance when he safely held on to a Swash free-kick from a dangerous position, in the final minute.
That proved to be their last chance to salvage something from the game.
Although not too downhearted after the game, the new manager will now be fully aware of the task in hand and will be busy in the weeks to come.
GARSTANG: Howell, Collins, Bardsley, Leigh, Stringfellow, Jack, Kelsall ( Gierke 57 mins) Squirrell (Rice 73 mins) Swash, Preston. Subs not used: Armstrong, Edmonds
l This coming Saturday, December 3, Garstang will play their first home game of the Stringfellow era, when they take on Slyne-with-Hest at the Riverside (kick-off 2pm).
l Garstang FC ‘Score’ Lottery winners for November:
£1,000 Janet Collinson, Garstang; £100 Pamela Fisher, Garstang; £60 Chris Wood, Out Rawcliffe; £60 John Pedder, Cabus; £60 Mrs M M Jackson, Garstang; £25 Roger Denton, Garstang; £25 D.A. Naylor, Garstang; £25 Andrew Johnson, St Michaels; £25 Reg and Isobel Armstrong, Garstang.