Garstang Ladies Hockey Club played their second Northern League game at home on Saturday against Wigan 1st.
Garstang 1 - Wigan 0
Garstang continued their new habit of early pressure and had Wigan pressed in their own half from the outset.
After seven minutes Garstang won their first penalty corner and a strong shot from Fran Summers went in the air off the Keeper.
A minute later at a second PC Lily Helme just missed a diving deflection from a well-worked routine and this set the tone for Garstang with a series of near misses and no just rewards.
In short order an excellent cross from Midge Muir to Fran Summers again just went wide of the target.
After 10 minutes Lyndsey Hayes (Cookie) just missed a deflection into goal at yet another PC.
Young Di Roe came on as a sub and immediately made her presence felt with several quick runs on goal with some excellent work failing to come to fruition.
Twenty four minutes in the two Garstang youngsters combined well in attack and Lily Helme again just missed a diving deflection from a superb pass by Di.
A Wigan defender took a nasty knock but quickly recovered. With five minutes to go a Wigan player was green carded and the umpires asserted more discipline on the game.
At half time Garstang were frustrated at their lack of just reward and Wigan, especially their Keeper deserved credit for their dogged defence.
At the start of the second half Wigan started some runs on goal and Garstang were put on the back foot for the first time.
They threatened on occasions to catch Garstang on the break and in goal Sarah Skelton (SJ) had to make some good saves. On one nerve jangling occasion SJ went down to make a good save from a powerful shot and had not recovered when the second shot came in.
Debbie Huyton stepped in to make a truly great reverse stick stop on the right post from another power shot
Nevertheless the defence played well and in particular Donna Richardson continued to have a magnificent match ‘doing the needful’ time and again clearing the ball well having run back at pace.
Garstang made counters of their own and an excellent effort by Di Roe was well covered by an in form Wigan Keeper who had a great match and kept her team in with a chance.
As ever Fran Summers was a potent threat but yet again her efforts went unrewarded. Lily Helme was buzzing round at hyper velocity but the goal just did not want to seem to come for Garstang.
In common with all our games this season the mid field stepped up the pressure and Josie Rice and Jude Chapman supplemented by Midge Muir and Debbie Huyton made their presence felt like a red threatening cloud over the Wigan mid field.
Following a great run by Fran Summers Debbie sent Midge on a powerful run into goal that yet again was just thwarted by the Wigan keeper.
With eight minutes to go it was fitting that it was Donna Richardson who made a strong run from defence and made a superb pass across the Wigan Keeper for Di Roe to make a fine ‘Di-flection’ into goal; 1 – 0 Garstang.
With three minutes to go Wigan earned their first PC and again Donna cleared the ball.
This was a frustrating game for Garstang against a young Wigan side that never gave up.
Garstang lacked some of the passing fluency they have shown this season and again missed having a natural centre forward. Luck was against them but hopefully will turn for the coming considerable challenge of facing more powerful sides.