Garstang ladies 0
Formby ladies 5
Garstang Ladies lost their first match of the season 5-0 at home to Formby Ladies Hockey Club.
The Reds conceded all five goals in the second half, after a spirited first 35 minutes from the smallest club in the Northern League.
Garstang started the game in good form, passing well and containing the opposition’s attack.
After four minutes Garstang were first to get into the D, forcing the keeper to deflect a shot wide.
A series of counter attacks pushed Formby back, Fran Summers started to press forward but unfortunately some good through passes from Jude Chapman, were not picked up. After 10 minutes Garstang had the opposition on the back foot containing the ball well in the Formby half.
Alice Matthews was neatly bringing balls that got through straight back up the field and Josie Rice was in cracking form.
Formby’s energy was obvious and Debbie Huyton had to make some well-timed interceptions to keep their attack at bay.
Garstang coach David Gee changed his tactics early on, asking Julie Nightingale to stay up-field in the Formby D as a high receiver.
Di Roe made some great runs, very nearly deflecting a strong cross in to the goal past an out-of-place keeper on 17 minutes for Garstang’s best chance.
Formby quickly recovered from the Reds’ pressure and after 20 minutes Sarah Skelton had to make a superb double save in front of goal.
The visitors won their first penalty corner, quickly followed by another but Garstang stood firm and contained them well.
Keeper Skelton made a great run and clearing kick at the top of her D as Garstang upped the tempo.
Summers stormed forward with intent beating two players only to be bumped off the ball by a last gasp challenge from a Formby defender.
The offender escaped without a card, but Summers couldn’t convert the resulting penalty corner, her flick saved well by the keeper.
The match was a tale of two halves, suddenly after three minutes of the re-start Formby caught Garstang on the break and one of their forwards broke free to score a well taken goal.
Less than a minute later Formby doubled the score in a crowded Garstang D.
Skelton made a double save in vain, as the loose ball was worked round her into the back of the net leaving the visitors 3-0 up within the first seven minutes of the second half.
Garstang tried to recover, but despite Summers and an injured Roe’s best efforts they could not pull a goal back.
Formby broke away and beat Skelton one-on-one on 49 minutes, a forward striking the ball into an empty goal.
They added a fifth on 57 minutes and Garstang failed to make a dent in the score-sheet despite two late penalty corners.
This was a very hard game for a Garstang side suffering from absences and injury against a Formby side that finished second last year and just missed out on promotion.