Northern 1 Garstang 0
Garstang 1 travelled away to Liverpool over the weekend for their first fixture of 2014 against Northern 1.
A determined and positive Garstang had re-grouped over the Christmas period and were looking to change their fortune for the second half of the season. The squad welcomed back a much-missed Donna Richardson after her maternity leave.
The match started in just that vein with Garstang creating pressure on the Northern area. Di Roe was busy from the off with some great running down the right flank, and her work-rate and form was continuous throughout.
On the opposite flank Alice Matthews was duplicating Roe’s work-rate with some great skill and perseverance. Northern found some rhythm and attacked well on the break and 15 minutes in earned themselves a penalty corner which they converted with a strike down the centre.
Garstang were not deterred and recovered the earlier pressure, Alice Matthews going close after good combined passing from Roe, Rice, Summers and then Matthews with a first time strike. Frustratingly for Garstang Northern’s keeper was on fine form.
The second half saw Garstang play 90 per cent of the period in Northern’s area with majority of possession.
Player of the match Vicky Bradley, at right back, was outstanding, keeping possession well, releasing the ball up-field and executing perfectly timed tackles on Northern’s tricky forward. There was great link-up play from the centre midfield trio of Lyndsey Cookson, Judith Chapman and Josie Rice. Chapman, in particular, played her best game of the season with some intelligent through balls.
Cookson kept Northern’s playmaker quiet all game with well-timed tackles and smart reading of the play.
Chances came and went for Garstang, three set pieces and a handful of open play chances in the dying minutes with Summers just going close and the keeper making an impossible save from a Summers’ high flick.
At the final whistle Northern celebrated with jubilation knowing they were under a great deal of pressure. Garstang were pleased with the 100 per cent improved performance, but ultimately they have come away with a loss and know they need to covert chances.