Battling Garstang repel Heys threat to earn all three points
Garstang were back in action at the Riverside against a very competitive Prestwich Heys side on Saturday, and won it thanks to two late goals.
The home side attacked the Riverside end in the first half and almost took the lead 20 seconds into the game when Billy McKenna saw an excellent 30-yard effort just go above the visitors’ bar.
McKenna was again almost on the goal sheet when he controlled a ball in the box but he pulled his shot wide of the goal.
Following the early scares Prestwich started to play themselves into the match with Kitchen being called into action with a good save at full stretch.
The Garstang defence had to be very resilient as the visitors won four consecutive corners and with one of these, a goal bound header was cleared off the line by Entwisle.
Garstang countered and McKenna was just wide with an effort after good play between him and Ric Coar.
With half-time approaching the game was becoming stretched, Prestwich looked dangerous and Garstang were fortunate to escape when a Prestwich forward should have done better when through on goal but shot straight at Kitchen.
Sailor replaced the injured Jack Bennett before the break and at half time the score was level at 0-0.
The first action of the second half saw another contender for save of the season by Kitchen.
A right hand cross came in from the right and the ball fell to a Prestwich forward four yards from goal via a Kitchen hand.
The forward fired his shot high into the top corner but Kitchen had managed to get across the goal and parry his shot past the post at full stretch. Garstang came back and had a valid double penalty claim turned down when Graham was felled in the box and then the ball was blocked by a Prestwich hand.
Garstang tested Smith in the visitors goal as the home side were seeing a lot more of the ball in attacking areas.
The deadlock was eventually broken when Birch on one of his trademark overlapping runs fired in a cross from the right wing and Sailor was first to react with a brilliant glancing header from 10 yards which flew into the corner of the net leaving Smith helpless in the Prestwich goal.
This stunned the visitors who threw everything at Garstang to equalise, even pushing their keeper up for two set pieces in time added on.
In the first of these set pieces, Kitchen again came to the Riversiders’ rescue pushing a long range effort away for a corner.
From the resulting corner Garstang cleared their lines with the Prestwich keeper stranded in the Garstang box.
Substitute, Walker controlled the clearance and laid a superb ball into the pass of fellow substitute Barrett and he calmly shot home into an empty night to give the home side another excellent win.