Baker praises players as Garstang fight for title

Garstang are top of the West Lancashire League Premier Division with seven games remaining.
Garstang are top of the West Lancashire League Premier Division with seven games remaining.

Garstang boss Lee Baker paid tribute to his players’ attitude as the Riversiders turned the West Lancashire League Premier Division title battle into a two-horse race.

The Riversiders are now a point clear of Blackpool Wren Rovers at the top – and with a game in hand – after both saw Monday’s games postponed.

A stunning run of form means Baker’s players are going head to head with Wrens for the title, and for added measure, they also have a Richardson Cup semi-final against Tempest United to play on Saturday, as well as the Lancashire Shield final on April 25.

Fixture congestion, injuries and unavailabilities mean the Garstang boss has had to rotate his line-up but there haven’t been any issues from the players.

“A lad who used to play with me came down a game the other week and told me afterwards he thought the players’ mentality was really good,” Baker said.

“In the past, people have had the wrong mentality, so for someone to point that out – someone who I haven’t spoken to for a while as well – is quite a compliment to the players really. It’s the first time someone from outside the club really has taken that in.”

Those attitudes have been tested as the Riversiders come up against sides aiming to stop their charge for the title.

Last season’s champions, Longridge Town, were hit for half-a-dozen last weekend as Baker’s players moved into top spot. Results like that may be the exception rather than the norm as opposing teams may try to play on any jitters the Riversiders might possess.

“Everyone seems to be coming to us and trying their hardest to beat us,” Baker said.

“I suppose that’s what we’ve got to experience, being in the position we’re in.

“We’re there to be shot at, that’s the way it is and we’ve got to deal with that ourselves.

“We have to keep going the way we have been because there aren’t many teams who have turned us over this season.”