AFC Liverpool 2 Garstang 1: Riversiders fall short against promotion hopefuls
Garstang lost 2-1 at AFC Liverpool in midweek as Riversiders’ boss Andy Payton took a depleted squad to face one of the pre-season promotion favourites.
The home side started the game brightly, and for the first quarter of the match, were much the better side.
This pressure was converted into two early goals for the home side, both the result of some sloppy Garstang defending.
The first goal on seven minutes saw a cross from the left go straight across the face of the Garstang goal and was turned in at the back post by Jonathan Croasdale.
The second followed 10 minutes later when a couple of tackles were missed and Anthony Lyons was able to shoot past the advancing Will Kitchen.
Despite these early setbacks, Garstang dusted themselves down and started to press higher up the pitch, making it harder for the home side to play out from the back.
Tom Graham and Freddie Mason started to win some tackles and the game became a much more even contest.
Alan Coar and Reece Barrett both worked well as an attacking pair and Garstang started to create some opportunities.
Mason almost halved the deficit with a 25-yard volley but his shot was straight at the keeper.
The second half saw Garstang in the ascendancy and they were much the better team.
The home keeper made a number of good saves while the Riversiders had a number of efforts just go wide of the post with Coar, in particular, looking very dangerous.
Garstang got back into the game eight minutes into the second half following good work by Cam Ross on the left.
The ball eventually found Barrett at the back post, where he turned it in to halve the deficit.
Midway through the half, Ross was on the wrong end of a poor challenge, resulting in a yellow card for the offending Liverpool player and seeing the Garstang player unable to continue.
Joe Melling was moved into the centre-half position, but despite this setback, the Riversiders continued to press for the equaliser and were very unlucky when a couple of efforts flew the wrong side of the goal.
As the half progressed the home side used every opportunity to take time off the clock.
With time running out, Graham had a great effort well saved and Coar an attempt deflected just wide as it wasn’t to be Garstang’s night.