Garstang 1 Longridge Town 1: Familiar foes share the spoils

Garstang keeper Will Kitchen made yet another penalty save in their draw against Longridge Town
Garstang keeper Will Kitchen made yet another penalty save in their draw against Longridge Town

Easter Monday saw Garstang extend their unbeaten record against Longridge Town to six games following a 1-1 draw at the Riverside.

This was a great point for a Garstang side down to the bare bones with Alan Coar, Cameron Ross and Billy McKenna out injured while Jake Salisbury and Rob Walker were unavailable.

In front of Garstang’s largest crowd of the season of 326, Longridge were by far the better side in the first half with the home side having to defend quite deep and the midfield having to work very hard.

Despite having much of the play, Longridge were unable to fashion real clear-cut opportunities in the early stages, although they went close with a number of efforts.

Midway through the half, Garstang lost the ball easily in midfield and a quick counter-attack was thwarted when a Longridge player was clearly pulled back.

The referee quite rightly awarded a penalty to the visitors but Garstang keeper Will Kitchen made another fantastic save from Tom Ince’s spot-kick.

Further opportunities came and went for Longridge as Paul Turner and Brad Wicks squandered chances, while at the other end, Ric Coar had a goalbound effort deflected just wide as the first half ended goalless.

The second half continued much as the first half had with the visitors on the front foot.

They took the lead just before the hour when Ince scored from close range despite what looked an apparent handball in the build-up.

Richie Allen squandered another good chance when he crashed a 12-yard shot against the Garstang bar.

Longridge would pay for their inability to kill off the game on 76 minutes when Garstang won a corner and a knock down found Jack Bennett, who volleyed home.

The equaliser galvanised the Riversiders as every tackle was fought for and the match became more even as a contest.

With seconds left, Town missed another chance as Allen shot past Kitchen but Kieran O’Connor managed to deflect it wide as honours ended even.

The Riversiders’ season concludes with their 50th game in all competitions next Saturday at Shelley with the game kicking off at 3pm.

As for Longridge, they remain two points clear at the top but can be overhauled by Avro should they win their game in hand against AFC Darwen on Wednesday.