AFC Liverpool 4 Garstang 3: Riversiders edged out in a high-scoring encounter

Tom Entwisle scored one and set up another in Garstang's defeat
Tom Entwisle scored one and set up another in Garstang's defeat

Garstang were beaten 4-3 when they travelled to face a strong AFC Liverpool team in midweek.

Jack Swindlehurst and Jake Salisbury were absent from the squad, otherwise manager Lee Baker had a strong squad from which to choose.

The early exchanges were quite even, although Garstang looked more dangerous in the final third with the Coar brothers appearing particularly threatening.

Alan Coar had one shot on the turn go inches off target but Garstang took the lead on 14 minutes when a quick counter-attack saw Ric Coar head home Jonny Hothersall’s cross.

The home side pressed hard for an equaliser as the game moved towards the break with Will Kitchen saving well and a further effort cannoning off the base of the post as the Riversiders lived dangerously.

The early exchanges in the second half saw neither team doing enough to score before Liverpool made a couple of changes which seemed to give them an extra step going forward.

They levelled midway through the half when a free-kick was floated diagonally into the box and headed home powerfully by Jonathan Croasdale.

Garstang missed a glorious chance to retake the lead when Tom Graham was cynically taken out.

The subsequent free kick was swung in and the otherwise excellent Josh Westwood saw his free header go wide of the mark from close range.

The home side’s next attack saw them take the lead for the first time on 79 minutes when Kitchen was beaten by Andrew Lewis’ shot from the edge of the box.

A minute later, the lead was further extended when the Garstang defence allowed a long clearance from the keeper to bounce in front of them and the speedy Lewis was able to fire home his second of the night for a 3-1 lead.

The match became increasingly stretched as Garstang looked to get back in the game.

They pulled one back in the 82nd minute when Westwood headed home a Tom Entwisle cross but, with the goals coming thick and fast, Liverpool restored their two-goal lead.

They broke down the middle, and although Will Kitchen made a great double save, he was unable to do anything as James McGrane fired home to make it 4-2.

There was still time for Entwisle to score a brilliant 30-yard free-kick in added time but that proved to be a consolation as the referee blew for full-time.