Carlisle City 1 Garstang 3: Back-to-back wins for the Riversiders

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Garstang made it six points from six against the leading sides with a 3-1 win at Carlisle City on Saturday.

Having beaten the league leaders, Longridge Town on Boxing Day, the Riversiders travelled to high-flying Carlisle with only 12 available players.

Garstang again deployed Jake Salisbury as the single striker with support from Ben Roberts and Jonny Hothersall.

Carlisle had the game’s early chances with a header going just wide, Will Kitchen saving brilliantly and a 20-yarder hitting the base of the post.

Garstang soon got to grips with the home side’s pass and move style of play with Ric Coar thundering a Phil Nagy corner against the underside of the bar.

Both sides continued to press for the opening goal which fell to the home side on 26 minutes when a good cross from the left was headed home by an unmarked Josh Simpson.

Garstang showed their resilience as, straight from the restart, Rob Walker beat the home keeper from 12 yards via a slight deflection.

Within two minutes the Riversiders took the lead when Nagy hit another great free-kick into the box and Coar buried a bullet of a header into the top corner.

Carlisle looked to respond but the Garstang back four and keeper were superb as the number of chances created by the home side started to dry up.

Leading 2-1 at half-time, Garstang’s second half began with Kitchen making an early save but, although most of the play was in front of the Garstang defensive line, Carlisle were unable to break them down.

Instead, the Riversiders looked the likelier to score with Hothersall creating havoc while Roberts’ pace and Billy McKenna’s running always caused issues.

Salisbury and McKenna were thwarted by smart saves before the latter made it 3-1 from Roberts’ cross.

The home side started to go long in their search of a goal, and though they went close with a couple of efforts, Coar and Cam Ross were up to the task as Kitchen was well protected.

Garstang’s next game will be on Saturday when they open their 2019 fixtures at home to Bacup Borough (3pm).