Garstang 2 Avro 1: Riversiders down title challengers

Garstang's Jonny Hothersall
Garstang's Jonny Hothersall

Garstang picked up another three points with an excellent performance seeing them beat Avro 2-1 in midweek.

In front of another good Riverside crowd, and on a very hard surface, the visitors looked the much better outfit in the first half.

The Coar brothers were left a little isolated up front with little service, while the Garstang midfield spent most of the half trying to close down the opposition.

However, every time Garstang won possession, Avro were always pressing and the Riversiders had little time on the ball and never really got into their stride as an attacking force.

The visitors took a deserved lead in the 34th minute when a corner from the right was headed home at the back post by Reece Lynden as Avro looked in complete control.

Garstang did respond with a couple of counter-attacks and set pieces.

They went close when Tom Graham whipped in a great dead ball across the face of the Avro goal but no-one was able to connect with the cross as Avro led at the break.

The second half proved to be a totally different proposition with Garstang appearing far more fired up and starting to win the ball much higher up the pitch.

They started to see more of the ball in dangerous areas with Dan Birch now making some excellent marauding runs down the right.

The Riversiders were rewarded for their much-improved play when they equalised six minutes into the second half.

Josh Westwood played the ball into the Avro half and a defensive error allowed the ball to reach Jonny Hothersall, who calmly drew the keeper, went around him and shot into an empty net.

The game was now end to end with Avro stung into action and they almost retook the lead when Graham brilliantly blocked a goalbound effort at close range.

Baker shuffled his side as Rob Walker and Andrew Murphy were introduced.

Walker made an almost immediate impact in helping Garstang take a 61st minute lead.

He won the ball deep in his own half and then proceeded to turn away and hit a great ball into the path of Birch, who had made a blistering run down the right,

Birch then hit a low cross into the box which was finished with his usual aplomb by Alan Coar, much to the delight of the home support.

Both sides looked for further goals as Graham was booked for a professional foul to thwart an Avro counter attack.

Walker received two quick yellow cards for handball and then kicking the ball away.

Further half-chances were created by both sides but the Riversiders never looked in too much danger as the clock ticked down for another three points.