Garstang 2 Lower Breck 2: Riversiders are pegged back by a late goal

Will Kitchen had a busy night as Garstang drew with Lower Breck
Will Kitchen had a busy night as Garstang drew with Lower Breck

Garstang and Lower Breck played out an entertaining 2-2 draw when they met at The Riverside in midweek.

When these sides met in August, Garstang suffered their first defeat of the season by a score of 5-1.

This came as a bit of a reality check at the time and the management team was determined that there would be no repeat.

Injuries, unavailability and squad rotation saw a much-changed Garstang take to the pitch with the most significant change the long-awaited return of striker Alan Coar who has been missing since injuring his ankle in October.

The game was a little cagey at first with both sides sizing each other up but Garstang took an 11th minute lead.

Billy McKenna’s perfectly weighted pass to the overlapping Tom Graham ended with a searching cross put into his own goal by the unfortunate Paul Mooney.

The match continued to flow as Lower Breck looked for openings with Johnny Swatton seeing a fierce shot whistle just wide before the visitors hit the woodwork.

A good shot from Lower Breck captain Mick Douglas was well saved by Will Kitchen, while at the other end, Jonny Hothersall’s excellent run ended with a scuffed shot.

With Lower Breck on top, the Garstang defence was stretched a little as a good move ended with Luke Duffy skying a shot when well placed.

Kitchen made a fine double save on 39 minutes but he saw Lower Breck equalise a minute later when good interplay on the edge of the area finished with Douglas sending a fierce drive past the keeper.

Phil Nagy’s excellent tackle broke up another dangerous attack and, from the resulting corner, a goalmouth scramble ended with the ball cleared off the line to leave it 1-1 at half-time.

Eight minutes into the second half and Garstang retook the lead as McKenna twisted and turned before crossing for Alan Coar to powerfully head home and make it 2-1.

Douglas headed against the post for the visitors, who made a couple of changes in their bid to take something from the game.

Kitchen had to make an important save with his feet and Duffy saw another good effort fly wide, while Garstang substitute Andy Murphy – who had replaced McKenna – saw his effort agonisingly off target.

Ric Coar had a goal ruled out for a foul earlier in the build-up but, as the Garstang defence came under pressure, Kieran O’Connor and Josh Westwood seemed to be coping.

However, with the game drawing to a close, a superb move on the edge of the Garstang area put Ste Milne clear and he lashed an unstoppable shot past Kitchen to make the score 2-2 on 88 minutes.

A frantic last few moments saw the Garstang defence breached as Westwood took the decision to haul back an opposition player and accepted the inevitable red card.

Then, in the dying moments, Kitchen was forced to hold Douglas’ header to ensure it was a point apiece at full-time.