Garstang FC’s wins have been built on their defence

Garstang keeper Will Kitchen saved yet another penalty on Saturday as they defeated Bacup Borough
Garstang keeper Will Kitchen saved yet another penalty on Saturday as they defeated Bacup Borough

Garstang FC boss Lee Baker believes his players’ recent hat-trick of wins were built on defensive solidity.

The Riversiders had gone into the festive period on the back of four defeats in five.

On paper, the Hallmark Security League’s First Division North Christmas and New Year programme did not offer much in the way of respite for Baker’s players.

They had trips to league leaders Longridge Town and a Carlisle City team who had kept pace with the front runners for much of the season, as well as a home game against a Bacup Borough side in the top half of the table.

However, Baker’s players won all three games and conceded only one goal as they moved up to 11th place.

Baker said: “Someone said to me after the Bacup game that those three games were against some of the division’s highest scorers.

“Longridge are definitely the top scorers and Bacup are up there as well, so to keep two clean sheets was massive.

“All three games were also with three completely different XIs; I’d have taken a win and a draw from the three games really.

“We were better than Longridge on the day but, I have to say, we’d beaten them in the Division One Cup when we’d nicked a goal and stayed in it until penalties.

“This time, we set up with a plan; other teams who play Longridge set up and want to play but you can’t do that because Longridge have a great system of playing so we had to change tack.”

The aim now is to make it four wins from four when Chadderton visit the Riverside on Wednesday night.

The two sides have already met this season with Chadderton emerging 4-2 winners at the start of December.

Baker, who has been able to welcome back some of his long-term injury absentees lately, admitted that was a frustating defeat.

He said: “We owe Chadderton one because we were miles better than them in the first half and should have been out of sight.

“However, football kicks you in the bits sometimes and we paid for it; rightly so because we deserved to lose and that needs to stay in the lads’ heads.”