The villagers visited champions elect Garstang and came away with a point in a battling display which left manager Stephen Young more than happy with his side’s performance.
The Green had dismantled Garstang 3-0 in a recent home fixture with a superb display of attractive football but one look at the surface meant that it would be a war of attrition. The game began in a fashion which was to last for the whole 90 minutes with the uneven surface making it impossible to play any kind of football in the middle of the park. Both sides struggled in possesion and the only way to play was to get the ball forward into the channels a ploy which the home side were doing whilst Cookson and Coonan struggled manfully to play their usual passing game.
The villagers were in no trouble, however, and apart from one scare when the Garstang winger fired into the side netting were coping well and had a couple of half chances which saw them hit the post. Midway through the half a long ball wasn’t dealt with and Smethurst lobbed the advancing Joyce. The half petered out without further incident. HT 1-0.
At half time manager Young asked his players to cut out the midfield and get the ball forward quicker. It took the away team 10 minutes to regain control of the match during which Garstang pressed but didn’t create anything of note. On 60 minutes Darnell drew a great save from the home teams keeper as The Green strove for an equaliser. Conor Mallet came on as substitute for Chris Scott who had battled manfully up front.
Indeed it was Mallet, a great prospect, who drove down the left to deliver a superb far post cross that Coonan superbly headed home. Following this there was a lot of effort from both sides, but the pitch dictated that the game would end in a stalemate.
Manager Young was pleased with the point but stressed that his team need to adapt as conditions dictated. The reserves are sitting in a mid table position.