City v Garstang



City continued with Michael Ballantyne in goal, in place of Kyle Townsley, and youngster Henry Walker started just his second league game of the season as part of a three-man defence. Garstang had gained a fine 3-0 win at leaders Longridge on Boxing Day but their side showed four changes from that game, and they were only able to name one substitute in Reece Barrett.

The first half proved to be an end-to-end affair with Slack heading wide after just 3 minutes. City came close to scoring when Simpson’s well-struck shot bounced back off the base off the post. In the 13th minute, Garstang also hit the woodwork as a left-wing corner was headed against the bar by Coar.

The ebb and flow of the game continued as Armstrong headed wide from a City corner. In the 23rd minute, Shiel fired wide from 20 yards, and Renyard saw a well-struck shot saved by Kitchen. City went ahead in the 26th minute as a fine move culminated in Pearson’s excellent left-wing cross being headed in by Simpson, for his first league goal of the season.

However, the lead was to last barely a minute as, straight from the kick-off, Garstang seemed to waltz through a sleepy City defence and Walker, on his first start of the season, scored with the help of a fortunate deflection past Ballantyne. It soon went from bad to worse for City as, in the 29th minute, they fell behind when a free-kick was met by a towering header from Coar into the top corner of the net.

Another free-kick from Garstang shortly after this was saved by Ballantyne and, in the 40th minute, there were some hopeful away shouts for a penalty following a challenge by Allison. Shortly before the break, Pearson found himself in a good position well inside the Garstang box, but Kitchen was out quickly to make the save.


After the break, Earl had the first opportunity but his weak shot was saved by Kitchen. Renyard then won a corner on the City left and the ball reached Simpson but his shot was saved. After this early City pressure, City then fell to a simple sucker-punch as a ball over the top found McKenna, amidst some offside claims, and he beat Ballantyne to score Garstang’s third.

Ballantyne then had to save a 20-yarder from Hothersall before Garstang brought on their only substitute after 62 minutes. City also brought on Heath and Blair at the same time. Ballantyne was the busier keeper as he made two saves in quick succession after 66 minutes.

Earl’s cross was cleared behind for a corner but Blair’s header was too high. Renyard was closer after 75 minutes as his shot flew just wide. This was to be Renyard’s last involvement as he went off injured to be replaced by manager James Tose, and he was unlucky to see a shot fly just a yard wide.

Garstang also pressed late on and could have added a fourth with a good chance being fired wide.

TEAMS- CITY- Ballantyne, Allison, Pearson, Simpson, Slack, Walker, Renyard, Earl, McCartney, Shiel, Armstrong SUBS- Blair, Heath, Tose, Townsley
GARSTANG- Kitchen, Birch, Nagy, Coar, Ross, Bennett, McKenna, Walker, Salisbury, Hothersall, Roberts SUB- Barrett

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