Keeper stops a revival

Garstang Hockey team's Di Roe in action - player of the match against rivals Springfield's Second

Garstang Hockey team's Di Roe in action - player of the match against rivals Springfield's Second

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Garstang ladies could not convert their dominance into goals as they lost 1-0 away to Northern Hockey Club.

Garstang 1sts travelled to Crosby, Liverpool, for their first fixture of 2014.

But they could not come back from an early goal.

A determined and positive Garstang had re-grouped over the Christmas period and were looking to change their fortunes after a subdued start to the season.

And the squad was boosted by the return of Donna Richardson from maternity leave.

The match started positively with Garstang creating pressure in the Northern area.

Di Roe was busy from the off with some great running down the right flank, and her work-rate and form was continuous throughout.

On the opposite flank Alice Matthews was duplicating Roe’s work-rate with some great skill and perseverance.

But Northern found some rhythm and attacked well on the break.

After 15 minutes, they earned a penalty corner, which they converted with a strike down the centre.

Garstang were not deterred and recovered the earlier pressure but could not find a way past Northern’s goalkeeper.

After some slick passing from Roe, Josie Rice and Fran Summers, Garstang released Matthews in the D.

But her straight strike could not beat the in-form goalkeeper.

The second half saw Garstang play 90% of the period in Northern’s area, with majority of possession.

Player of the match, 
right-back Vicky Bradley, was outstanding.

She kept possession well, releasing the ball up-field and executing perfectly-timed tackles on Northern’s tricky forwards.

There was some great link-up play from the central midfield trio of Lyndsey Cookson, Judith Chapman and Rice.

Chapman, in particular, played her best game of the season with some intelligent through balls.

Whilst Cookson kept Northern’s playmaker quiet all game with some well-timed tackles and smart reading of the play.

Despite the fine play, the Reds could not find the net 
and make that vital breakthrough.

A relieved Northern held on but Garstang failed to grab a late equaliser, despite three set-pieces and a handful of open play chances in the dying minutes.

But Northern’s keeper was on hand again to make an impossible save from a Summers’ high flick.

Garstang started 2014 with a much improved performance but Northern held on to take all three points.