Garstang Ladies 1sts started the new year on a high as they beat Liverpool Sefton 2nds 2-0.
With three senior players not available through injury and work commitments, and three walking wounded, Garstang had a bare 11 players pending the arrival of Rachel Roe from the 2nd XI.
This game was a potential banana skin against a keen, young and quick Sefton side.
Nevertheless, Garstang started well and a fierce Di Roe strike ended up in the back of the net early on, but the umpire thought Roe was out of the D when she unleashed her shot and disallowed the goal. The game settled into a pattern with Garstang dominating play but Sefton launched a number of quick counter-attacks.
In the fifth minute, a powerful Alice Matthews shot went straight at the keeper.
A breakaway goal by Garstang’s Rebecca Worthington was also disallowed.
And in the 16th minute, defender Jen Moss managed to stop a certain goal from a Sefton break after their forward beat keeper Sarah Skelton. In the 23rd minute, Garstang won their first penalty corner but Sefton defended well.
A minute later, Sefton won a corner after a Garstang foot stopped the ball in the D.
Time and time again, Sefton stopped attacks by Roe, Fran Summers and Worthington at the last minute and the Reds were frustrated not to have broken the deadlock at half-time.
Less than a minute into the second half, Sefton hit the Garstang post but Skelton was quick to clear.
The scare made Garstang go up a gear and they took the lead after a superb passing combination between Roe and Worthington released Summers, who rounded the keeper and tapped home.
Garstang made it two in the dying stages of the game as Matthews teed up Worthington on the left wing.
Worthington sprinted into the D and went along the back line to beat a defender and the keeper to score a classic goal.
With seconds to go, Sefton won a corner but another diving save by Garstang keeper Skelton saw the ball fly out of the D.
Lyndsey Hayes was named player of the match for an outstanding performance for the Reds.