Whitehaven 0, Garstang 6
Garstang made the two-hour trip to Whitehaven more than worthwhile for the small band of travelling supporters with a performance that must have had their management team purring with satisfaction.
The first 10 minutes gave no clue as to what was to come with the home side feeding their pacy wingers and Garstang full backs Graham and Birch having to be on their toes right from the start.
Dan Curwen in the Garstang goal had to deal with a couple of tricky crosses which he did with calm authority.
It took a run and cross shot from Dave Jack which was tipped over by Pettit in the Whitehaven goal to spark the visitors into action.
The next 20 minutes saw Garstang get ever closer to scoring with Johnny Hothersall delaying just too long when through on goal and the Coar brothers having several efforts go just wide or kept out by Pettit.
Whitehaven were restricted to the occasional foray on the break but the pace of Garstangs’s back four constantly frustrated their efforts.
The breakthrough goal came on 34 minutes when Alan Coar was too powerful for the home defender who brought him down in the area as he was about to shoot on goal.
Alex Colquhoun stepped up to take the penalty and gave the keeper no chance.
Whitehaven skipper Halliday was booked for one too many late challenges as Garstang got a stranglehold on the game and Pettit made a fine save from a speculative Colquhoun shot just before half-time.
The second half was only a minute old when Alan Coar turned on Jack’s long throw and Pettit produced the save of the game to tip the shot wide.
Whitehaven went straight down the other end and a 20-yarder from Robson was saved at full length by Curwen.
The all important second goal came on 55 minutes when Alan Coar held the ball up before playing in Ric Coar on the edge of the box.
He twisted the defender inside and out before planting the ball into the back of the net.
The Riversiders now had the bit between their teeth, and when Alan Coar dispossessed Halliday just inside the Whitehaven half and ran on to slide the ball past Pettit for the third goal, the Cumbrians’ spirit was broken.
With spaces now appearing all over the pitch, the ever-reliable Chris Byrne was able to pick up the loose balls and play it to a willing midfield and full-backs who were running at a tiring team at every opportunity resulting in two more yellows for Whitehaven for desperate challenges.
On 73 minutes Alan Coar made it four despite the best efforts of Pettit who saved his first attempt but couldn’t keep out the follow up.
Andrew Murphy came on for skipper Gaz Fawcett and he had several good runs as his fresh legs were not what Whitehaven wanted to see.
Ric Coar completed his hat-trick with goals on 79 and 82 minutes, the first another fine solo run and finish and the second courtesy of Alan, who squared the ball to him for a simple tap-in.
That wrapped up Garstang’s ninth away game in the last 10 matches with the club hoping to end the year in front of their home support on Satuday against Hesketh Bank (3pm).