By Ben Smithies-Casey
10th January
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David Fish’s men fell to a 5-4 away defeat at the Riverside in extremely difficult conditions.

Before kick-off, it was clear to all that the condition of the pitch was going to make the game difficult for both sides.

The grass was covered will a layer of frost that caused the ball to skid and the players to slide across the surface.

However, the conditions were deemed playable and the match went ahead.

The opening stages of the game yielded hardly anything of note from either side, with both teams trying to adapt to the slippy surface.

However, in the 24th minute, the hosts took the lead.

A ball was played in behind Sam Riley who failed to judge the flight of the ball. He mis-controlled and allowed Ben Roberts to collect the ball, drive towards goal and strike it past Jordan Hadlow.

It was a disappointing goal to concede for the Reds but they responded well.

Ben Matthews cross from the left was inches away from being put home by the outstretched leg of Oumar Camara and Harry Pratt saw his volleyed effort go narrowly wide.

That was the only action of a tepid first-half, the second-half did not follow suit however.

Within minutes of the restart, Dwyer saw two headed efforts fail to hit the target when really he should have done better.

Despite this, on 59 minutes, Pratt equalised for Chaddy.

A ball was swung in from the left and with Garstang at sixes and sevens trying to clear the ball, Pratt stayed composed to prod the loose ball past Kitchen.

Bailey Whalley was then introduced for the ever hard-working Camara.

Garstang responded well to their set-back and a quickfire double gave them the upper-hand in the game.

Kelly grabbed his brace by latching onto a ball in the channel, driving forward and curling the ball past Hadlow.

Shortly after, McKenna made the most of a hopeful long punt forward to control and roll the ball into the corner of the net, making it 3-1 to the hosts.

However, the lads’ heads did not drop and only 4 minutes later, they grabbed one back.

Corey Kelly received the ball on the edge of the box and fired a wonderful, curling effort into the top-right hand corner to give Chaddy hope.

This was short-lived however as on 74 minutes, Garstang restored their two-goal cushion as McKenna was left completely unmarked on the penalty spot and he easily dispatched the ball into the bottom corner, grabbing his second of the game.

This urged Fish to change his side as he brought on Joe Richards in place of Sam Riley.

Despite this, Garstang continued to apply the pressure and had a 5th goal on 83 minutes.

Coar, who proved a nuisance all game with his hold-up play, got in on the act as he struck home a ball from the left.

With the score line 5-2 in Garstang’s favour, many supporters had given up hope of a comeback. However, an unlikely comeback was nearly complete.

In the 92nd minute, Whalley got in behind on the right and fired low past Kitchen and then, on 94 minutes, he grabbed a second in similar circumstances.

However, the referee brought the game to a close seconds later and Garstang took the three points, despite a valiant comeback effort from Chaddy.

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