Garstang Reserves FC 3 vs Coppull United FC 3 – Saturday April 3rd 2021West Lancashire Supplementar
Coppull United began their West Lancs Supplementary cup campaign with an away trip to Garstang who were certainly to give an excellent account of themselves on the day and prove more than a match for their Premier Division rivals! The Coppull United management team had decided to use this competition as a way of looking at players in different positions and giving an opportunity to some younger members of the squad to try and stake a claim for a place in the team looking ahead to the 2021/22 season.
Coppull started with Joe Leather in goal, a back 3 of Ben Morris, Jonny Hawman and Lewis Foster with Nathan Bibby and Jimmy McIver acting as wing backs, supported by a midfield trio of David Parker, Jack Ramshaw and Aaron Evans with Danny Marland and Scott Hendy starting out up front. On the bench was new signing Nat Lindley, wing wizard Matty Bulcock and defensive stalwart Conor Whitaker.
The game began in quite a slow pace which is understandable due to both teams having not played for a number of months. Coppull arguably should have gone in front when great work by Danny Marland on the right wing resulted in a cross which eluded the keeper and Aaron Evans seemed to do the impossible by heading the ball against the crossbar from only a yard out. Garstang took this as a kick start and immediately started to take the game to Coppull and clearly had a number of players who were more than capable on the ball. A Garstang attack resulted in a last-ditch tackle from Lewis Foster and from the resultant corner Garstang took the lead with a free header inside the box! If anything, Garstang looked the more comfortable of the two teams on the ball, winning second balls all over the pitch and looking excellent when progressing into the final third of the pitch. Their dominance was reaffirmed with a second goal that their dominance deserved as their number 9 weaved through the Coppull defence before slotting the ball coolly past Joe in net. Half time, 2-0 to Garstang and drastic changes were needed if Coppull were to salvage anything from this game.
At the start of the second half on came Bulcock, Whitaker and Lindley for his debut in a Coppull United shirt and with a change in formation, the blue and whites set about trying to get back in the game. Almost right away the ball was worked out to Bulcock on the left wing who weaved some magic and hit a cross into the box that narrowly missed everyone. Shortly after that, a great piece of team play resulted in Coppull halving the deficit. Fast flowing football through the Coppull midfield resulted in Bulcock releasing Lindley down the left-hand side and he crossed the ball first time and Danny Marland calmly guided a header from 12 yards out into the far corner of the goal. 2-1 to Coppull with almost 40 minutes to play, surely this would be the start of the comeback?
Unfortunately for Coppull, Garstang were resilient and within 5 minutes have restored their two-goal lead. The Garstang number 9 once again creating chaos in the Coppull backline before wrong footing the goalkeeper with a left footed strike. To their credit Coppull didn’t roll over and die and came back into the game more and more as the half progressed, constantly throwing more men forward in the hope of scoring a goal to get them back in the game once again. A lifeline was handed to Coppull as a dubious penalty was awarded, when Lindley went down in the area following a forward pass from Whitaker. Marland stepped up and got his second of the game, sending the keeper the wrong way. The game now was becoming really stretched and it was looking like it was going to take something really special for Coppull to draw level….and something special it was! A Coppull cross was cleared to just outside the box and it fell to Bulcock (who is starting to get a name for scoring unbelievable volleys from outside the area, following his goal of the season contender against Poulton earlier in the season) who struck the ball sweetly into the keepers left hand corner. With six minutes left on the clock Coppull were searching for a winner to complete the turnaround. Bulcock drove in from the left-hand side and looked to be upended, however the referee allowed play to continue and Garstang cleared the ball. Joe Leather came out to clear the ball and stop the Garstang counter attack, which he did, before berating the referee for not giving the decision, resulting in him being sin binned and Coppull going down to ten men for the remainder of the game until the Final whistle was blown by the referee.
A final result of 3-3 and although Coppull had salvaged a point from their opening game it was a disappointing result to start off their cup campaign. Praise must be given to Garstang however who gave a really good account of themselves and played some excellent football at times and can feel really hard done to that they didn’t take all three points from their opening game! Hopefully a better performance next week against Lostock St Gerard’s at home….
Man of the match: Danny Marland – two goals and an all action display with more selfless running.