Hesketh Bank were knocked out of this seasons Lancashire Amateur Shield competition as they lost on penalties 3-1 at the hands of Premier Division side Garstang after finishing all square at 2-2 at full time. Manager James Smith was forced to make a couple of changes bringing Jordan Smethurst into the midfield and giving new signing John Stead a start up front. Garstang were promoted to the Premier Division last season, currently sit in fourth spot so it was a real test for Hesketh.
Overall they did well controlling possession in the first 20 minutes and could have been in front only for a Jamie Dalton effort to be cleared off the line with Garstang’s keeper well beaten. However it was the home side who took the lead after 28 minutes when some sloppy defending allowed a Garstang forward to go round keeper Paul Sergeant before passing to a team mate who had the easy task of tapping the ball into an empty net. Hesketh Bank quickly hit back and on 40 minutes thought they had equalised through John Stead but the linesman ruled out the goal for offside.
The second half began with Hesketh Bank looking for an early equaliser and they were rewarded on 51 minutes when skipper Daniel Birkby scored a fine individual goal. On 70 minutes they went into a deserved but short-lived lead when Ben Goodson’s left wing cross was powerfully headed home by John Stead. This lead lasted just 90 seconds with Garstang forcing home the equaliser from a corner that was needlessly conceded. Both teams went for the winner in what must have been a good game to watch from a neutral perspective, but they finished all square.
With competition rules dictating that there would be no extra time played the dreaded penalty shoot-out took place. Despite missing their first penalty, the home side went through as John Stead, Richard Burns and Josh Norgate all hit the woodwork with their penalties. Lostock St.Gerards took advantage of Hesketh Bank being involved in the cup to move to the top of Division One, so Hesketh Bank lie in second place two points behind but with a game in hand. On Saturday they entertain fourth place Hurst Green at the Centenary Sports Ground which kicks off at 3pm.
The reserves will be looking to get back into action after their opponents Slyne-with-Hest were unable to raise a team last Saturday as they travel to Leyland United which also kicks off at 3pm. The Sunday team won by the remarkable score of 17-3 in their latest league match and will be expecting a tougher test this week as they host Boars Hotel from Blackpool in the 2nd round of the Lancashire Sunday Trophy which kicks off at 11am. For up to date details and to make winter bookings for the club’s 3G training facility check out the website www.heskethbankafc.co.uk