On the approach to Christmas, Bury fought tooth and nail to take away their present of three points against Garstang in a great 3-1 win. Tom Greaves scored a brace, as his early header was canceled out by Joshua Wilder’s burst of pace allowed him to slot past the keeper to equalise, but just like the previous fixture, Greaves stepped up to take a penalty from a handball and put the game to bed. But then late into the second half, substitute Alex O’Keefe scoring a well-worked finish to double the advantage.
Bury started strong, with Greaves having an early half volley easily saved by Garstang goalkeeper, Michael Donlon and several set-piece chances coming by the way of Scott Metcalfe. But then when Greg Daniels cross found Greaves, his low header was enough to divert the ball past the keeper to open the game up for Bury.
But that lead would not last long, as Garstang came into the game with a long ball forward finding Joshua Wilder, who managed to evade a challenge by Jonathan Hunt, and slotted the ball passed Kai Calderbank-Park to bring ‘Stang back into the game. From there, the first half belonged to the boys in red, who utilised the same tactic of turning the Bury defence with quick passing and counter-attacking play to try and breakthrough, with right-back Danny Birch making a great run, but his final touch let him down and was saved by Calderbank-Park.
Bury’s best chance would come from set-pieces as the half came to a close, whereas Garstang continued to press forward with some great chances falling to both Andrew Murphy and Jonathon Hothersall trying to find each other inside the Bury box, forcing some last-ditch defending to prevent the visiting team from taking the lead into the break.
HT Bury AFC 1 – 1 Garstang FC
However, the second half was a totally different story, as Bury came out strong with Aiden Chippendale and Tony Whitehead both testing Donlon’s gloves with crosses and chances aplenty. The big opportunity to take the lead again came on the hour mark when referee, Joe Cunningham spotted a stray Garstang arm in the area and pointed to the spot. As with the reverse fixture a matter of weeks ago, it was a job for one man, Tom Greaves, who scored a hat-trick of penalties the last time these two sides met. And this time it was no different, he stepped up calmly and slotted it past the keeper to his left and put the New Shakers back into the lead, and secured his 12th of the season.
And the game was not done there, despite chances at both ends, the final blow came with substitute Alex O’Keefe latching onto a long ball forward. O’Keefe’s first touch took him past his defender, and with his second touch, he lashed the ball goalward with a brilliant half volley to beat the ‘keeper and make it 3-1 and secure the three points.
FT Bury AFC 3 – 1 Garstang FC
League MoM – Tony Whitehead
Match Sponsor (Bespoke Landscapes) MoM – Tom Greaves
We return on Boxing Day (26th December) at home to Chadderton FC, 3pm kick-off. Tickets are sold out but there will be a live stream available from just 50p, with all proceeds being split between our chosen charities of Bury Hospice & the local foodbank volunteers at Bury VCFA.
Give what you can for the great causes and watch the game in the comfort of your home by clicking on the image below: