Garner hat-trick and Osbourne penalty seals win
A Gerard Garner hat trick fired Fleetwood to the semi-finals of the Lancashire Senior Cup after a 4-0 win over Morecambe.
The young striker led the line and had a part to play in all the goals as a youthful Fleetwood side dominated the Shrimps at Poolfoot Farm on Tuesday afternoon.
Garner lined up in a front three alongside Keano Deacon and Jack Bishop, with goalkeeper Matthew Urwin captaining the youthful side.
The Cod Army created a multitude of chances throughout the match, forcing Morecambe keeper Niall Maher into a number of fine saves.
The first twenty minutes was evenly matched, with both sides pumping crosses into the box without creating any meaningful chances.
As the game progressed, the home side began to get a foothold and started to test the Morecambe defence. Thomas Grant forced Maher to save his low shot to his right after 25 minutes.
Fleetwood continued to apply pressure as the first half progressed, Elliot Osborne and Grant kept the Morecambe defence busy with their shots.
The pressure paid off in the 39th minute, as Fleetwood’s number nine Garner curled a brilliant shot into the top left corner from the edge of the box. The home side leading in blustery conditions.
This sparked Morecambe into life, Leif Davis scuffed a shot off target minutes later as they threatened to grab a quick equaliser.
However, it was Fleetwood who ended the half the strongest, Garner having a shot cleared off the line, before Maher pulled off another save to keep the score at 1-0.
The second half saw Town come out as they ended the first, wingers Bishop and Deacon both seeing shots saved after quick feet got them in good positions.
Fleetwood then had the chance to further their lead from the penalty spot, after Garner was taken down as he burst into the box, referee Karl Evans having no hesitation as he pointed to the spot.
Osborne stepped up to take the penalty, and he rolled the ball to the keepers’ right to double the Cod Army’s lead just after the hour mark.
It wasn’t long after that Garner grabbed his second, and Town’s third, with a cultured finish as he rolled it past Maher into the bottom left corner, following a good run into the box.
Morecambe rarely threatened, although Fleetwood’s Urwin had to be alert to tip a shot over his bar, before taking command of his box and confidently catching the ball from the resulting corner.
With fifteen minutes left, clever interplay between the Fleetwood forwards saw Grant curl a shot onto the bar, as the home side threatened to score once again.
However, the final goal came with the final kick of the game, Garner completing his hat trick with another fine finish, curling a shot in from the edge of the box.
It topped a fine performance all round from the Fleetwood players, and they’ll have another chance to impress as they qualified for the semi-finals of the Lancashire Senior Cup.
Shots on: 15 1
Shots off: 8 1
Fouls: 12 6
Corners: 5 3
Offsides: 1 0
Fleetwood - Urwin (GK) (c), Shorrock, Williams, Baines, Myers, Roberts, Osborne, Grant, Garner, Deacon, Bishop
Subs: Abubakar, Turner, Kerrigan, Dodd, Holgate
Morecambe – Maher (GK), Dutton Kay, Davis, Brownsword, Webb, Dawson, Jordon, Hedley (c), Hawley, Box, Yawson
Subs: Armstrong (Davis 45’), Ingham, Jenkinson (Hawley 51’), Fairclough (Dawson 69’), Nelligan