Harry Garstang might have scored a stunning free-kick equaliser late on in the youth team’s 1-1 draw against Tranmere Rovers, but even he isn’t used to stepping up to shoot from set-pieces.
The first-year attacker, who has proved himself to be a real creative force for the young Lilywhites this season, had the chance to take a free-kick in the game despite not being a regular taker.
“I’ve barely ever taken a free-kick in my life before,” revealed the young forward. “The last one I took was in a training game last year which went over and I haven’t taken one since.
“That was in my mind when I was stepping up for it, so it was just lucky that it went in really. I was just thinking ‘hit the top right corner’. I thought it was going to hit the bar but it just dipped in at that last second and went in.”
PNE were trailing to Udoyen Akpan’s first-half opener and with usual free-kick taker Melle Meulensteen absent, other members of the Lilywhites side had the opportunity to try their luck.
Ethan Walker had taken one minutes before Garstang found the target with his effort, as he explained the free-kick taking situation: “On the one before, I asked him (Ethan) if he was any good at them, and he said yeah so I just thought I’d let him have one and see what happened.
“But then we got another closer in, and I’ve been practising my shooting from that range quite a lot, always aiming for the same corner. I just thought I might as well have a go.”
And now, the youngster believes he has staked a claim to take free-kicks more regularly.
He added: “Definitely. If I don’t take one in the FA Youth Cup game, I won’t be a happy guy!
“I should have scored at least one more in the game, but it’s just one of those things.”
Garstang admitted it was a difficult match, but agreed that PNE deserved the draw.
He said: “Tranmere always come out well and it’s always hard against them, the ball was bobbling about all over the place.
“In the first-half, we weren’t up to it and we were too slow but second-half we came out and were the much better team, a lot stronger and we should have won the game really.”