A missed penalty came back to bite Nelson on Saturday, as they suffered a third-successive defeat at league newcomers Garstang.
Garstang started the brighter side with Marcel Wusiewicz struggling with his handling early on.
Alan Coar got free for the hosts following good work by Tom Entwistle and Ben Roberts but was tackled just as he was getting his shot away, while Roberts had a shot well saved by Wusiewicz.
At the other end, Nelson deployed a lone striker in the shape of Ryan Salmon, and he never gave the Garstang back line a moment’s peace in the game, with his combative style, and, on occasions, very skilful play.
Half chances for Garstang came and went, but arguably against the run of play, the Admirals were given a gilt edged chance to take the lead when they won a penalty following a rapid counter attack, and Salmon was tripped in the box as he bore down on goal.
Salmon’s resulting penalty was struck hard and was heading towards the corner, but Will Kitchen dived at full stretch to brilliantly save the effort, in what looked like an early contender for save of the season.
This was the home keepper’s second penalty save of the season and proved to be the spring board for the home side.
Garstang continued to press and were eventually rewarded when a clever pass by Roberts found Jake Salisbury, who calmly drew Wusiewicz and slotted home with two minutes left in the half.
And within a minute of the restart, Garstang extended their lead when a Kitchen free kick was nodded on by Josh Westwood, and Alan Coar sneaked in behind the defence and finished in style.
Further chances came for the hosts, as Jack Swindlehurst made a great a run down the right and whipped in a dangerous cross, which Coar, at full stretch, could only nod wide.
Nelson counter attacked and saw an effort fly just wide of the post, while Cam Ross had to make a last-ditch tackle to thwart another attack.
Swindlehurst was again in the action, winning a towering header which sent Salisbury free, but his goal bound effort was blocked.
At the other end, Garstang switched off from a quickly-taken throw in, and Salmon was given time and space to hit a thumping 30-yard shot against the foot of the Garstang post, with Kitchen well beaten.
This proved to be the last opening of the game for Nelson, as Garstang’s ball retention improved and the Admirals were unable to get a further foothold on the game to create any more chances.
Garstang saw out the remaining time to secure the three points.
Tomorrow, Nelson are in action in the First Division Cup first round, as they host First Division South side St Martins at Little Wembley, kick-off 3 p.m.
On Tuesday night, Nelson are back in First Division North action as they make the trip to Adie Moran Park to play Prestwich Heys, kick-off 7-45 p.m.
The following Saturday, Nelson are at home to another famous non league name in Tow Law Town, in the Buildbase FA Vase second qualifying round, with kick-off at 3 p.m.