REPORT: Squires Gate 3-2 Abbey Hey
Squires Gate picked up their first three points of 2018 with a spirited second half fightback against Abbey Hey at The Brian Addison Stadium.
New signings Scott Harries, Max Rothwell and Ryan Riley all started for Gate whilst Jordan O'Mahoney came into the back four.
Gate started the game all guns blazing with the majority of the play all in Abbey Hey’s half. The front four of Riley, Rothwell, Pett and Harries all adding that extra bit of quality which has seen Gate go three games without a win.
Gate were almost caught when on a rare break forward from the visitors, a cross into the box almost caught out Ben Fletcher in goal, luckily for Gate the ball only found the crossbar.
Get went close on ten minutes when Dave Rossall who was also making his first start at The Brian Addison Stadium since rejoining the club looked to find Ryan Riley. Riley though was just caught offside with the goal at his mercy.
The visitors would take the lead ten minutes before half time, some poor defending from the corner the downfall for Gate. The ball in found the unmarked Andy Smith who headed into the far corner past Fletcher.
HALF TIME: Squires Gate 0-1 Abbey Hey
Gate started the second half much with the same intensity of the first half. The feeling around the ground was always that Andy Clarkson’s men would get back into the game but would have to be patient.
More clever football on the edge of the Abbey Hey box after 59 minutes saw Gate go close again. The ball was laid back to Dean Ing who looked for a man at the back post, but his cross was too heavy. Gate would keep the pressure on and just a minute later equalised. Gary Pett’s header was saved by the keeper before Scott Harries reacted quickest to tap in whilst falling over.
Gate who already looked full of confidence seemed buoyed by the equaliser and looked to push forward to take the lead. Andy Richards beat his man in the box before taking aim only to be denied by the keeper, the resulting corner was cleared by the visitors.
What then followed was three great chances for Gate, all three just needing a touch for Gate to take the lead. First Dean Ing’s cross was put out for a corner before Tarren Moxon’s cross back in from the resulting corner was blocked. Scott Harries then put in a teasing ball, but nobody in Blue could get a touch.
Gate’s pressure would be rewarded on 69 minutes when they’d take the lead. Scott Harries again in the right place at the right time to tap in after Dean Ing’s shot looked to be being cleared off the line.
Gate’s dominance would be rewarded again 5 minutes from full time when Gary Pett extended their lead. He lined up one of his trademark free kicks from the edge of the box firing past the keeper right into the top corner.
Sadly Gate who were clearly still celebrating the third goal would concede straight from kick off. The visitors going straight down the other end to grab a goal back all be it to late.
The win keeps Gate in 13th place but with teams around them winning, it was another important victory for Andy Clarkson's men. Gate are next in action on Saturday when they travel to Barnton.
Gate: 1.Fletcher, 2.Richards, 3.Higham, 4.Hall (C), 5.Rossall, 6.O'Mahoney, 7.Riley, 8.Ing, 9.Pett, 10.Harries, 11.Rothwell. Subs: 12. Mullen, 14. Moxon, 15. Buchan, 16. Charnley, 17. Colquhoun
Report by Mark Ashmore