REPORT: Squires Gate 3-2 City of Liverpool
Big second half comeback see's Gate triumph in front of bumper crowd.
Squires Gate picked up what was described as his 'best result at the club' since rejoining by manager Andy Clarkson who oversaw a second half comeback in his sides first game since the end of January.
Clarkson made several changes to his side who lost in their last outing at Padiham. A familiar face in Seydou Bamba returned to the starting 11 after rejoining the club whilst Alex Colquhoun started his first game of the calendar year. Joey Mullen returned to the side whilst Ryan Riley started up top with top goal scorer Gary Pett featuring and scoring for Bamber Bridge int Evo Stik. New signing Isaac Sinclair, son of former Blackpool and England winger Trevor Sinclair, was named on the bench and would have a big part to play in the second half.
The visitors came into this game the form team in the league winning five or their last six games. That showed after just seven minutes when they opened the scoring. The impressive Jack Hazlehurst reacted quickest after Ben Fletcher did well to save the original shot, tapping in to give Liverpool the lead.
Gate could have leveled the game after thirteen minutes with a great opportunity. Ryan Riley looked to make space in the box but at the key moment scuffed his shot straight into the keepers arms.
Five minutes later and Riley had another great chance. Scott Harries and Jake Higham did well to win the ball back before Riley couldn't Scott Harries cross at the near post.
Liverpool would punish Gate's two great missed chances when they extended their lead. One of Liverpool's form men going into this game, Dean Shacklock who had scored three in his last four games, would curl in a superb individual effort to beat Ben Fletcher from outside the box.
A clearly disappointed management team made two changes at half time to shake up the midfield after not being happy with what they'd seen. Dan Gary replaced Joey Mullen and Issac Sinclair replaced Jake Higham to make his debut.
The changes would make a difference as Gate would grab a goal back fourteen minutes into the second half. Ryan Riley did well to recover after going down under a challenge from the keeper, he jumped back up before squaring the ball to Scott Harries who fired past Langley in goal.
The momentum was all with Gate who looked the better side in the second half, the visitors perhaps thinking the game was won at half time would be punished in the sixty-seventh minute again by Gate. The ball fell loose in the box from the freekick and with the visitors unable to clear, Dean Ing was in the right place at the right time to tap in past Langley.
The previously mentioned momentum was now clear to see as Gate looked to win the game. That goal would come with eighteen minutes of the game left and what a goal it was! The ball fell to Max Rothwell and from 30 yards out he took aim first time and watched the ball sail into the top corner to give Gate the lead for the first time in the game.
Debutante Isaac Sinclair almost grabbed himself a goal minutes after Gate took the lead when the ball fell to him from Ryan Riley but his first time shot was blocked by the visitors and cleared.
Gate would go on to see out the game as the visitors pilled on the pressure late on for an impressive win and impressive second half performance
After the game a delighted Andy Clarkson said: "We were superb second half, our reaction after grabbing a goal back was really pleasing and the momentum we then took on to go and win the game was superb. Credit to the two young lads who came on at half time and changed the game for us a 16 year old Isaac Sinclair and 18 year old Dan Gray were a real credit."
Gate: Fletcher, Richards, Bamba, Rothwell, Rossall, Colquhoun, Mullen, Ing, Riley, Harries (C), Higham. Subs: Gray, Clarkson, Sinclair, Atack, Moorhead.
Report by Mark Ashmore