REPORT: Bootle 3-5 Squires Gate
Squires Gate showed incredible spirit to comeback from 3-1 down at half time to beat Bootle 5-3 on Saturday afternoon.
Gate took the lead in the game but were pegged back three times in the first half by the homeside.
Andy Clarkson welcomed back Dan Gray, Adam Sumner, Ben Reader and Ric Seear into the side after Tuesday nights draw away at Burscough.
Gate took the lead just four minutes into the game. Ryan Riley sending in a corner found Ric Seear who rose highest to head past keeper Ryan Jones on his return to the side.
It didn't take long for Bootle to equalise though and in some style. Striker Steve Jones unleashing a superb strike into the top corner leaving Ben Fletcher with no chance.
Bootle came close to doubling their lead in the 12th minute but Gate had Dan Gray to thank. Bootle squared the ball to the six yard box but Dan Gray was there on the line to clear the ball for Gate. Ben Fletcher was then on hand for Gate a minute later when he got down low to save the ball on the line.
Bootle eventually took the lead with another fine finish, this time from Steven Hoy. The midfielder took aim from outside the box beating Ben Fletcher with the first time finish.
The third goal came in disappointing fashion in Gate's eyes. Midfielder Connor Millington with too much time and space drove the ball low past Ben Fletcher whose view of the ball was blocked by a crowded penalty box.
Gate should have grabbed a goal back just before half time but somehow missed the target. From a corner the ball was headed back across goal to Dean Ing but his header looped onto the bar and over.
Half time: Bootle 3-1 Squires Gate
Gate came out in the second half looking to improve after the first 45 and instantly did so. Riccardo Egidi held off his man before slotting past the keeper to get Gate back into the game early on.
The homeside were reduced to ten men in the 53rd minute when Ric Seear was bought down by the last man. The referee was left with no option other than to send Daniel Murphy for an early shower.
Adam Sumner came close to equalising for Gate on the hour mark. He sent in a freekick towards the back post that was inches from hitting the back of the net.
Gate were given the opportunity to grab another goal back in the 65th minute when James Boyd's shirt was pulled in the box. The winger went down winning Gate a penalty which he confidently stepped up to roll past the keeper to equalise for Gate.
Now with all the momentum in the game, Gate looked to go on and win the game. Sub Ryan Charnley gave Gate the lead. The midfielder sent in a corner which was cleared back to him he then sent in a second cross which looped over the keeper at the back post into the back of the net.
Ric Seear, who has been away spending time with his new born daughter, scored his second of the game with nine minutes left. He was in the right place at the right time to tap in after Dean Ing had closed down the keeper and won the ball back.
Minutes later the homeside were awarded a penalty for a handball by Ben Reader. The Bootle player stepped up but Ben Fletcher guessed the right way and saved! The referee though spotted a player come into the box before the kick was taken and gave Bootle a second chance to take the kick. Ben Fletcher though was equal again and saved on the other side of the net.
Bootle, for the second game running, were shown a second red card this time striker Elliot Nevitt with a dangerous high tackle on Joe Booth.
The win for Gate will fill them with confidence with another tough couple of games coming up. Gate are next in action on Saturday with a trip Runcorn Town.
Gate:Fletcher, Gray, Reader, Bamba, Sumner, Booth, Ing, Boyd, Riley, Seear, Egidi. Subs: Clarkson, Mullen, Charnley, Wyers-Roebuck
Report by Mark Ashmore