REPORT: Irlam 0-2 Squires Gate
Squires Gate picked up a fifth straight win moving to six games unbeaten on Saturday afternoon with a 2-0 win away at inform Irlam.
Manager Andy Clarkson was down to the bare bones with injuries and suspensions hampering his squad availability. New signing Sam Staunton-Turner came into this side for his first start since signing from Kendal Town. He was joined by Jordan Salthouse who was recalled to the squad alongside Joey Mullen who joined him in midfield.
Gate looked to take the game to their hosts who were one of the form teams in the league, unbeaten in ten games. It took Andy Clarkson's men just three minutes to take the lead in the game. Returning to the side, young midfielder Jordan Salthouse showed awareness beyond his years to loft the ball over the Irlam backline to find the run of James Boyd who showed great composure to control the ball and slot past the keeper.
It took Gate just four minutes to double the lead this time through Dean Ing. He headed in James Boyd's corner at the near post for his seventh goal of the season.
Ing had the chance to head his second of the game on 12 minutes from a lovely Adam Sumner freekick but his header was wide this time. Adam Sumner again sent in a good freekick on the half hour mark but the home keeper did well to collect. He set his side on the counter but they fired wide not testing Ben Fletcher.
Irlam came close to catching out Ben Fletcher with ten minutes of the first half left. Fletcher had to be alert when a corner from Irlam came under the crossbar he punched clear. Gate's number one then had to recover quickly to get down at his near post to save the second shot.
Half Time: Irlam 0-2 Squires Gate
After dominating most of the first 45 minutes, Gate came out with a different game plan in the second half.
The homeside looked to get a foothold back in the game and started to take the game to Gate more. A corner was cleared to the edge of the box by Gate where Marcus Perry fired well over the goal.
Whilst Irlam didn't really threaten Gate in the second half they had half chances which Gate did well to deal with. A big chance came at the back post with thirteen minutes left but an Irlam attacker fired wide.
The win for Gate moves Andy Clarkson's side up to joint sixth in the league and with two home games to come, it's a good chance for Clarkson's side to carry on their good form over the festive period. Gate are next in action on Boxing Day when they welcome Charnock Richard to The Brian Addison Stadium.
Gate:Fletcher, Gray, Reader, Bamba, Sumner, Staunton-Turner, Ing, Mullen, Salthouse, Boyd, Egidi. Subs: Riley, Charnley, Booth, Maguire.
Report by Mark Ashmore