Flixton FC 2, Squires Gate 3
INJURY-HIT Gate came from behind to win this rearranged North West Counties premier clash with two goals by the outstanding Chris Bennett.
Gate started off the brighter side and within ten minutes Bennett latched on to a long ball to beat Flixton’s offside trap and neatly slot the ball past the hapless keeper.
Flixton immediately sprang into life and two minutes later were on level terms through Brian Matthews.
Gate keeper Neil Beesley parried a screaming effort round the post as both sides had plenty of chances in an entertaining half which ended 1-1.
Within seconds of the restart, Gate forward Kenny Mayers had a chance to punish a sleeping Flixton defence but his shot was tipped over.
Gate showed some fine touches on a dimly-lit pitch but were met by a solid Flixton defence.
The home side took the lead against the run of play on 61 minutes, when Andrew Keogh caught the Gate defence flat-footed to chip home.
But Gate’s Jordon Dixon latched onto a back pass and calmly slotted home the equaliser on 73 minutes.
Gate sensed a victory and were rewarded three minutes from time, when man of the match Bennett chipped the winner.
Defender Stuart Horn headed the ball off the line in the dying moments to secure the three points for Gate, who face Flixton again in Saturday’s School Road rematch.
Gate: Beesley, Horn, Taylor, Richards, Ralston, Benfield, McKenna (c), Shelmerdine, Harries, Bennett, Dixon.