Squires Gate FC 1, Colne 0
GATE have grown used to the briefest of journeys along the FA Cup trail but Ben Fishwick’s goal right on half-time ensured that Russ McKenna’s side won through this extra preliminary round tie.
This was the teams’ second meeting in 11 days, Colne having won the league game at Gate 2-1.
The cup tie began just as that game had finished, with the home side pushing the visitors back.
Louis Mayers, who didn’t face Colne in the previous match, was causing the defenders problems following his hat-trick against Congleton, as was the strong running of Scott Harries.
However, Gate were denied a couple of chances by in-form keeper Jamie Scott, and as the game wore on the visitors put some pressure on the home goal.
Neil Beesley looked comfortable in the Gate goal and the half looked like ending goalless until Ben Fishwick collected one of Thomas’ passes and raced past a couple of defenders before giving Scott no chance with his shot.
Colne built some promising second-half attacks in their bid for an equaliser but found Gate’s Tom Bartlett on top form.
Gate could not apply the killer touch to put the game beyond Colne’s reach, though Joe Shelmerdine and Scott Harries both set up shooting opportunities for Mayers.
Keeper Scott was in commanding form in the air but Gate battled to protect their lead, with player-boss Russ McKenna and Sam Farrow helping out off the bench.
Gate are at home again in the first preliminary round against NWC first division side Atherton Collieries on Saturday week.
Gate: Beesley, Richards, Thomas, McCann, Bartlett, Benfield, McKenna, Fishwick, Shelmerdine, Mayers, Harries; subs: McKendrick, Farrow, Taylor, Miller, K. Mayers.