Gate are thwarted by late leveller

Ton Benfield gets up for a header
Ton Benfield gets up for a header
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Squires Gate 2 AFC Liverpool 2

GATE’S hopes of climbing out of the bottom three were dashed by a last-gasp equaliser from a determined basement club, who picked up only their second point of the season.

The home side could not be accused of taking Liverpool lightly, and they pressed from the off.

And although Gate keeper Neil Beesley was tested several times in the first half, his side looked the likelier scorers.

Louis Mayers went close with a shot from Zac Thomas’ cross, then Scott Harries and Joe Shelmerdine fire the wrong side of the post.

Shelmerdine was agonisingly off-target again when he pounced on a loose ball after Mayers’ shot had been blocked by keeper Josh Molloy.

But Gate’s efforts paid dividends on 27 mintues, when Shelmerdine was brought down by Molloy, and the keeper had no chance of stopping Mayers’ penalty.

There were chances at both ends, but Liverpool went in at half-time level, Francis Barry having scored two minutes before the interval.

Beesley prevented the visitors taking the lead after the restart with a full-stretch diving save.

More shots by Shelmerdine and Harries followed before Gate regained the lead on 49 minutes when these two combined.

Harries crossed and Shelmerdine reached the ball first in a packed penalty area.

Tom Bartlett pushed forward for Gate, and got on the end of several crosses, but luck was not on his side.

Andy Richards and Mayers were also denied by the in-form Molloy, and Gate would regret their failure to score the match-clinching third goal.

There was only a minute left on the clock when Shaun Chart scored the visitors’ second equaliser, resulting in Gate’s first draw of the campaign.

Returning skipper Nigel Taylor said: “We are disappointed because we needed all three points, but the two best players on the day were the goalkeepers.”

Gate: Beesley; Richards; Thomas; Bartlett; Taylor; Benfield; Fishwick; Forbes; Shelmerdine; Mayers; Harries; subs: Bennett; Farrow; McKendrick; K Mayers; McKenna.