No more fears as top flight is Gates-crashed

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After a worrying close-season, Fylde Coast Gates manager Brian Carr has had his mind put at rest.

Gates were one of the sides unwillingly thrown into the Sunday Alliance’s top division after a summer reshuffle.

Danny Ayers for Fylde and Adam Ridings for Wrea Green

Danny Ayers for Fylde and Adam Ridings for Wrea Green

Last season only seven sides competed in the premier division, leaving the competition depleted to say the least.

League officials sat down and decided to merge the premier with division one, with a few promising-looking clubs thrown in for good measure.

It meant promotions for the likes of Fylde Coast and Blue Room and left them worrying about the prospects of a long season ahead.

But Carr’s men have rallied and now look like they are more than capable of holding their own.

They went into Sunday’s game having won one, lost one and drawn one – what you’d call a steady start.

Not helped by the absence of key players such as Carl Faber and Simon Oswall, Carr was forced into naming the most unlikely of striking combinations.

Forty six-year-old Tony Ball was partnered up front by Harry Swindleworth, 30 years his junior.

On Sunday they faced a Wrea Green side who usually give a good account of themselves and it was evident in the opening stages that they would do so again.

The visitors started brightly, and it was a bit of a surprise when Fylde Coast Gates took the lead on 15 minutes.

Ash Casey played a brilliant ball to split the defence and Henry Wright made no mistake with a neat finish.

Wrea Green came back at their hosts and should have drawn level soon after.

Paul Dickinson missed a golden chance from the penalty spot after Sam Dyer had found his man in the box.

The game was on a knife- edge when Gates doubled their lead.

Casey was again the supplier as his corner was met brilliantly by Elliot Ramsey.

As the second half began, the third goal was always going to be crucial and it went the home side’s way.

Wright whipped a dangerous free-kick into box and Ramsey was perfectly placed to head his second of the game.

Provider Wright fired a penalty wide on 70 minutes before Casey made no mistake when the game’s third penalty was given on 80 minutes.

It all made for a very important win for Carr’s side, who now look pretty sat fifth in the league table.

They face leaders Cleveleys Working Men’s club this weekend in what will be a real test. On this showing, don’t write them off.