Squires Gate 0 Padiham 2

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GATE’s wait for their first points since December 1 continues, though they made the title-chasers work hard for a victory they only sealed in the final minute.

The North West Counties Premier’s second-placed club created the only chance of note in the first half, Gate Neil Beesley pulling off a fantastic point-blank save after 20 minutes.

The stalemate looked unlikely to be broken until the 67th minute, when Gate surrendered possession on the right and the resulting cross was met by Joseph Garvin for a near-post tap-in. The introduction of Andy Harvie boosted the home side’s attacking options and Gate began to look more dangerous.

But in the 90th minute, a Gate free-kick just outside the Padiham penalty area was poorly delivered and the visitors broke upfield for substitute Ken Taylor to go one on one with the keeper and seal the points.

New signing Ben Proctor showed promise teaming up with Alan Coar but a well-organised Padiham defence denied Gate clear-cut chances.

Gate boss Garry Hargreaves said: “I was delighted with the first half performance. We competed well and we just need a break.

“If we can recreate a performance like that at home to Stone on Saturday I’m sure we can kick on from there.” It’s a crunch game against the bottom club for Gate, who are now just one point above the relegation zone and have played six games more than second-bottom St Helens.

Hargreaves is delighted to have added Adam Killifin to his coaching staff.

DAN BRAID

Gate: Beesley, McEvoy, Perry- Acton, Baker, Darnell, Benfield, Nay, Naylor, Coar, Simpson, Proctor; Subs: Harvie, Botham, Walker, Morris, Dodwell