Squires Gate 3 Colne 1

Joe Shelmerdine turns to celebrate after seeing his 2nd goal of the evening sitting nicely in the back of the Colne FC's net

Joe Shelmerdine turns to celebrate after seeing his 2nd goal of the evening sitting nicely in the back of the Colne FC's net

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Gate halted their poor run with this first win of the season in the North West Counties premier division.

Striker Joe Shelmerdine scored twice as Gate, who started the match second-bottom, overcame seventh-place Colne with a fine second-half display.

The visitors looked sharp from the off but Gate had the first chance to break the deadlock after ten minutes, when player-boss Russ McKenna’s inch-perfect cross was fired just wide of the far post by Shelmerdine.

Gate then got themselves into gear with a series of impressive passing moves, though Colne had their chances too, particularly when Jason Hart struck a thounderous shot which keeper Neil Beesley did well to hold.

Shelmerdine put the home side in front after 14 minutes, picking his spot with a shot keeper Chris Thompson couldn’t get a touch to.

Colne were level on 25 minutes, when Hart finished a neat passing move and the teams remained all square until half-time.

Gate looked sharper and hungry after the break, fighting for every ball. Jonathan Forbes won a crunching tackle to release Shelmerdine, who beat two defenders before leaving the keeper stranded and restoring his side’s lead after 53 minutes.

They had to survive a scare when Colne, from one of their few second-half attacks, smashed a free-kick against a post and converted the rebound only for the scorer to be ruled offside.

The tireless Sam Farrow sealed Gate’s much-needed win with a rocket shot on 67 minutes.

Delighted McKenna said: “This was a wonderful game to be part off and I’m really pleased for the team.”

Gate now aim to build on this win at home to bottom club Norton at their Royal British Legion Stadium on Saturday.

Steve McLellan

Gate: Beesley, Nay, Forbes, Taylor, Botham, Benfield, McKenna, Farrow, Mckendrick, Shelmerdine, Bamba; subs: Gwin, Dixon, Miller, Thornley

n AFC Blackpool are up to fourth in the NWC premier after playing out a goalless draw at home to second-placed Barnoldswick Town last night.