Congleton Town FC 3 Squires Gate 0
Squires Gate came down to earth with a huge bump after their derby win over AFC Blackpool.
On a chilly Cheshire afternoon, Congleton avenged August’s 5-0 drubbing at School Road.
Both sides looked lively in the early stages and had good chances, Sam Farrow hitting a post following a four-man Gate move after the hosts had forced keeper Neil Beesley into a fine save.
But Gate fell behind after 23 minutes, when Jack Graham played a perfect pass to the outstanding Michael Koral, who made no mistake.
Gate weren’t without their moments, and striker Jordan Dixon had a superb shot saved by home keeper Sam Conkie.
Gate battled to level the scores but were unlucky to go two down a minute before half-time, when the ball was deflected in off Stuart Horn for an own goal.
After the break, Gate came out fighting but Dixon blazed over from a fine pass by tricky attacker Scott Harries.
The action was end to end until Congleton sealed their win in the 77th minute, when Gate’s Jonathan Forbes was penalised and booked for a push in the penalty area and Koral netted his second from the spot.
Horn was tireless in defence, while Harries and keeper Beesley were also outstandin for Gate.
Player-boss Russ McKenna summed the game up as: “A very poor display against an average team.”
His side aim to put things straight away to Flixton tomorrow.
Gate: Beesley, Mckendrick, Horn, Forbes, Benfield, Farrow, McKenna(c), Fishwick, Bartlett, Dixon, Harries; Subs: Zacery, Taylor, Shelmerdine (unused).