Wigan Robin Park 2 Squires Gate 1

Saydou Bamba, shoots over the bar, from close range after a scramble from corner kick
Saydou Bamba, shoots over the bar, from close range after a scramble from corner kick
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A first league victory continues to elude Gate six matches into the premier division season, though they had more of the chances in the first half at Wigan.

It took the visitors a while to settle down, unsurprising as they were forced to make five changes to the team which drew with Silsden last Tuesday.

But once they had got the feel of the large spacious pitch, Joe Shelmerdine, Joel Cummings, and Saydou Bamba all troubled the home defence.

A free-kick from Nigel Taylor was deflected wide but the best chance of the half fell to Bamba.

Jonathan Forbes headed a corner back into the area, and from the resulting scramble the ball fell to Bamba who shot over the bar from close range.

As a result the first half ended goalless, but Gate began the second strongly only to fall behind on 55 minutes, when Michael Case raced through unchallenged to beat Neil Beesley.

Beesley had looked unbeatable until that point, pulling off some fine saves including a spectacular one at the feet of Philip Howard, just as he was shooting. However, the rain became torrential as the match wore and and Howard gained his revenge by doubling the lead with 15 minutes left.

Gate did their utmost to get back into the game as Joss Miller replaced the injured Taylor and Chris Bennett came on for Joel Cummings, who had enjoyed an outstanding first half.

As player boss Russ McKenna pushed his players forward, Shelmerdine ran through the defence and was clipped from behind to win a penalty which he converted himself with nine minutes left.

McKenna then won a free-kick on the edge of the box and Bennett’s effort cleared the five-man wall only for the keeper to pull off a smart save.

Gate continued to press for a late equaliser but it was not forthcoming and McKenna’s men remain in the bottom three ahead of tomorrow’s match against Colne, which has been switched to Gate because of the opposition’s floodlight problems.

Gate: Beesley, Nay, Forbes, Taylor, Botham, Benfield, Sellers, McKenna, Cummings, Shelmerdine, Bamba; subs used: Miller, Bennett, Thornley.