Squires Gate 1 Ashton Athletic 1: Match report

Ben Seear goes close for Gate Picture: ALBERT COOPER

Ben Seear goes close for Gate Picture: ALBERT COOPER

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Midfielder Ben Seear scored his second goal in two games as Squires Gate and Ashton Athletic drew 1-1 at School Road.

Manager Danny Penswick made two changes from the side that won at Bootle before Christmas.

New keeper Mark Smith made his debut, having signed from Thornton Cleveleys FC, while there was also the return of Jamie Gibson in midfield.

Gate made a good start but were restricted by early refereeing decisions against them, particularly offsides, which slowed the game down.

Though Gate got in some good positions early on, it was Ashton who had the first chance of the game and forced Smith into a good save.

Seear then had Gate’s best chance of the first half when he fired over. He jinked his way into the box but his shot went over and wide of the post.

Then Jamie Gibson took aim but was denied by a fingertip save from away keeper Martin Pearson.

Gibson sent his marker one way, then the other, before firing across goal but Pearson stretched to save well.

Despite a couple of more half chances both sides went into half-time with the game goalless.

If the first half didn’t have much to report, then the second was a slight improvement.

The game didn’t come to life until the 67th minute when Ashton took the lead.

Joel Brownhill was in the right place at the right time in the middle of the box to fire into the bottom corner.

It would be down to midfielder Seear to grab his second goal in two games and get Gate back into the game.

Joe Noblet whipped in a free-kick from the right and found the head of Seear, who headed down and under keeper Pearson to level the game.

Gate bought striker Tarren Moxon on for the last 20 minutes after the goal in search of a winner but they couldn’t break Ashton down despite some late pressure.

Gate are next in action on New Year’s Day away to top-of-the-table Runcorn Town.

Mark Ashmore

Gate: Smith, Richards, Bamba, Rossall, Carroll, Gibson, B.Seear, Penswick, Higham, Noblet, Dawson. Subs: Moorhead, Smith, Moxon.