Squires Gate 4 1874 Northwich 1

Ric Seear scores his first goal against 1874 Northwich
Ric Seear scores his first goal against 1874 Northwich
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Gate started their Hallmark Security League campaign with a convincing win over the title favourites.

The visitors started brightly and had a chance to take a first-minute lead when Stuart Wellstead headed wide.

Anthony Stayte fired the wrong side of the post on six minutes but put the hosts in front two minutes later, volleying into the top corner after Ryan Tanser’s cross had been cleared into his path.

Wellstead headed over in an end-to-end first half, while Gate’s Joe Noblet couldn’t quite get a touch on Stayte’s cross following a sharp break.

Visiting keeper Greg Hall had a lucky escape from a misplaced pass, while Gate’s Andy Richards did well to block Matt Russell’s shot as Gate ended the half a goal up.

1874 were level four minutes after the restart as right-back Paul Conner crossed to the back post for Tom Bailey to head home. Gate were back in front three minutes later as Ric Seear curled an unstoppable strike into the top corner.

The hosts kept possession well without giving themselves the cushion of a third, though Seear had chances.

The striker did make it 3-1 on 72 minutes, turning on to Noblet’s pass to fire into the bottom corner. 1874 had chances to get back into the game, Ben Fletcher doing well to save a follow-up shot after a free-kick struck the wall.

Gate iced their cake with the final kick, Noblet finishing a sharp break by taking Seear’s pass and chipping Hall. Danny Penswick’s side are back in premier division action tonight at Atherton Collieries (7.45pm).

MARK ASHMORE

Gate: Fletcher, Richards, Carroll, Penswick, B.Seear, Hall, Noblet, Gibson, Stayte, Tanser, R.Seear. Subs: Higham, Mckendrick, Dawson, Riley, Thornber.