Ashton Athletic 0 Squires Gate 2: First-half goals give Gate FA Cup progress

Two first-half goals saw Squires Gate progress into the next round of the FA Cup with a comfortable win over Ashton Athletic.

By James Ashton
Sunday, 8th August 2021, 4:45 pm

Gate had made the trip to their North West Counties Football League Premier Division counterparts for this extra preliminary round tie.

Boss Luke Evans made two changes to Tuesday’s team that drew 2-2 at Barnoldswick Town.

Coming in were Jacob Ridings and Nathan Bartram, returning from injury to replace Jake Higham, who missed out through a knock, and Max Rogers.

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Squires Gate won at Ashton Athletic Picture: Ian Moore

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Gate started brightly, with Ridings looking sharp on his return.

The wing-back brilliantly took down a long ball from keeper Mike Hale, beat his man and drove into the box, only for his shot to fall just wide of the far post.

Evans’ men capitalised on their strong start after 17 minutes, as captain Josh Westwood met an excellent delivery from Ryan Riley and headed into the bottom corner.

Ridings then went close again, having a powerful drive tipped over the bar before a dangerous ball across goal from Dean Ing just evaded James Boyd.

Nevertheless, Boyd was able to make it 2-0 on 37 minutes, intercepting a poor clearance from the keeper and firing into the empty net.

Ing then had a good chance to score again just before half-time but his curled effort was well held by the goalkeeper.

Leading 2-0 at the break, Gate almost had a perfect start to the second half when Ridings had a golden chance to make it three.

He broke in behind the defence, only to be denied by the feet of the goalkeeper.

Hale was called into action at the other end for the first time, tipping a goalbound effort round the post.

Rogers was introduced on 58 minutes but, just as he came on, he was sent off.

An opposition player seemed to kick out at Rogers from a throw in, but the Gate man was the person to be shown red.

Despite being down to 10 men, Gate looked to maintain their dominance, Ing heading a half-chance narrowly over.

Striker Kieran Feeney filled in brilliantly at wing-back for Gate after Rogers’ dismissal and had a penalty appeal waved away after he was challenged.

Hale was then forced into another save, smartly forcing an effort out for a corner.

At the other end, Ing had another decent chance but fired over from a tight angle as Gate recorded victory and booked their place in the cup’s preliminary round.

Squires Gate: Hale, Ridings, Riley, Abankwah, Bartram, Westwood, Pollard, Webster, Feeney, Ing, Boyd. Subs: Welsh, Garrett, Burgess, Iley, Higham, Rogers, Wyres-Roebuck.

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