Congleton Town 2 Squires Gate 3: Boyd double lifts Gate away from bottom

Jack Iley made it 2-2 with his first goal for Squires Gate Picture: ALBERT COOPER
Jack Iley made it 2-2 with his first goal for Squires Gate Picture: ALBERT COOPER
Share this article

Squires Gate twice fought back from behind to  pick up three vital points and move away from the foot of the North West Counties League premier division.

READ MORE: Agony for Gate at Whitchurch
James Boyd scored twice at mid-table Congleton, netting the winner seven minutes from time.

Gate manager Luke Evans welcomed Robbie Parker and Tyler Rufus into the side, with Dave Rossall unavailable and Jack Iley dropped to the bench.

Evans’ men came into the game frustrated after a battling performance at high-flying Whitchurch Alport on Monday had yielded no points, with Gate edged out 3-2.

They started Saturday's game on the front foot as Rufus got behind the defence but the alert home keeper was out quickly to collect the ball.

Down the other end, Gate keeper Jordan Gidley had to be alert too to keep out Stuart Welstead's downwards header after three minutes.

A mix-up in Gate’s defence saw the home side open the scoring on seven minutes.

A long ball into the box caught Gate out and Dan Cope capitalised by lobbing the ball over Gidley.

Gate had their first shot of the game after 15 minutes, when Rufus teed up Boyd and he fired wide from the edge of the box.

The visitors started to build momentum and went close on the half-hour, when Ryan Riley's dipping free-kick flew narrowly wide.

Gidley proved his worth with another fantastic save before a penalty on 38 minutes enabled Gate to draw level.

Anthony Griffith went in too hard on Rufus in the corner of the box and Boyd coolly converted the spot-kick.

But Congleton regained the lead with a penalty of their own on the stroke of half-time.

Jake Higham was caught out at the back-post and bought down his man, enabling Cope to score his second of the game from 12 yards.

Gate came out in determined mood for the second half but Boyd's shot on the turn after linking up with Ryan flew straight at the keeper after 53 minutes .

They went closer to an equaliser from Sam Staunton-Turner's fierce cross into the six-yard box but Dean Ing couldn't force the ball over the line.

Matthew Farnworth then missed out on his first Gate goal, firing over when sent through by substitute Josh Pollard, and Ing couldn't have gone much closer when his left-footed effort struck a post.

The deserved equaliser arrived on 76 minutes, when substitute striker Jack Iley was played clear down the right and slotted his shot under the keeper for his first Gate goal.

Iley then crossed from the right only for Ing to head wide.

The winner was no more than Gate deserved, Pollard slipping the pass through for Boyd to make no mistake.

The win lifts Gate above Skelmersdale into 17th spot, now eight points clear of bottom club Litherland REMYCA.

Gate: Gidley, Dodd, Higham, Westwood, Parker, Turner, Farnworth, Riley, Boyd, Ing, Rufus.