Glossop North End 4, Squires Gate 0
If Gary Hargreaves had any doubts about the size of the job he has taken on after replacing Russ McKenna as Gate manager he knows now.
Hargreaves’ first match in charge at mid-table Glossop didn’t go according to plan as Gate conceded twice in each half and now stand second-bottom of the North West Counties premier.
They fell behind after seven minutes as Sam Marshall nipped in between the keeper and defenders to head home a corner. Gate had gone close themselves by then, Jonathan Forbes’ fine long-range effort forcing home keeper Ben Proctor into a save.
And they had their share of efforts for the remainder of the half, with new signing Alan Coar and Josh Miller keeping the Glossop defence busy. However, Mark Battersby scored the second two minutes before the break to leave Gate facing an uphill struggle.
The visitors pushed up after the restart, with Andy Harvie moving into midfield and Dave McEvoy making a promising debut on the left wing. But a penalty three minutes into the second half put the game beyond Gate as Adam Oakes sent keeper Neil Beesley the wrong way.
Gate battled on but Coar was a marked man, with defenders doubling up to prevent him breaking through.
They blooded another debutant in Jason Dodwell but were grateful to keeper Beesley for keeping the score down with a succession of saves, though he could not prevent Battersby completing the scoring with his second on 73 minutes.
Hargreaves said: “Individual mistakes resulted in three of their four goals. We tried to play football in wrong areas at the wrong time, but there were positives as the players responded to set-plays.
“I am bringing in two more players to strengthen the squad and we are looking at a nice run of home games.”
That run of four successive matches at the British Legion Stadium starts against Congleton Town on Saturday.
Gate: Beesley, Nay, Harvey, Baker, Benfield, Botham, Forbes, Richards, Coar, Miller, McEvoy, Subs: Dodwell, Cragg, Bennett, Fishwick, Thornley.
REPORT AND PICTURES: STEVE McLELLAN