Blackpool and District Youth League match of the week: Squires Gate FC Under-14 v Poulton FC

Squires Gate U14 v Poulton
Squires Gate U14 v Poulton

Squires Gate FC took another confident stride towards the Blackpool and District Youth League Under-14 title with a 9-1 victory over Poulton at their School Road home.

READ MORE Last week's match: Squires Gate Reds U14 v Lytham Blues
Prolific strikers Imaan Hussain and Dan Fryer scored four and three respectively and both have netted over 30 goals for the season.

Credit goes to Poulton for battling bravely on in adversity.

Starting the game without any substitutes, the visitors were forced to play the majority of the match with only 10 players because of injury.

Gate keeper Josh Grindley saved a penalty with the score at 1-0, and Poulton manager Parrish Cobb thinks the game may have progressed differently had his side equalised at that point.

Instead they trailed 3-0 at half-time, at which point Poulton were just about still in the contest but the fourth straight from kick-off in the second period dashed their hopes.

It was the goal of the game too, a passing moved involving virtually the entire Gate team and finished by Angelo DiVinci.

It was a game of four penalties, with each side awarded two.

Gate scored both theirs, whereas both of Poulton’s were met with full-stretch saves by keeper Josh Strachan.

But following the second of these spot-kick saves, penalty-taker Nico Cobb reacted quickest to get Poulton on the scoreboard at 6-1.

Jack Walker was the other scorer for a Gate side who are 15 points clear at the top of the table and very much in charge of their own destiny in the title race.

Manager Nick Grindley explained: “We have six to play but Foxhall and FC Rangers both have games in hand. Four wins will definitely be enough.

“Credit to Poulton, who are a decent side and played a lot of the game with 10 men, but we were impressive and our finishing was clinical. “

Poulton counterpart Parrish Cobb believes Gate will be worthy champions.

He said: “They will win it comfortably. They are playing well and conduct themselves well.

“They clearly do a lot of work in training and play in a sporting way. If you don’t play Squires Gate with 11 men you will get hammered. They played really well but as soon as we went down to 10 men it was game over.

“But our league season goes on until the end of April and with a fully fit team we’ll give anyone a game.”

Rather than choose between Gate’s outstanding attacking players, their manager chose keeper Josh Grindley as man of the match for two excellent penalty saves, though after the second of these Poulton did convert the rebound.

The Poulton boss couldn’t choose between Nico Cobb and Tom Gert for his star-man prize.

Both gave their all and showed great adaptability in different positions as Poulton were forced to reshuffle.