SQUIRES Gate remain in the bottom three of the North West Counties League premier division after a fourth successive defeat, the latest 2-0 at home to Bacup Borough.
The home side edged an even first half, in which Ryan Tanser made his first start of the season and linked up well with the returning Isaac Kusaloka.
But Kusaloka and top scorer Joe Shelmerdine were both tightly marked and it was Bacup who broke the deadlock four minutes before half-time, when Joe Edwards punished the Gate defence for failing to clear.
It got worse for Gate after the break, when a second booking saw Sam Farrow sent off.
The 10 men plugged on but Bacup sealed victory in the last minute, when keeper Neil Beesley failed to deal with a long ball into the box and Daniel Cocks doubled the lead.
Former AFC Blackpool defender Lee Baker made a solid debut for Gate, who will look to end their losing run on Saturday at home to Maine Road, the team that knocked them out of the FA Challenge Cup last month.
Gate team: Beesley. Nay. Thomas. Baker. Botham. Benfield. Harvie. Farrow. Kusaloka. Shelmerdine. Tanser: Subs, Forbes. McKendrick. Gwin. McKenna.
- AFC Blackpool went down 3-2 at home to Wigan Robin Park, despite Ben Waddington giving them the lead twice. Waddington scored early in both halves but Philip Howard won it for the visitors with six minutes left.