St Helens Town 1 Squires Gate 3
A THIRD straight premier division victory sends Gate into Saturday’s Vodkat League Challenge up quarter-final in buoyant mood thanks to two goals in the final six minutes.
Gate put pressure on the home defence from the off and took the lead after only six minutes.
Andie Harvie was clipped as he raced through on goal, and skipper Nigel Taylor delivered a carbon-copy of Saturday’s unstoppable 25-yard free-kick at Alsager, giving Town keeper Dale Newbrook no chance.
Taylor hammered in another free-kick from ten yards further out but this time Newbrook was able to tip the ball over.
The home team began to settle and Christopher McGann equalised on 16 minutes.
The game swung from end to end but it remained 1-1 at half-time.
Although Gate keeper Neil Beesley was called into action early in the second half, Gate gradually got on top as recent recruit Joe Shelmerdine proved a handful up front.
But with time running out, Kenny Mayers was first to reach a corner from the left and headed Gate back in front.
Far from sitting on their lead, Gate continued to press and sealed victory on 90 minutes, when Scott Harries gained possession midway inside the home half, and beat the last defender and the keeper for a goal of top quality.
Gate’s third round cup opponents on Saturday are a first division Irlam side beaten 5-0 on Tuesday by AFC Blackpool, who await the winners in the semis.
Gate: Beesley, Richards, Horn, Taylor, Bartlett, Benfield,Shelmerdine, Harries, Harvie, Mayers, Lewis; subs: Thomas, Adjei, McKendrick, Fishwick.