Atherton L R 1 Squires Gate 3
Revenge was sweet for Squires Gate with a 3-1 victory over the side that came back from two goals down, to win 3-2 at School Road in the reverse fixture, and send Gate into a four-game spell of defeats.
Squires Gate were soon on the attack, playing down the slope, with Scott Harries playing a free role, making inroads into the defence.
He combined with Zac Thomas to create the first goal for Andy Richards on after just two minutes Harries put a cross in, Thomas headed the ball on and Richards volleyed home, giving the home keeper no chance.
The home side were having trouble with the penetration of Gate’s Gaz Lewis, and Tom Bartlett, and it wasn’t long before the former added number two, when he picked up a cross from Bartlett, beat the defender and raced in to give the keeper no chance with his shot on 11 minutes.
The rest of the first half saw Gate’s midfield of Nigel Taylor, Dave McCann, and Stuart Horn, – drafted into midfield from full-back – looking comfortable with all the home team threw at them.
In the second half, Atherton started to put pressure on, and despite several attempts, failed to repeat the events of the away game at Squires Gate, which must have been on the minds of both teams.
Pushing forward this time with the slope in their favour, the home side failed to prevent Gate going further ahead. Thomas crossed from a corner and Kenny Mayers headed into the path of Lewis, who scored his second goal to make it 3-1 five minutes from time.
Atherton piled on the pressure, and a Gate pass was intercepted, leaving Neil Beesley no chance as he raced out to try to block the shot, Cooke converting on 87 minutes. Gate played out the rest of the game without a wobble despite being on the back foot.
Now Gate have to wait until April 16 for their next game, which will be at home to Stone Dominoes.
Squires Gate: Beesley; Richards; Thomas; Horn; McCann; Benfield; Ryan; Harries; Taylor; Bartlett; Lewis; Subs. McKenna; McKendrick; Mayers