Squires Gate 3, Stone Dominoes 0
ANDY Richards scored twice as Gate put further distance between themselves and the NW Counties Premier basement clubs, avenging their December defeat at Stone in the process.
The visitors were pushed back from the start, but Gate had to wait until the final half-hour to score their goals.
Player-manager Russ McKenna drove an early free-kick just over the bar.
But, despite Gate’s first-half pressure, the best effort of the half came from Stone’s Dean Smith, who forced Neil Beesley into a full-stretch save.
As Andy Richards and Ben Fishwick commanded the midfield, Gate continued to create chances after the restart.
And it was Richards who broke the deadlock on 61 minutes, firing into the bottom corner from 18 yards, after keeper Adam Livesey had blocked Scott Harries’ effort.
The lead was doubled four minutes later, as Andy Harvey, returning from six months out injured, broke down the left and cut inside to unleash a shot which Livesey could not hold. Chris Bennett was on hand to blast the loose ball into the net.
As Dominoes picked up their game and applied pressure, Gate were grateful for several good saves from Beesley and for a goal-line clearance by skipper Tom Benfield.
But the points were in the bag ten minutes from time, when Bennett was brought down on the edge of the box and Richards’ free-kick gave the keeper no chance.
Gate had several more chances as the visitors pushed forward, Livesey denying Scott Harries with a point-blank save following Bennett’s chest-down. The victory moves Gate up another place to 17th, ahead of another revenge mission at School Road tomorrow (7.45pm), when Silsden are the visitors.
Gate: Beesley, McKendrick, Horn, Benfield, Bartlett, Fishwich, McKenna, Richards, Harvie, Bennett, Harries; subs: Dixon, Thomas, Cragg, Taylor.