Skelmersdale United 4 Squires Gate 0: Clinical hosts defeat Gate
Gate suffered their first away defeat of the season at the hands of a clinical Skelmersdale side.
Luke Evans made five changes from Saturday’s FA Vase defeat with Max Rogers, Nathan Bartram, Josh Pollard, Kieran Feeney and Jack Iley coming in.
The match started in end-to-end fashion with Ridings’ cross slightly too heavy and Bartram firing over.
At the other end, Skem were denied by an offside flag but opened the scoring on 18 minutes.
A cross was cleared by Rogers but the loose ball fell to Michael Howard, who made no mistake from the edge of the box.
It was 2-0 eight minutes later when Tom Croughan’s deflected effort gave Mike Hale no chance.
Iley saw a free-kick deflected narrowly wide before Bartram volleyed into the side netting.
Pollard had an effort well saved by the keeper before Feeney’s powerful strike was blocked.
Trailing 2-0 at the break, Gate started the second half in similar fashion as Rogers headed just over and James Boyd’s free-kick cleared the bar.
Feeney went closest on 73 minutes, combining well with Boyd outside the area and having his low drive tipped away for a corner.
Skem killed off the game on 76 minutes when a goal-kick was flicked behind the Gate defence and the ball played across for Elliot Morris to finish.
With Gate sending numbers forward, the hosts made it 4-0 three minutes later as a brilliant ball was threaded behind the backline for Howard, who finished clinically past Hale.
Gate return to action on Saturday in the second qualifying round of the FA Cup, hosting Pontefract Collieries at the Brian Addison Stadium.
Squires Gate: Hale, Ridings, Rogers, Welsh, Abankwah, Bartram, Pollard, Webster, Feeney, Iley, Boyd. Subs: Westwood, Riley, Mekkaoui-Abouzaid, Ing, Awe.
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