Squires Gate 1 Lancaster City 1: Higham scores again as Gate remain unbeaten

Squires Gate goalscorer Jake Higham  Picture: ALBERT COOPER
Squires Gate goalscorer Jake Higham Picture: ALBERT COOPER
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Squires Gate remain unbeaten in pre-season after a 1-1 home draw with Lancaster City on Saturday.

Before facing the Northern Premier League club, Gate announced that goalkeeper Ben Fletcher and defender Joey Mullen had re-signed, with young John-Jo Morris also joining after his release from Accrington Stanley.

Gate were missing defender Jacob Davis, whose injury against a Fleetwood Town XI last week looks set to keep him out for the early part of the season.

The hosts almost opened the scoring after just three minutes in bizarre fashion, when Lancaster keeper Sam Ashton was caught out by Glen Steel’s back-pass but just recovered in time to concede a corner.

Former Blackpool striker Matthew Blinkhorn won a free-kick for Lancaster in a dangerous position, but clear-cut chances remained elusive until Gate broke the deadlock just before half-time.

It was a real team goal as Sam Staunton-Turner and Riccardo Egidi linked up before James Boyd threaded a pass through the defence for defender Jake Higham to score his second goal of pre-season.

The second half saw plenty of substitutions, with former Gate player Rob Henry among seven made by Lancaster after an hour.

Gate rang the changes too and went closest to a second goal when Morris’ free-kick was held by the keeper.

The hosts had an escape on 70 minutes, when a cross rebounded off their crossbar, but Lancaster were level six minutes later.

Gate were punished for overplaying in midfield as they lost possession and Rob Wilson fired low into the net.

That’s how it remained and Gate assistant manager Jed Starkey was pleased.

He said: “We played from a great, solid, organised defensive shape and countered well. Every player put a shift in and you wouldn’t have known some were out of position.”

Gate welcome AFC Fylde to the Brian Addison Stadium on Thursday (7.30pm).

Gate: Fletcher, Mullen, Rossall, Ing, Higham, Staunton-Turner, Boyd, Charnley, Morris, Riley, Egidi; subs: Burgess and four triallists.