Squires Gate 2 Northwich Victoria 1: Boyd bullet seals dramatic first win for boss Evans
Luke Evans is celebrating a dramatic first win as Squires Gate manager thanks to James Boyd’s thunderous late strike on Tuesday.
It had been a tough start at the Brian Addison Stadium for Evans, who lost his first three games in charge, two of them by four-goal margins.
Evans made two changes to the side beaten 4-0 by North West Counties premier division leaders 1874 Northwich on Saturday, Matthew Farnworth and Joey Mullen coming in as Robert Parker and Ryan Charnley dropped to the bench.
And Gate’s problems were soon continuing to grow as Northwich Victoria made the brighter start and opened the scoring after just four minutes.
Experienced striker Jamie Reed fired home from the edge of the box to put Steve Wilkes’ side on course for a sixth win in 10 games.
Vics looked for a quickfire double but Harvey Whyte couldn’t find Matty Clarke at the back post.
Gate came into the game after a nervy first 15 minutes and forced visiting keeper Scott Reed into a series of superb saves to protect his side’s lead.
And the hosts were level on the half-hour in spectacular style as Dean Ing flicked the ball up before volleying past Reed.
The last chance of the first half fell to Vics as Jamie Reed set up Ben Greenop but his shot was blocked.
Gate had a let-off seven minutes into the second half, when Vics’ Michael Wilson flicked a header into the path of Tom Kilifin. He smashed his shot into the far corner but the goal was chalked off because of a foul in the build-up.
Greenop and Jamie Reed combined again minutes later but the latter’s weak header was easily collected by Gate keeper Jordan Gidley.
But Gate ensured that Scott Reed was the busier keeper and they got the winner they deserved on 87 minutes, when Boyd beat the Vics number one with a 40-yard piledriver.
The win lifts Gate two places for 17th and provides a massive boost ahead of Saturday’s trip to Huddersfield club Emley in the first round of the Macron Cup.
Gate: Gidley, Mullen, Westwood, Rossall, Higham, Turner, Farthworth, Ing, Riley, Boyd, Iley. Subs: Parker, Pollard, Charnley, Rufus.