AFC Darwen 0 Squires Gate 1: First win of season lifts Gate off bottom

Dean Ing heads Gate's winner Picture: ALBERT COOPER
Dean Ing heads Gate's winner Picture: ALBERT COOPER

Gate took the lead after a minute and held on to it throughout the game to record their first win of the season.

They defied late Darwen pressure to pick up three points which lift Gate off the bottom of the Hallmark Security League premier division, having started the campaign with six straight defeats.

They made the perfect start when Mike Hall’s free-kick was converted with a glancing header by Dean Ing, the in-form midfielder’s third goal in three games.

Dave Rossall made a vital sliding clearance to cut out a superb cross following a dangerous Darwen attack down the right.

Danny Penswick had the chance to double Gate’s lead on 31 minutes but the player-boss headed wide from Paul Carroll’s cross. Gate keeper Ben Fletcher made his first save four minutes later, comfortably getting behind a strike from the edge of the box.

The home side built momentum as the first half came to a close and it took a goal-line clearance from Hall to keep Gate ahead at the break.

They were forced into an early change in the second half, when Jake Darnell picked up a hamstring injury and was replaced Jordan O’Mahoney.

Gate had a great chance to make it two on 52 minutes, when Jack Williams ran on to Ing’s clever ball but fired wide.

At the other end, Bobby Langford’s cross was blocked for a corner as the home side began to build pressure.

But Gate held firm in the final 10 miniutes as Fletcher saved well and Carroll pulled off a vital double block.

Gate’s next match is at home to Radcliffe Borough of the Evo-Stik League in the Lancashire Cup on Monday.

MARK ASHMORE

Gate: Fletcher, Carroll, Darnell, Rossall, Higham, Colquhoun, Hall, Penswick, Buchan, Williams, Ing. Subs: Webb, Moorhead, O’Mahoney, Moxon.