City of Liverpool 3 Squires Gate 2: Gate let two-goal advantage slip against leaders

James Boyd played a key role in Gate's opening goal   Picture: ALBERT COOPER
James Boyd played a key role in Gate's opening goal Picture: ALBERT COOPER
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The premier league leaders recovered from 2-0 down to beat Gate as two of the Hallmark Security League’s in-form sides kicked off 2019 with a thrilling contest at the TDP Solutions Stadium.

A Gate side buoyed by six wins in their previous seven outings took the game to the pace-setters and opened the scoring in the 17th minute, when James Boyd and Ryan Riley linked up well to set up a typically clinical finish from Ric Seear.

Riley could have added a second a minute later, when he raced through on goal but scuffed his shot wide.

Gate doubled their lead in comical circumstances on 36 minutes, when a defender’s back-pass was completely missed by the keeper and trickled in for an own goal.

The dangerous Chris Cairns kept Gate keeper Ben Fletcher busy but the skipper was equal to everything aimed goalwards.

Gate looked like reaching the interval two up but goals either side of half-time changed the complexion of the game.

Just a minute before the interval, Cairns latched on to a through ball to give his side a lifeline.

And they were level just two minutes into the second half, when Anthony Brown headed home a corner.

Ryan Charnley was twice off-target with Gate free-kicks in dangerous positions and the visitors suffered a crushing blow when Jack Hazlehurst completed the comeback with City’s third 20 minutes from the end.

Gate did have a last-gasp chance to equalise but Seear couldn’t quite connect with Dean Ing’s pass.

Andy Clarkson’s side slip to ninth but have an early opportunity for revenge as the teams meet again in Marton on Saturday.

Before then City of Liverpool, who have stretched their lead at the top to nine points, face Northwich Victoria at home on Tuesday.

Gate: Fletcher, Gray, Bamba, Riley, Rossall, Reader, Charnley, Staunton-Turner, Seear, Egidi, Boyd; subs used: Clarkson, Ing, Sumner