Longridge Town 1 Squires Gate 3: Match report

Dean Ing celebrates equalising for Squires Gate       Picture: Albert Cooper
Dean Ing celebrates equalising for Squires Gate Picture: Albert Cooper
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Squires Gate progressed into the next round of the Macron Cup on Saturday afternoon with a 3-1 win at high-flying Longridge Town.

The home side, who sit top of the First Division North, were in fine form and went into the game having won their last match 7-2 on Wednesday night.

Gate manager Andy Clarkson welcomed back Ryan Riley and Joe Booth into the side that drew 1-1 at Whitchurch on Monday night, Ben Reader and Joey Mullen missing out.

Gate made a positive start to the game and could have been ahead in the opening exchanges.

Clever play between Riccardo Egidi and Joe Booth ended with Egidi’s shot being saved for a corner which Gate could not capitalise upon.

Gate then had two further corners but, again, could not test Lee Dovey in the Longridge goal.

The home side began to come into the game more on the quarter-hour but could not test Gate despite getting the ball into the box on several occasions.

Longridge had Dovey to thank after 25 minutes when he pulled off a superb double save to deny Gate.

Firstly, he stopped Dean Ing before springing up to deny Ric Seear’s header from the rebound.

The Reds started to up the pressure when midfielder Tom Ince fired a warning shot into the side netting on the half-hour mark before they took the lead in impressive fashion three minutes later.

Ince found experienced striker Jay Hart inside the area and, having seen Gate keeper Ben Fletcher off his line, he chipped the ball over him to make it 1-0.

Gate’s heads did not drop, however, and they continued to create chances.

Adam Sumner had the ball in the back of the net after he got on the end of a clever free-kick but he was flagged for offside.

Ing then took aim a minute later but his strike was the wrong side of the post as Gate got closer but still trailed at the break.

After a half-time dressing down from manager Andy Clarkson, Gate came out with all guns blazing and equalised three minutes in.

They battled well inside the Longridge box before Ing showed impressive strength to shoot past Dovey as he was falling over.

The home side had calls for a penalty turned down in the 51st minute when Paul Turner was brought down inside the box but the referee judged the challenge to be fair and waved play on.

Gate then doubled their tally minutes later when Seear burst into the box from the right-hand side and fired low past Dovey.

Longridge could have levelled the game on the hour mark but winger Dan Gardner could only find the side netting with his shot.

At the other end, Egidi, who was starting just his second game for the club, came close to scoring his first goal on 63 minutes.

The striker pounced on a Longridge mistake and held off defender Phil Doughty but could not find the target, firing wide.

However, it did not take Gate long to create another chance as Seear added his second a minute later when he was found at the back post for a routine strike past Dovey.

Seear had the ball in the net a third time shortly afterwards but he was denied the hat-trick as he had drifted offside.

The win pits Clarkson’s men against City of Liverpool in the next round after their 3-1 win over Ashton Athletic on Saturday.

Gate are back in action next Saturday when they return to league action at Abbey Hey.

Squires Gate: Fletcher, Richards, Rossall, Bamba, Sumner, Booth, Ing, Charnley, Seear, Riley, Egidi. Subs: Thorpe, Reader, Mullen.