Match report: Padiham 4 Squires Gate 2

Max Rothwell scored both Gate's goals
Max Rothwell scored both Gate's goals
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Gate suffered their first defeat of 2018 at Padiham, where five goals were scored in the opening 27 minutes.

PREVIOUS MATCH REPORT: Squires Gate 3 Abbey Hey 2
Unchanged Gate were hoping to move up the table on a day half the games in the Hallmark Security League premier division were rained off.

However, they fell behind after just two minutes. Striker Spencer Jordan was left unmarked on the penalty spot to meet a cross from the right and slide a shot home.

Gate were level six minutes later as Max Rothwell opened his account for the season with a header from captain Mike Hall’s corner.

At the other end, Gate keeper Ben Fletcher denied the Storks but they regained the lead on 19 minutes, when Danny Boyle finished off a quick counter-attack.

Gate were level within two minutes as Scott Harries beat Ben Hoskin and squared the ball to the back post for Rothwell to fire home his second.

Rothwell had a hat-trick chance moments later but couldn’t capitalise when Dean Ing’s shot fell to him following a Ryan Riley cross.

The end-to-end action continued as the home side went in front for the third time, striker Boyle scoring his second straight from a free-kick, when keeper Fletcher seemed to be expecting a cross.

Gate threatened to draw level again as Gary Pett shot wide after a fast, one-touch passing move, though their attack was disrupted by an injury to Riley.

Thankfully the knock does not appear too serious for the midfielder, who was playing only his second game of the season after injury.

Early in the second half Gate also lost Pett, suffering the after-effects of a head-clash before the interval.

The first clear chance of the second half fell to Gate, when a free-kick was cleared as far as Harries and he beat two but lost his footing before getting his shot away.

Gate pressed for an equaliser in the closing 20 minutes but Padiham sealed victory with five minutes left, when a free-kick to the back post was finished well by defender Mark Ayres.

Gate boss Andy Clarkson said: “I’m sure it was a great game for the neutrals, particularly that first half. But we said we would keep it tight for the first 20 and we go and concede after a couple of minutes. We were not good enough defensively from one to 11.”

Gate remain 16th, while Padiham are now seventh.

Gate: Fletcher, Richards, Higham, Hall, Rossall, O’Mahoney, Riley, Ing, Pett, Harries, Rothwell. Subs: Gray, Mullen, Charnley, Colquhoun, Clarkson.