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Match report: Squires Gate 3 Abbey Hey 2

Scott Harries equalises for Gate
Scott Harries equalises for Gate

Gate picked up their first win of 2018 as two Scott Harries strikes helped them come from behind in the final half-hour.

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Harries was joined in the starting line-up by fellow new signings Max Rothwell and Ryan Riley, while Jordan O’Mahoney came into the back four.

Gate came out all guns blazing, with their new-look attack adding quality, but they were almost caught on the break early on as an Abbey cross struck the crossbar.

Gate went close on 10 minutes but Riley was caught offside from a pass by Dave Rossall, who was making his full home debut after rejoining the club.

The visitors would take the lead 10 minutes before half- time, when the unmarked Andy Smith capitalised on poor defending to head into the far corner.

Gate maintained their intensity after the break and were rewarded with an equaliser on the hour.

Gary Pett’s header was saved but Harries reacted quickest to tap in despite being off-balance. Gate pushed on as Andy Richards beat his man in the box only to be denied by the keeper.

Balls into the box by Dean Ing, Tarren Moxon and Harries only needed a touch to give Gate the lead but nobody in blue was on the end of them.

Gate’s pressure would be rewarded on 69 minutes, when Harries was in the right place at tap home after Ing’s shot was blocked off the line.

And the hosts looked to have wrapped up victory five minutes from time, when Pett powered a trademark free-kick into the top corner from the edge of the box.

However, straight from the restart Abbey pulled one back through Robert Swallow but Gate held on for their first three points since beating Barnton 6-4 five weeks earlier.

Barnton are next Saturday’s hosts for Gate, who remain 13th in the Hallmark Security League premier division.

Gate: Fletcher, Richards, Higham, Hall, Rossall, O’Mahoney, Riley, Ing, Pett, Harries, Rothwell; Subs: Mullen, Moxon, Buchan, Charnley, Colquhoun