MATCH REPORT: Whitchurch Alport 1 Squires Gate 1

Action from the draw between Whitchurch Alport and Squires Gate Picture: ALBERT COOPER
Action from the draw between Whitchurch Alport and Squires Gate Picture: ALBERT COOPER

Gate picked up a point in Whitchurch but should have taken  all three in a feisty Hallmark Security League encounter which saw both sided reduced to 10 men.

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For their longest trip of the season, Gate were missing several players from Saturday’s FA Vase win.

Gate made a positive start to the game, particularly forward Riccardo Egidi on his full debut. He looked to be leading the line well in a new partnership with Ric Seear.

Gate went close after eight minutes through Joey Mullen. The midfielder was on the end of a good passing move but saw his shot tipped over.

The home side then had a chance of their own from outside the area but Ben Fletcher was equal to the shot.

New boy Egidi had the next chance for Gate. He burst through the Alport defence but keeper Dave Parton was quick off his line to collect.

Whitchurch went closest just before half-time, when substitute Simon Everall was sent through one on one with Fletcher but his lob landed on the top of the net.

Whitchurch captain Darren Campion was shown a red card shortly before the interval for fighting with Ben Reader on the ground.

Reluctant to leave the field, the experienced Campion had to be dragged away by his team-mates in an eventful end to the goalless first half.

The numbers were evened up just two minutes into the second half, when a Reader challenge earned the midfielder a red card.

That spurred the home side, who took the lead on 48 minutes, when Simon Everall converted a cross from the right with a near-post header.

Despite numerous chances, Gate could not equalise until the 84th minute, when the referee awarded a penalty for a foul on defender Seydou Bamba. Substitute Jamie Thomas stepped up to slot the spot-kick home, though keeper Parton guessed right.

The point leaves Gate 12th in the premier division, with Whitchurch seventh.

Gate are next in action on Saturday, when they travel to Longridge Town in the Macron Cup.

Gate: Fletcher, Richards, Rossall, Bamba, Sumner, Reader, Charnley, Ing, Mullen, Egidi, Seear; subs: Jones, Wyers-Roebuck, Hargreaves, Thomas.

Gate have been drawn away to Oldham club Avro of division one north in the second round of FA Vase on Saturday, November 3.