Squires Gate 4 Whitchurch Alport 0: Sixth win in seven for Clarkson's classy side

Ric Seear heads Gate's second against Whitchurch Alport  Picture: IAN DAVIES
Ric Seear heads Gate's second against Whitchurch Alport Picture: IAN DAVIES
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Gate bounced back from their Boxing defeat as manager Andy Clarkson got precisely the response he was looking for in this final Hallmark Security League fixture of 2018.

This sixth win in seven games lifts Gate to seventh in the premier division at the turn of the year, just one point behind Burscough in fifth.

Clarkson made four changes to the side beaten 3-0 by Charnock Richard, with Ryan Charnley, Ryan Riley and Dave Rossall recalled, as was Ric Seear after suspension.

Gate opened the scoring in the first minute as Riccardo Egidi showed great strength to hold off his man inside the box and fine composure to beat the keeper.

A point-blank save by Ben Fletcher denied Alex Hughes an equaliser on 18 minutes and the visitors soon went close again but failed to find the target after sloppy Gate defending.

Gate were more clinical down the other end and doubled their lead on 25 minutes.

A lovely ball down the line by Seydou Bamba found the run of Charnley, whose cross looped over the keeper for Seear to head home at the far post.

Gate could have had more before half-time but Ben Reader headed wide from James Boyd's corner, then Seear was flagged offside chasing Charnley's through ball after a clever passing move.

Just as in the first half, Gate were invited to start the second with a goal when Seear was brought down in the box.

The striker dusted himself down to take the penalty but keeper Dave Parton guessed right and sa ved well.

Egidi came close to grabbing his second on 56 minutes but his chip scraped the post after Riley had beaten three on a fine run.

James Boyd did make it 3-0 two minutes later, meeting Charnley's lob over the defence with a first-time volley.

Charnley tried to get in the act himself just past the hour but his 30-yard effort cannoned back off the bar.

Gate's fourth goal did arrive in comical circumstances on 72 minutes, when Boyd's crossfield pass for Riley was intercepted by the Alport left-back, who saw the ball roll past Parton and into his own net.

With no fixtures in this competition on New Year's Day, Gate start 2019 with games against league leaders City of Liverpool on successive Saturdays, the first of them away this weekend.

Gate: Fletcher, Gray, Rossall, Reader, Bamba, Staunton-Turner, Charnley, Riley, Boyd, Egidi, Seear. Subs: Mullen, Salthouse, Clarkson