Hull makes it hell for Squires Gate

Action from Squires Gate
Action from Squires Gate

WIGAN Robin Park completed the double over Squires Gate on Saturday thanks to a late winner by new boy Joe Hull.

After dominating the game from start to finish the Robins created chance after chance, but as in previous weeks they were not taken.

In the first minute a great move saw Phil Howard through on goal and despite doing everything right he saw his 18-yard shot come back off the post.

This set the tone for the half as Richie Livingston, Howard and Hull all tested Gate keeper Neil Beesley who was up to the task.

The second half saw the Robins even more dominant as they peppered the Fylde coast side’s goal with shots and headers.

A 25-yard free-kick from Phil Howard was gathered at the second attempt, while Ian Rowlands and Colin Quirk both missed glaring sitters when on each occasion it looked easier to score.

At the other end the Robins’ back four held firm, the midfield controlled the game and the forwards worked hard as play was centred almost entirely in the Squires Gate half.

It would have been a travesty if the Robins hadn’t collected the three points and with just five minutes of normal time remaining substitute Paul Cliffe whipped in a cross and Hull supplied a great finish to smash the ball past the home keeper from the most acute of angles.

It was Hull’s third goal in four games and he is beginning to form a lethal partnership with Robins’ main striker Howard.

With the game entering added-on time Squires Gate had their only chance of the game but Joe Shelmerdine headed high and wide – from a corner – meaning Wigan keeper Jay Foulds didn’t have a save to make all game.

The man-of-the-match award went to Quirk who gave a masterclass in attacking midfield play as he created time and space for himself, spreading the ball to all areas of the pitch.

This weekend Wigan Robin Park are back on the Wembley trail when they visit Cheadle Town in the first round proper of the FA Vase.

The Robins will be looking to make further progress in a competition they have targeted this season.

Club chairman Steve Halliwell said: “We’ve looked at this season as one of consolidation and while we are looking to finish at the top end of the North West Counties Premier Division, we are hoping to do well in the cup competitions.

“As well as the glory that comes with progressing in the cup the financial rewards in the FA competitions are substantial to teams at our level and a good run can set you up for the season.

“That said Cheadle have started the season superbly and we’ll have to be at our best to get anything from the game.”

Kick-off at the Park Road Stadium is 3pm on a day that has been designated Non-League Day and Robins officials are asking anybody that fancies taking in a game to follow them to Cheadle.

Non-League Day is an annual event where supporters of Barclays Premier League and League clubs are encouraged to watch their local non-league side and enjoy the unique atmospheres at this level.

With no top-flight fixtures taking place due to international games, Robins’ boss John Neafcy is hopeful some Wigan Athletic fans will travel the short distance to cheer his team on.

He said: “It would be great to see some extra fans travelling to see us as I think we’ve something special going at the club at the moment.

“On Saturday we’ll more than likely have 12 Wigan lads in our squad of 16 which makes us a unique team in the local area.

“Add in a Wigan management team at first and reserve level and you’ll see how we are striving to be Wigan’s premier non-league team.”

ELSEWHERE in the NWCFL top flight on Saturday, Ashton Athletic enjoyed a terrific 3-0 home win against Stone Dominoes.

Carl Addison, Azlio Andre and Rob Flint provided the firepower.