North West Counties League

Premier Division

Squires Gate 4

Whitchurch Alport 0

Whitchurch Alport’s trip to the Fylde coast ended in yet another defeat, with this by the heaviest margin.

It’s four on the spin now for the beleaguered red men and next week’s trip to Silsden doesn’t look like the type of fixture you would want when you’re on the crest of a slump.

Just when Alport needed to start well at Squires Gate, a defensive howler led to the first goal of the afternoon inside 60 seconds!

Callum O’Connor was guilty of trying to see the ball out of play but he was mugged by Riccardo Egidi who then went on to easily beat Dave Parton in the Whitchurch goal.

It was the worst start imaginable but one of the game’s pivotal moments came after just 18 minutes when Josh Dunne put a golden chance on a plate for Alex Hughes.

The cross from the left flank was pinpoint but Hughes – standing just a few yards from goal – somehow contrived to direct his effort straight at a startled Ben Fletcher.

Instead of the teams going in level at the break, Gate doubled their lead. A move constructed down the left-hand side ended with Ric Seear on hand to head home from Ryan Charnley’s inviting cross after 25 minutes.

Whitchurch had started the game badly but plainly hadn’t learned their lesson as they conceded a penalty within two minutes of the restart.

Seear was felled in the box for the most obvious penalty you will ever see but having picked himself up he was thwarted from the spot by Parton’s third penalty save in a week!

Sadly, for Alport, time and again the defence went AWOL and the home side would hit the bar and the post in a purple spell just before the hour.

At the other end, although their cause was a lost one, the Reds kept making chances – they just couldn’t take them, and twice in the same move Fletcher somehow managed to deny Jordan Cole.

Alport trudged off the pitch on full-time looking like a wounded animal.

This was just one of those days but with no points gained from the nine on offer over Christmas, perhaps there may be one or two nervous glances being cast over their shoulder as sides below them continue to narrow the gap to safety.

Alport are eight points off the relegation places after a difficult few weeks, but are more than capable of putting another solid run together to fire them up the table.

Goddard’s men have five leagues in January which can aid them put this much-needed run together, starting with trips to Silsden and Bootle respectively on consecutive weekends.