Lytham Junior Blues had their chances but Squires Gate Reds were impressive 5-0 winners in our match of the week, climbing to fourth in the Blackpool and District Youth League’s Under-14 competition.
READ LAST WEEK'S MATCH OF THE WEEK REPORT: St Annes Diamonds v Wyre Juniors
On a day when very few junior football matches on the Fylde coast beat the weather, Gate made the most of the Collins Park surface to open the scoring in the first five minutes, when Tom Smith fired in off the crossbar.
The opening stages were end to end but the Blues rued missed opportunities and Gate doubled their lead when Filip Czarnecki converted Ben Stevely’s corner with a towering header.
It was still very much game on after the restart, though Lytham couldn’t take advantage of their opponents’ slow start and a third Gate goal 10 minutes into the second half put them firmly in the driving seat.
Stevely was again the architect as another dangerous cross was deflected in for an own goal.
Another teasing Stevely cross was the source of the fourth goal, James Clacher converting from close range.
The fifth goal was worth waiting for as Piotr Wasik’s fine ball through the midfield released Cian Turley, who battled past two defenders to finish emphatically.
At the other end, Lytham couldn’t get the better of keeper John Dowie, despite going through one-on-one several times.
Reds manager Josh Strachan believes the win sets his side up nicely for a strong end to a pleasing campaign.
He said: “We controlled the game very well, and looked very dangerous going forward and very solid at the back.”
“We are one of four teams on 18 points, and to be level with three of last season’s A league teams shows how far we have come.”
With manager Paul Wright on birthday leave, Jim Ormand took charge of the Lytham side and saw plenty to encourage him.
He said: “We are still building for the future and looking forward to going into next season with a strong team.
“Squires Gate took their chances and we didn’t. The opposition were clinical and their keeper was excellent, but we played very well going forward.”
Energetic duo Tom Smith and Scott Orr shared the man of the match honours for Gate as right-back Tom got up and down tirelessly, while midfielder Scott stayed strong in the holding role.
Left-back Shay Duffy was Lytham’s outstanding player. He was creative on attack and defended solidly, denying Gate any space down his flank.