ST HELENS Town gained a hard-fought win against spirited opponents deep in relegation trouble, at the same time consolidating their own mid-table position with seven games still to play.
At times it seemed St. Helens would stride to an easy victory, but in the continued absence of leading striker Andy Gillespie they could not relax and they had to rely on keeper Ciaran Gibson to pull off a number of important saves.
The visitors went ahead in the 27th minute after winning a number of key tackles in midfield.
Ed Richardson pushed forward from full back and his low cross found Adam Storey among a sea of Alsager legs. Toung forward placed the ball cleverly inside keeper Christian Wright’s left-hand post.
Tom Lightbody failed to connect properly on the bobbly pitch as a chance went just wide.
Lane brought out the best in Gibson with a great shot from 20 yards.
As the first half drew to a close, Alsager were rewarded with a disputed free kick. Taken quickly, the ball found Ryan Connor who tucked it past Gibson for the equaliser.
St. Helens had the upper hand for most of the second half and it was no surprise when they regained the lead on 50 minutes.
Richardson’s low Cross caused mayhem in the home penalty area and the ball ricocheted off two defenders and crept past Wright into the net.
Both sides threw caution to the wind, Gibson coming to Town’s rescue several times, while into added time, Lightbody had two glorious chances, the first hit narrowly wide and the second, with the goalkeeper beaten all ends up, hit the post.
Town travel to Bacup & Rossendale Borough on Saturday, 3pm, before hosting title chasing Runcorn Linnets on Tuesday, 7.45pm at Brocstedes Park.