Port find per­fect re­sponse in Cup

Midweek Visiter - - Sport - BY ALAN JONES

IN the end, the score­line should have been more com­fort­able, but hav­ing strug­gled for wins so far this sea­son, South­port left the Tame­side Sta­dium on Satur­day with rea­son to be pleased with their af­ter­noon’s work.

Two games in the Emi­rates FA Cup have pro­duced two wins, and although the start to the cam­paign has been one to for­get for the Sand­grounders, they have at least found some respite away from their trou­bles in the league.

Dion Charles and Jack Samp­son scored ei­ther side of half­time to book South­port’s pas­sage into yes­ter­day’s draw for the fourth round qual­i­fy­ing and the level of the per­for­mance in see­ing off Cur­zon Ash­ton rep­re­sented the per­fect re­sponse to their de­feat at Brack­ley Town the pre­vi­ous week­end.

The Sand­grounders had en­joyed the bet­ter of the first half and the open­ing goal from Charles, scored two min­utes into added time be­fore the in­ter­val, pro­vided the vis­i­tors with the con­fi­dence and the plat­form needed to se­cure a de­served win.

South­port’s play dur­ing the first hour was good, forc­ing the is­sue and ap­ply­ing good pres­sure to the Cur­zon de­fence, and their foot­ball at the start of the sec­ond pe­riod, dur­ing which Samp­son ex­tended the lead, was par­tic­u­larly en­cour­ag­ing.

The tar­get now for the Sand­grounders will be to trans­fer their re­sults in the cup to much­needed vic­to­ries in the Va­narama Na­tional League North, and this per­for­mance against op­po­si­tion from the same di­vi­sion should pro­vide the con­fi­dence needed to push on.

The open­ing goal from Charles came just be­fore half-time, tak­ing a through-ball from Brad Bau­ress in his stride be­fore break­ing into the area and, as the an­gle opened up, he slid a mea­sured fin­ish across goal­keeper Cameron Ma­son and into the bot­tom right­hand cor­ner.

South­port’s in­tent from the start had been good, Ryan As­tles meet­ing a cor­ner from Jor­dan Richards with a header that was stopped on the goalline by Chris Rowney, while Samp­son had a shot blocked by Mo­hamud Ali af­ter link­ing well with Charles.

Adam Mor­gan was in­side his own half when he tried to loft a shot au­da­ciously into the South­port goal but could only send the ball over the cross­bar and the Cur­zon striker also drew a fine save from goal­keeper Dan Han­ford at the end of a neat move in­volv­ing Ma­son Fawns and Niall Cum­mins.

Yet it as the Sand­grounders who were re­spon­si­ble for the more per­sua­sive foot­ball and, once in front, they saw out the re­sult with good author­ity.

The fin­ish from Samp­son to in­crease the vis­i­tors’ lead on 58 min­utes was classy, re­ceiv­ing a pass from Richards af­ter the full­back had ad­vanced down the right, be­fore guid­ing a di­ag­o­nal first-time shot across Ben Pur­d­ham, the re­place­ment goal­keeper, with his left foot.

Charles was at the cen­tre of much of South­port’s good play and he con­tin­ued to cause prob­lems, while David Mor­gan, Richards and As­tles, head­ing over from a De­varn Green cross, all had chances.

Adam Mor­gan gave Cur­zon hope with an ex­cel­lent curl­ing shot and even though 19 min­utes re­mained at that stage, South­port’s win never seemed in doubt.

Lewis Storey

South­port mid­fielder Dion Charles – pic­tured (right) com­pet­ing for the ball in the game against Dar­ling­ton last month – put in a man-of-the-match dis­play as the Sand­grounders de­feated Cur­zon Ash­ton in the FA Cup last Satur­day.

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