De­feat shows size of task for Yel­lows

Midweek Visiter - - Sport - BY ALAN JONES

AFTER the im­prove­ments made by South­port in re­cent weeks, this was a clear re­minder that there re­mains plenty of work to do be­fore they turn the cor­ner.

Two goals in the space of eight first-half min­utes saw the Sand­grounders slip to de­feat at Brackley Town and vic­tory for the home team was all too com­fort­able.

Hav­ing shown signs of progress dur­ing a run of one de­feat from their pre­vi­ous seven games, the man­ner of this set­back was dif­fi­cult for the vis­i­tors to take.

De­fen­sive lapses cost them both goals and, after cre­at­ing plenty of chances dur­ing their re­cent games, the 90 min­utes passed with­out South­port be­ing able to make any sort of mark as an at­tack­ing force.

Brackley are one of the stronger teams in the Va­narama Na­tional League North, con­test­ing the fi­nal of last sea­son’s play-offs and lift­ing the FA Tro­phy, and man­ager Liam Wat­son re­flected after­wards that th­ese games high­light pre­cisely where the Sand­grounders need to im­prove.

As a re­sult, South­port fall to sec­ond bot­tom in the league ta­ble and will know that they must quickly start to pick up points again.

It could have been dif­fer­ent for the Sand­grounders had David Mor­gan’s sec­ond-minute shot landed a few inches lower in­stead of scrap­ing the cross­bar.

Dion Charles was on hand to turn home the re­bound, only to be judged off-side, and that was as good as things would get for the vis­i­tors.

Con­fi­dence is of­ten del­i­cate for teams in a po­si­tion sim­i­lar to that of the Sand­grounders.

Take an early lead and the vis­i­tors would no doubt have fan­cied their chances of ex­tend­ing their im­proved run, but in­stead Brackley were al­lowed to take a hold of the game.

Clear chances were al­ways at a pre­mium, but by the time El­lis Myles scored the open­ing goal on 24 min­utes, the home team were in the as­cen­dancy.

A cross from Matt Lowe had ear­lier drifted onto the South­port cross­bar, be­fore Lee Nd­louv hooked a shot wide from Luke Fair­lamb’s low cen­tre, and Myles put Brackley in front, bring­ing the ball in from the right and curl­ing a left-foot shot into the bot­tom cor­ner.

De­fender Gareth Dean headed wide from a Shane Byrne free-kick as Brackley looked to re­in­force their level of con­trol, and James Arm­son ex­tended the lead shortly after with a sweep­ing shot from Nd­louv’s low ball into the box.

The Sand­grounders changed shape in the sec­ond half, in­tro­duc­ing debu­tant Bouwe Bosma and Mike Phenix shortly after the re-start, and while it brought about an im­prove­ment in the per­for­mance, the vis­i­tors were never likely to find a way back.

Jor­dan Richards sent a fine cross into the area after good ap­proach work only for Myles to in­ter­vene, while David Lynch re­leased Phenix, who cut in­side be­fore his shot was blocked.

South­port goal­keeper Dan Han­ford saved well after Matt Lowe had worked his way into the area, and the long jour­ney to Northamp­ton­shire is one that the Sand­grounders will want to quickly for­get. Brackley Town (4-2-3-1): Lewis, Myles, Dean, Hall, Franklin, Byrne, Walker, Lowe (Nti 88), Arm­son (Murombezdi 84), Fair­lamb, Nd­louv (Jef­fers 78). Subs not used: Noon, Staff. South­port (4-4-2): Han­ford, Richards, Win­nard, As­tles, Ogle, Green, Mor­gan, Lynch, Bau­ress (Bosma 61), Charles (Gilchrist 87), Samp­son (Phenix 66). Subs not used: Mueller, Lan­g­ley. At­ten­dance: 590 Ref­eree: Dean Wat­son Man of the match: Ryan As­tles

Lewis Storey

South­port slipped to sec­ond bot­tom after de­feat to Brackley

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