Early strikes key to super Port win
LIAM WATSON had warned that one team would find themselves on the end of a heavy defeat inflicted by Southport, but not even he would have expected it to materialise in this game last Saturday afternoon.
The Sandgrounders registered only their second win in the Vanarama National League North this campaign in a manner that bordered on the unimaginable, lifting themselves off the foot of the table by dispensing of second-placed Kidderminster Harriers at the Aggborough Stadium.
Southport got the scoring underway inside three minutes and whereas in recent games they have been guilty of relinquishing their early momentum, this time they used it to maximum effect.
Having been rewarded for a start full of intent with a goal scored by Jack Sampson, the Sandgrounders added a second midway through the first half courtesy of Jason Gilchrist, giving them the platform to inflict the sort of damage their boss thought they had been threatening.
It has been a difficult start to the season for Southport, and while results have remained disappointing in recent weeks, the general level of performance has improved. Missed chances have often characterised Southport’s games of late, but this time, everything they touched seemingly turned to goals.
Sampson found the target again and Dion Charles added a fourth to complete a remarkable opening period for the visitors, as they imposed themselves on the game with such authority that reduced their Worcestershire hosts to rubble. This was a complete performance from the Sandgrounders and key to setting the tone was the central midfield combination of David Morgan and Marcus Wood. Morgan’s recent form has been outstanding, patrolling the midfield with such command to earn him the club captaincy.
Again, he was the driving force behind much Southport’s good work here, complemented by Wood, whose forceful display provided much of the leg-work for this victory.
Wood is on loan with the Sandgrounders from Bolton Wanderers, as is Liam Edwards, whose authoritative debut at the heart of the defence belied his 22 years.
The Sandgrounders got off to the ideal start when a 30-yard drive from Sampson found the net and this time the visitors were able to push on.
Giilchrist added the second on 23 minutes, showing his quality and goalscoring instincts to direct a deft header inside the far post to convert a sweeping rightwing cross from Jordan Richards.
And with two further goals in as many minutes, the Sandgrounders had the game firmly in their grasp, Sampson getting a head to Reagan Ogle’s long throw-in, before a shot from Charles spiralled over goalkeeper Brandon Hall with the aid of a deflection.
Kidderminster pulled a goal back midway through the second half, Jimmy O’Connor directing the ball home from a short corner routine, but Southport saw the game out decisively.
In anything, the margin of victory should have been greater, with chances in the closing stages for Gilchrist, Charles and substitute Morgan Homson-Smith.
This was a thoroughly impressive win for the Sandgrounders and one for the travelling fans to savour. KIDDERMINSTER HARRIERS: Hall, Horsfall, O’Connor, Johnson (Ironside 46), Vaughan (Austin 46), Daniels, Weeks, Williams, Taylor, Chambers, Bradley (Richards 46). Subs (not used): Baxendale, Dingle. SOUTHPORT: Hanford, Richards, Edwards, Winnard, Ogle, Wood, Morgan, Charles, Gilchrist (Homson-Smith 83), Bauress, Sampson. Subs (not used): Tibbetts, Green, Mueller, Priestley. ATTENDANCE: 1,513 REFEREE: Lewis Smith. MAN-OF-THE-MATCH: David Morgan.
Jack Sampson struck twice as Southport cruised to a 4-1 win over Kidderminster Harriers last Saturday.