Early strikes key to su­per Port win

Midweek Visiter - - Sport - KID­DER­MIN­STER HAR­RI­ERS ... 1 SOUTH­PORT .................................. 4 BY ALAN JONES

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.

Si­mon Mar­shall

Jack Samp­son struck twice as South­port cruised to a 4-1 win over Kid­der­min­ster Har­ri­ers last Satur­day.

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