Yel­lows kick off new year with good point

Ormskirk Advertiser - - Martin Mere -

SOUTH­PORT’S im­pres­sive Na­tional League North form con­tin­ued on New Year’s Day with a hard earned point at Chester.

Jor­dan Archer had the best chance for ei­ther side, de­nied one on one by Grant Shen­ton in the first half, while Chester’s best chance fell late on to Craig Ma­hon whose goal­bound ef­fort de­flected clear when it looked to be head­ing for the net.

Chester were sit­ting in fifth in the Na­tional League North head­ing into the clash whilst their op­po­nents were on a stun­ning run that had seen them go un­beaten since Oc­to­ber, over­com­ing their dis­mal start to the sea­son. It was the fourth time this sea­son that the two sides had done bat­tle ow­ing to their FA Tro­phy en­counter and the Sand­grounders had the up­per hand, win­ning twice and draw­ing once in the three meet­ings prior to the New Year’s Day en­counter.

The game was an evenly con­tested af­fair in the open­ing 25 min­utes.

De­varn Green shot over from 20 yards af­ter cut­ting in from the left hand side for South­port be­fore a neat move in­volv­ing Dan Mooney and An­thony Dud­ley saw a neat ball from the lat­ter just evade the for­mer in the box af­ter a de­flec­tion.

On 17 min­utes a great whipped left­footed de­liv­ery from Wa­ters just evaded the div­ing Smal­ley with the ball even­tu­ally find­ing Mooney in the box but he could only scuff an ef­fort at Dan Han­ford from 12 yards.

Three min­utes later Wa­ters did well to skip past his man in the box and saw his low cross ham­mered away off the line by for­mer Chester de­fender Ryan As­tles.

South­port were al­ways look­ing a threat and Green and Jack Samp­son were both find­ing pock­ets of space but Si­mon Grand and Steve How­son were deal­ing ex­pertly with what came their way, although the full-backs looked vul­ner­a­ble.

A big chance ar­rived on 29 min­utes when Samp­son broke free down the right and sent a low cross in for exCh­ester striker Jor­dan Archer who, with the goal at his mercy, couldn’t get the all im­por­tant con­nec­tion.

Four min­utes later and Archer was in­volved again when Mar­cus Wood’s ball carved open Chester and set the striker in one on one with Grant Shen­ton who stood up to the chal­lenge and de­nied Archer with a great stop from close range.

David Mor­gan and then Wood both shot over from dis­tance be­fore Chester came on strong in the clos­ing stages of the half.

Chester started the sec­ond half with the en­ergy and pur­pose that had been sorely lack­ing in their pre­vi­ous two games, us­ing the ball more wisely and Gary Roberts play­ing a more key role.

It took un­til the 63rd minute for a mean­ing­ful ef­fort goal­wards when Wa­ters did well to pick up a loose ball and ad­vance, shoot­ing just over from 25 yards.

Big de­fender As­tles was forced off with an in­jury on 65 min­utes and South­port boss Liam Watson opted to bring on at­tacker Dion Charles in a bid to add some­thing ex­tra go­ing for­ward for his side.

Port woke from their sec­ond half slum­ber soon af­ter when Mor­gan fired a 20 yarder staight at Shen­ton but the Port were happy to head home with a hard earned point.

Ac­tion from South­port’s New Year’s Day en­counter with Chester Terry Mar­land

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