MATCH REPORT | Ashton 1-0 Southport
Match report by Alan Jones of Southport's 1-0 defeat to Ashton United at Hurst Cross
Scott Metcalfe scored midway through the second half as Southport were beaten at Evo-Stik Premier Division side Ashton United.
Metcalfe netted the deciding goal on 77 minutes, rifling an unstoppable drive past the dive Port goalkeeper Ryan Crump from just inside the area to give the home team a deserved victory.
As he looks to make a decision on the final few remaining places in his squad, Southport manager Andy Bishop began the match with a team featuring four trialists before a more familiar team took to the pitch in the second half.
As in the win at Marine on Saturday, the Sandgrounders saw plenty of the ball but clear chances were in short supply.
The visitors’ best opportunity came on the half-hour when Jonathan Royle, a summer signing from Wrexham, ballooned a penalty over the crossbar.
Ashley Grimes, another recent recruit, had earlier drawn a smart save from Ashton goalkeeper Grant Shenton with a swerving shot, before the Southport striker also sent the ball wide of the far post after neat work on the left.
Grimes was used as one of three strikers, so too was the lively Jamie Allen, but the visitors were unable to make full use of their possession.
Ashton striker Sean Livesey crashed an effort against a post and the home team were denied by the woodwork for a second time shortly after the re-start, Matty Chadwick sending a shot onto the Southport crossbar.
James Gray, one of five half-time substitutions for the Sandgrounders, should have done better when one-on-one with goalkeeper Shenton but Ashton posed the greater threat and they earned the win through Metcalfe’s good strike.
Southport play their first home friendly of pre-season when Bury, from Sky Bet League One, visit the Merseyrail Community Stadium on Saturday, kick-off 3pm.
By Alan Jones