MATCH REPORT | Chorley 1-2 Southport

MATCH REPORT | Chorley 1-2 Southport

Summer signing John Cofie scored a late winner against Chorley as Southport registered their first victory of pre-season.

Cofie, the former Manchester United and Burnley youngster who spent last season with Telford United, found the target in style with a fine lofted finish five minutes from time.

This was the first run-out of the summer for Andy Bishop’s full first-team squad and the Sandgrounders took the lead on 31 minutes, Jamie Allen nudging home the second ball after Chorley had failed to clear a Gary Jones corner.

Bishop will have taken plenty of encouragement from the first-half performance of his team, who controlled the play confidently and carried a regular threat.

Josh Thompson’s close range shot from a Jones corner was kept out by Sam Ashton, and the Chorley goalkeeper also did well to deny another summer recruit, Ashley Grimes.

Louis Almond lacked the composure needed when one-on-one with Ashton following excellent approach work from Allen, who himself succeeded in putting Southport in front from the resultant corner.

Southport’s display would have been worthy of a bigger half-time lead, Almond displaying excellent footwork to get his shot away after being released by James Gray, but he dragged the ball just wide of the far post.

After five half-time changes, the Sandgrounders were unable to achieve the same level of performance in the second period.

Marcus Carver drew Chorley level with a 54th-minute penalty, and the team from the Vanarama National League North could have taken the lead, as Max Cartwright and Jonathan Royle made goal-line blocks from Carver and Jordan Connerton respectively.

Yet Southport finished well, and having been unable to get enough power behind his header from a Ross White centre, Cofie earned the win with an exquisite chip after spotting Ashton off his line from 25 yards.