MATCH REPORT | Dover Athletic 3 – 0 Southport
In-form Dover Athletic dumped Southport out of the Vanarama National League with a three-goal Good Friday salvo.
Relegation was confirmed on the final whistle as Southport’s loyal supporters embarked on a 600-mile round-trip.
Ricky Modeste exploited slack defensive Port play, slamming home from close range on 28 minutes after goalkeeper Chris Cheetham did well to parry the initial shot.
Cheetha, in only his third Southport appearance, pulled off a couple of excellent first-half saves as Dover began to dominate.
Crucially in the context of this highly-pressured fixture for Dover, Richard Brodie and Andrai Jones failed to pull the trigger when well-placed at the start of the second half and in truth the Sandgrounders did create several opportunities throughout the 90 minutes without being clinical.
Dover’s hopes of a play-off and a Wembley appearance were boosted by two goals in a minute devastating Southport.
On 70 minutes Dover’s stand-out player Ricky Miller unleashed a dipping close range volley on the run that squirmed under Port keeper Cheetham.
Right from the kick-off Modeste found himself in acres of space centrally as the Southport defence split open enabling Modeste to lob with style and panache over a stranded Cheetham.
Richard Brodie 11 minutes from time went close to a consolation far post header but the Dover damage had been done.
Southport: Cheetham, R Higgins, White, Cundy, Ashton, Jones, Weeks, Nolan, McKeown, Brodie (Monteiro 90), Allen (Coly 81).
Subs not used: Foulds, Myres, Grimshaw.
Referee: Robert Whitton