MATCH REPORT | Guiseley 2 – 1 Southport
Michael Rankine scored eight minutes from time to earn Guiseley a win which saw Southport sink to the bottom of the Vanarama National League.
In a match between the division’s bottom two teams, the Sandgrounders looked to have earned a point after recovering from the concession of a goal at the start of the second half.
Southport created enough chances to take a share of the spoils but they were undone in the closing stages as Steve Burr’s team slipped to a third straight defeat.
Having recorded their first win of the season on Tuesday, Guiseley overtake Southport in the table to leave Burr with plenty to ponder.
For a match between two teams at the foot of the table, the opening exchanges were surprisingly open.
Although the home team settled the quicker, Southport soon began to carry the greater threat without being able to open the scoring.
When Jake Cassidy cut in from the Guiseley left and stepped inside Ross White before sending a shot against the base of a post after only five minutes, it looked like the home team would pick up from where they left off in their 6-1 defeat of York City in midweek.
Jordan Preston was also denied by goalkeeper Magnus Norman after being released by Jermaine Hylton but it was Southport who had the better of a scrappy first half as it progressed.
Ryan Higgins, the right-wing back, brought a reflex save from goalkeeper Jonathan Maxted after a slip from Danny Lowe. Maxted also saved after the rebound had fallen invitingly for Andrai Jones, whose blushes after a glaring miss were spared by an offside flag.
Southport were themselves denied by the woodwork when a firmly-struck shot from Higgins deflected onto the crossbar off the back of Lowe.
Maxted again came to the home team’s rescue by blocking a shot from debutant Nathan Ferguson after Guiseley failed to clear a Jordan Lussey corner and the goalkeeper also made a one-handed save to keep out Jones’ header from a Michael Weeks cross.
Southport have struggled to create chances this season and Burr’s team were made to pay for their failure to convert the openings they created four minutes after the re-start.
Receiving a pass from Hylton on the left edge of the Southport area, Cassidy opened the scoring by bending an excellent first-time shot across the dive of goalkeeper Norman and into the top right-hand corner.
As in the first half, Southport saw more of the ball after the home team’s initial period of superiority and this time they took advantage.
Jamie Allen drew the Sandgrounders level on 70 minutes, firing home the loose ball after a scramble which had seen a shot from Allen deflected onto the crossbar before goalkeeper Maxted saved from Josh Thompson.
But having found a way back into the match, Southport were unable keep hold of their lifeline.
No sooner had they been introduced than three Guiseley substitutes combined as the home team regained the lead on 82 minutes.
Nicky Clee played in Adam Boyes, whose left-wing cross was converted by a header from Rankine which went in off the post.
Rankine was denied a second goal minutes later as goalkeeper Norman made a low penalty save after Thompson had tripped Will Hatfield.
Southport (5-3-2): Norman, Higgins, White, Howe, Thompson, Ashton, Lussey, Weeks, Ferguson (Hynes 74), Allen, A Jones.
Subs not used: Gray, Cofie, Moseley, Caton.
Guiseley (4-3-3): Maxted, Brown, Lawlor, R Atkinson, Lowe, Hatfield, Walton, Purver, Preston (Clee 78), Cassidy (Boyes 81), Hylton (Rankine 81).
Subs not used: D Atkinson, Palmer.
Referee: Martin Coy
Report by Alan Jones