MATCH REPORT | Lincoln City 4 – 0 Southport
It was another afternoon to forget for Southport at Sincil Bank as they suffered their fourth heavy defeat of the season at the hands of Lincoln City.
Jonny Margetts, who spent the latter part of last season on loan at the Merseyrail Community Stadium, hit a first-half hat-trick on his way to scoring four, as the travelling fans were left to watch what is becoming a disappointingly familiar story.
Southport have conceded goals at an alarming rate during the first month of the season and here Lincoln were the latest team benefit from the Sandgrounders’ soft centre.
Manager Andy Bishop was critical of his team after the midweek loss at Macclesfield Town and the manner of this defeat will only heighten his concerns as Southport were comprehensively outplayed.
The Sandgrounders offered no resistance against a strong Lincoln team and they left the pitch knowing that the damage could have been even greater.
Having been cut apart at will during their match at Macclesfield, Southport made two changes in an attempt to give themselves greater discipline.
The Sandgrounders were fighting a two-goal deficit inside the opening nine minutes at Moss Rose, and while they appeared to have started this match with a more solid look, their initial improvement was undermined by a goalkeeping error.
On 16 minutes, Tyrell Belford came racing off his line but failed to connect with a high free-kick from Terry Hawkridge, leaving Margetts with the simple task of directing a free header into the open goal.
With their confidence clearly shot, the visitors proceeded to collapse again, as Harry Anderson, cutting in from the right, steered a low shot wide, while Sam Habergham weaved his way into the area before guiding a diagonal effort just past the far post.
Margetts increased the home team’s lead on the half-hour, taking a well-weighted pass from Adam Marriott in his stride as the Southport defence were caught cold, before he rounded goalkeeper Belford and rolled the ball home.
Southport’s one moment of note saw Andrai Jones shoot wide from 20 yards after an effort from Jamie Allen had been blocked by Habergham.
But the Sandgrounders were always facing an uphill struggle and the size of their task became greater when Ashley Grimes was shown a straight red card for appearing to kick out at Alex Woodyard after conceding a foul.
Goalkeeper Belford used his feet to keep out Nathan Arnold’s low shot after Marriott had again prised open the Southport defence, with Anderson sending the loose ball into the side-netting.
And a truly miserable first-half was completed in stoppage time, Margetts wrapping up his hat-trick by making the most of the space given to him on the edge of the area to guide a shot into the top left-hand corner after Anderson had cut in from the right.
Goalkeeper Belford made a fine save to keep out a penalty from Hawkridge on the hour but he could consider himself fortunate to still be on the pitch after impeding Margetts when the Lincoln striker was through on goal.
And after a second half which the home team played in cruise control, Belford was beaten from the spot 11 minutes from time, Joe Kearns fouling Andershot in the area, allowing Margetts to net another.
Southport (4-4-1-1): Belford, White, Thompson, O’Brien, Ashton, A Jones, Royle (Kearns 78), G Jones, Caton (Gray 62), Grimes, Allen (Almond 52).
Subs not used: Crump, Bishop.
Lincoln City (4-4-1-1): Farman, Beevers, Waterfall, Raggett (McCombe 62), Habergham, Anderson, Hawkridge, Woodyward, Arnold (Muldoon 46), Marriott (Power 62), Margetts.
Subs not used: Walker, Simmons.
Referee: Antony Coggins
Report by Alan Jones