MATCH REPORT | Nuneaton Town 3 – 0 Southport

MATCH REPORT | Nuneaton Town 3 – 0 Southport

The opposition may change but the story is becoming all too familiar for Southport.

Just when the Sandgrounders must have thought that results would start to improve before too long, Nuneaton Town became the latest team to benefit from their ailing run of form.

The downward spiral that began at the start of September against Stockport County now stands at five matches and there is little suggestion that things are about to improve.

When Southport took to the pitch at Edgeley Park, they occupied third place in the Vanarama National League North.

On Saturday, Alan Lewer’s team trudged back into the dressing room at Liberty Way having been beaten yet again, falling to 14th position and prompting some serious head scratching.

The goal-avalanche at Stockport has set in train a worrying trend. Now, every time Southport concede, their confidence palpably shatters, looking likely to let in more goals and never threatening one of their own.

Ashley Chambers could even afford to miss a penalty before firing in a hat-trick for Nuneaton, becoming the second player in consecutive league games to score three times against Southport.

As against Bradford Park Avenue in their previous match, the Sandgrounders had started reasonably well but they soon found themselves fighting a lost cause.

Admittedly, their task has hardly been helped by a lengthening injury list. Gary Roberts has shown his ability to control matches from midfield, but the fact that he was asked to cover in the centre of the defence deprived Southport of their best player in his most influential position.

Even when Southport had possession, rarely did they look like making an impression on the Nuneaton defence, as Lewer’s team cut an increasingly disjointed and directionless side.

Chambers put Nuneaton in front just after the half-hour, finding space inside the Southport area before his shot was deflected in.

Nuenaton had themselves managed only two wins from their opening 11 games, but Chambers should have given them an earlier lead, only to send a penalty way over the Southport crossbar after Roberts was judged to have handled the ball.

That aberration aside, Roberts was again the best player in a Southport team which started well but failed to capitalise on their early possession and promptly crumbled.

A shot from Dan Cockerline was cleared off the Nuneaton goal-line by Ryan Beswick, who recovered well to intervene but the Southport striker should have displayed more conviction when presented with such a chance.

Once ahead, Nuneaton could have scored again, Alex Henshall cutting in from the left before shooting wide while Brad Hickey sent an effort against a post.

It was Southport who were denied by the woodwork in the early stages of the second half, Nathan Lowe sending a dipping volley against the Nuneaton crossbar.

But any prospects of a Southport fightback were short-lived, as Chambers added his second from close range on 68 minutes to convert a low right-wing cross from Hickey and punish the lack of any challenge.

In losing their last five matches, the Sandgrounders have conceded 19 goals and scored only a solitary penalty in return.

Chambers completed his hat-trick two minutes from time, breaking free inside the Southport area to score with a low, angled finish as the Sandgrounders hit another low.


Nuneaton Town (4-4-2): Lyness, Trotman, Gascoigne, Heaton, Wildin, Henshall (Mills 74), Daniels (Elliott 69), Beswick, Nti, Chambers, Hickey.
Subs not used: Dielna, Taylor, Nicholson.

Southport (3-5-2): Halstead, Kpohomouh, Roberts, Smith, Jackson (Zama 85), White, Morgan, Lowe (Merrie 72), Jennings, Cockerline (Sang 63), Sampson.
Subs not used: Turner, Croft.

Attendance: 553

Referee: Thomas Kirk

Report by Alan Jones

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