MATCH REPORT | Southport 0 – 1 Guiseley
Manager Andy Preece said he was disappointed with the performance of his Southport players as they took a step closer to relegation.
The Sandgrounders sit ten points adrift of safety in the Vanarama National League with six games to play after defeat against fellow strugglers Guiseley.
A fine 72nd-minute strike from Kevan Hurst earned the visitors maximum points, pushing Southport nearer to the trap door.
In a scappy game, the winning goal represented a rare moment of quality, Hurst volleying home an angled finish after his corner was partially cleared, converting Guiseley’s mounting second-half pressure into maximum points.
For Southport, this was the 24th defeat of a hugely disappointing season.
Having failed to register a shot on target all game, the Sandgrounders slip back to the foot of the table, ten points adrift of safety with 85 goals conceded, and their seven-year stay in the National League is ending in sorry fashion.
The closest either team came during a first half of few clear chances was when Rory McKeown, the Southport wing-back, crashed a thumping 25-yard drive against the Guiseley crossbar.
Yet that was as good as it got for the Sandgrounders. Guiseley saw more of the play as the half went on, Jordan Preston placing a shot wide after tidily cutting in from the left before later bringing a solid save from goalkeeper Craig King.
It was the first in a series of excellent saves from King as Guiseley became more dominant, with Preston and Hurst, their wide players, providing the main source of danger.
Jim Stevenson missed a gilt-edged chance for Southport at the start of the second half, sending a free header over after arriving at the far post to connect with a deep right-wing cross from Ryan Higgins.
Since arriving on loan from Luton Town at the start of March, King has registered some impressive performances in the Southport goal, and without him here, the home team would have conceded earlier as Guiseley attacked with increased purpose.
King saved Hurst’s goal-bound shot from 25 yards before keeping out Will Hatfield’s close-range effort from a Preston cross and making a parrying save from James Wesolowski but the Southport goalkeeper was finally beaten.
Southport (3-5-2): King, R Higgins, White, J Higgins, Murray, McKeown, Stevenson (Hynes 66), Weeks (Allen 76), Nolan, Brodie (Jones 66), Almond.
Subs not used: Ashton, McKenna.
Guiseley (4-1-4-1): Maxted, Brown, Lawlor, Lowe, Williams, Walton, Preston (Boyes 85), Hatfield, Wesolowski (Purver 81), Hurst, Cassidy (Rankine 86).
Subs not used: Palmer, Asamoah.
Referee: Karl Evans
By Alan Jones