MATCH REPORT | Southport 1 – 0 Chester – FA Cup

MATCH REPORT | Southport 1 – 0 Chester – FA Cup

Declan Weeks scores as Southport book their place in Emirates FA Cup first round

It is often said that the form book goes out of the window in the Emirates FA Cup, and just when Southport needed something to kick-start their season, they were grateful to find that the old competition still has the capacity to produce a surprise.

Seven days after they hit rock bottom as defeat at Guiseley sent them tumbling to the foot of the Vanarama National League, the Sandgrounders belied their league position and recent run of results to claim a place in the first round with victory over Chester, their in-form local rivals.

Having managed only two league wins this season, any victory for Southport is important, but this result must have been particularly pleasing for manager Steve Burr, who was sacked by Chester in April and faced Jon McCarthy, his former assistant, in the opposition dugout.

Burr has not been afraid to ring the changes since taking charge of Southport last month and it was Declan Weeks, one of nine signings made since his arrival, who netted the winner with a deflected goal midway through the first half.

It was also typical of the FA Cup that goal-shy Southport, the second-lowest scorers in the National League, should become the first team to find a way through the Chester defence in 701 minutes of football.

In a scrappy first half, Southport were responsible for what enterprise there was and the deciding goal, which came on 33 minutes, was deserved.

Jordan Lussey played the ball inside to Weeks, whose shot from 20 yards was sent skidding into the Chester goal via a deflection off Liam Nolan.

Despite their struggle for goals this season, it was the home team who had settled the quicker, Jamie Allen getting in behind Theo Vassell, only to be denied by Liam Roberts, the advancing goalkeeper.

Allen cleared the crossbar after a smart turn took him past Ryan Astles, while goalkeeper Roberts also saved Callum Howe’s header from a Neil Ashton free-kick.

Chester arrived on the back of six straight wins and seven clean sheets but the visitors, for their part, were disappointing and failed to make an impression in attack.

Southport goalkeeper Magnus Norman saved James Alabi’s header from a Johnny Hunt cross shortly after the re-start but Chester’s threat never materialised.

Nathan Ferguson missed a golden chance to have increased Southport’s lead, sending a weak shot into the grasp of Roberts after the goalkeeper had fumbled a cross under the challenge of Andrai Jones.

As the game became stretched, Chester substitute Owwaseun Akintunde was also culpable, placing a close-range effort straight at goalkeeper Norman from Alabi’s cross.

 

Southport (4-4-2): Norman, Higgins, Howe, Thompson, Ashton, Lussey, Weeks (G Jones 78), Nolan, Ferguson (Caton 74), Allen (Cofie 84), A Jones.
Subs not used: Crump, Grimes, Gray, White.

Chester (4-4-2): Roberts, Vassell, Hughes, Astles, Hunt (Horwarrd 82), Durell 5 (Chappell 29), Lloyd, George, Mahon, Richards (Akintunde 60), Alabi.
Subs not used: Killock, Evans, Waters, Joyce.

Attendance: 1,674

Referee: Wayne Barratt

Report by Alan Jones

Editor review

Summary

Declan Weeks scores as Southport book their place in Emirates FA Cup first round