MATCH REPORT | Southport 1 – 2 Wealdstone – Buildbase FA Trophy
The most consistent thing about Southport at the moment is probably their inconsistency.
Having started the calendar year by picking up an important win in dramatic fashion against Wrexham, Steve Burr’s team were beaten convincingly at Aldershot Town.
Victory against Barrow in midweek was one the most impressive results of the Sandgrounders’ season so far, yet four days later they found themselves on the receiving end of an upset in the Buildbase FA Trophy.
Ricky Wellard’s superb 72nd-minute winner saw Wealdstone, from the Vanarama National League South, deservedly make progress, as Southport exited the competition at the second round in hugely disappointing circumstances.
Trailing at half-time, the Sandgrounders equalised at the start of the second period thanks to a first goal for recent signing Jake Wright, on loan from Sheffield United, but even then Burr’s team never looked settled in the match.
A frustrating afternoon for Southport was compounded by a suspected serious knee injury sustained by captain Josh Thompson, who left the pitch on a stretcher midway through the second half.
Danny Green gave Wealdstone a deserved lead four minutes before the interval, Wellard showing good footwork on the right side of the area before hanging up a cross to the far post, where Green scored with a free header.
Winners of the FA Trophy in 1985, Wealdstone put in a high-energy performance in the first half and, with goalscoring chances at a premium, Wellard was always the player most likely to make something happen.
He was again responsible fashioning a chance for Green, whose close-range shot inside a crowded penalty area was blocked on the goal-line by Liam Nolan.
Southport equalised eight minutes after the interval, Wright dispatching a clinical finish after a right-wing cross from Ryan Higgins had been touched down by Andrai Jones.
At that stage, the home crowd would have expected their team to take control but the Sandgrounders were unable to make an impact on the match and struggled for ideas against a resolute Wealdstone defence.
Nolan should have done better instead of placing a shot disappointingly wide when through on goal but Wealdstone always looked the more composed side and continued to see most of the play.
Ciaron Benyon missed a gilt-edged chance for the visitors when he sent a free header wide of a gaping goal from Wellard’s centre.
And it was Wellard who secured the win for Wealdstone in fine style, bringing the ball forward from the half-way line before bending a shot past the dive of goalkeeper Magnus Norman from 30 yards.
Southport (4-3-2-1): Norman, R Higgins, Aaron Jones, Thompson (White 63), Ashton, Nolan, Weeks (McKeown 46), Hynes, Wright, McKenna, Andrai Jones.
Subs not used: Priestley, Grimes, Onovwigun.
Wealdstone (4-2-3-1): North, Sheckleford, Goulding, Oshodi, Brown, Godfrey, Cox, Wellard (Mavica 87), Whichelow (Wright 77), Green (Koroma 90), Benyon.
Subs not used: Hamblin, McGleish.
Referee: Karl Evans
By Alan Jones