MATCH REPORT | Southport 2 – 0 Forest Green Rovers

MATCH REPORT | Southport 2 – 0 Forest Green Rovers

As the first match after their relegation from the Vanarama National League was confirmed, many would have expected Southport to struggle against a Forest Green Rovers team with an outside chance of automatic promotion.

So for the Sandgrounders to come away with arguably their most comfortable win of the season will have come as a pleasant surprise, as Andy Preece’s side attempt to restore a degree of pride at the end of what has been a torrid campaign.

Relegation for Southport was confirmed on Friday with three matches to play, but here second-half goals from Robbie Cundy and Rory McKeown earned them a tenth win of the season.

WATCH – Highlights of Southport’s 2-0 victory over FGR

The Sandgrounders had the upper hand for almost the entire match, playing some controlled football and creating a number of chances as the game went on.

Admittedly, Forest Green’s performance reflected the likelihood that their focus is already on the end of season play-offs but Southport’s performance will have given their fans some relief.

After victory over the division’s third-placed team, the Sandgrounders will end their season with matches against Tranmere Rovers and Lincoln City, the top two.

Despite starting the game at opposite ends of the table, it was Southport who had the better of the play from the off.

The Sandgrounders saw plenty of the ball inside Forest Green territory, but the question was whether they would be able to get past the visiting defence and Manny Monthe, their towering centre half.

The home team had to be patient because, for all their possession in the first half, they managed only clear chance, which came at the end of a smart move. Neil Ashton released Jamie Allen, who cut in from the left wing and created an angle before sending a swerving shot just wide.

Forest Green, for their part, were disappointing. Sam Wedgbury’s close-range shot from a Charlie Cooper corner was saved at the far post by goalkeeper Chris Cheetham but that was the sum of their efforts.

Southport took the lead on 62 minutes, Cundy dispatching a cleanly-struck drive from 20 yards into the bottom left-hand corner after picking up the second ball from a Declan Weeks corner.

And the Sandgrounders extended their advantage nine minutes later, as Liam Nolan’s right-wing cross was steered home by McKeown.

McKeown almost added another shortly after, sending a shot against the base of a post. The rebound fell to Allen, who blazed the ball over from directly in front of the target, but Southport had already done enough to secure the win.

 

Southport (4-1-4-1): Cheetham, R Higgins, White, Cundy, Ashton, Weeks, Jones (Brodie 90), Stevenson, Nolan, McKeown, Allen (Myres 89).
Subs not used: Coly, Foulds, Monteiro.

Forest Green Rovers (3-4-1-2): Russell, Ellis, Monthe, Tilt (Mullings 68), Bennett, Wedgbury, Cooper (Bugiel 85), Wishart, Noble, Woolery (Marsh-Brown 68), Doidge.
Subs not used: Kelly, Robert.

Attendance: 844

Referee: Martin Coy

Report by Alan Jones

WATCH – Highlights of Southport’s 2-0 victory over FGR
AUDIO – Jonathan O’Byrne spoke to Andy Preece after Southport’s 2-0 victory over FGR