MATCH REPORT | Southport 2 – 0 York City
Jamie Allen scored twice in the second half as Southport continued their improved form with a vital win over York City.
Having moved off the foot of the Vanarama National League at the weekend, only goal-difference now separates the Sandgrounders from safety after another hugely impressive performance saw them register their third league victory of the season.
On Saturday, Steve Burr’s team were left frustrated after being unable to convert their dominance into maximum points against Sutton United, but this time they got their reward.
The make-up of the Port team has changed significantly since the appointment of Burr as manager a month ago and his new-look team is now starting to bear fruit.
The Sandgrounders again created a glut of chances and the margin of victory should have been greater.
The recent improvement in Southport’s level of performance was reflected in their starting line-up, which remained unchanged for the third straight match.
The progress made by Burr’s team has seen a confidence gradually enter their play, and after creating chances at will against Sutton, the Sandgrounders continued in a similar vein from the off.
Having received a short corner from Jordan Lussey, Neil Ashton’s sweeping cross from the left was met by Callum Howe, whose downward header at the far post was kept out acrobatically by Kyle Letheren.
The York goalkeeper injured himself in the process and Scott Flinders, his replacement, had to be just as alert to save Nathan Ferguson’s turn and shot from 18 yards after a pass from Jamie Allen.
There is a good work ethic to Southport these days and one player who typifies that is Andrai Jones. He showed great persistence and good skill to twice beat Jack Higgins, but having seemingly done the hard work to find space inside the area, his shot lacked the power needed to test Flinders.
At that stage, the question was again whether the Sandgrounders would be able to make their superiority count.
York midfielder Clovis Kamdjo met a corner from Yan Klukowski with a header which was blocked by Kaine Felix, his own player, but that was the sum of York’s efforts.
The likeliest Southport player to get in behind the York defence was Allen, who generated real power as he struck a bouncing ball but goalkeeper Flinders saved well.
It was Allen who put the Sandgrounders in front three minutes after the interval, rolling home a penalty after Liam Nolan’s run into the box had been ended by Alex Whittle.
And Burr’s team should then have turned the screw. Jones lacked the composure needed with only Flinders to beat from a central position and the York goalkeeper touched over a pile-driver from Liam Nolan.
By now, Southport were utterly dominant and, as against Sutton, their creativity increased as the second half progressed. Flinders produced another excellent save to repel a volley from Allen, who later delivered a cross to the centre of the goal but Jones failed to connect with the target in front of him.
Flinders also turned a long-range shot from Higgins onto the post before Allen set the seal on the win in added time, steering home a low finish after being released by Liam Nolan.
Southport (4-4-2): Norman, Higgins, Howe, Thompson, Ashton, Lussey (Hynes 46), Weeks, Nolan, Ferguson (Caton 68), Allen, A Jones.
Subs not used: Grimes, Gray, Cofie.
York City (3-5-2): Letheren (Flinders 12), Clappison, Higgins (Rzonca 57), Fry, Heslop, Klukowski (Clarke 46), Kamdjo, Galbraith, Whittle, Felix, Fenwick.
Subs not used: Burton, Robinson.
Referee: Karl Evans
Report by Alan Jones