Alan Jones chats to Liam after the home defeat to Boston United.
Southport narrowly lost their first Vanarama National League North game of the season with a 0-1 defeat to Boston United at the Pure Stadium.
A first half Jordan Thewlis goal proved to be the difference between the two sides, as The Pilgrims kept their unbeaten league record intact.
Despite having a few half chances, The Port attack never troubled Boston’s keeper, with clear very few clear openings.
The first clear opportunity of the game came after nine minutes, as Marcus Carver held off pressure in the box and smashed a shot against the top of the cross bar.
Down the other end, the visitors were having chances of their own and took the lead after 13 minutes.
A tame effort from Jordan Thewlis on the edge of the box somehow crept under Dan Hanford’s hands at the front post as the attacker claimed his third league goal of the campaign.
The Pilgrims nearly bagged a second in similar fashion, but Andi Thanoj could not find the target.
As Southport looked for an equaliser, Niall Watson tried his luck from distance, shooting straight into the hands of Ross Fitzsimons in the Boston goal.
The striker, who came in as a late replacement for George Newell, had a chance again on the half hour mark, but glanced a header at the back post wide of the target.
Just before the break, Boston looked to double their lead, as Scott Duxbury made a meddling run through the defence, with the ball eventually coming to Paul Green, who couldn’t find a goal with a volley in the area.
At the start of the second half, Southport the came out the dressing room looking strong.
Carver came close to getting on the end of a strong Matthew Challoner cross but for the Pilgrims’ defence, whilst Jack Bainbridge was just unable to head home a corner at the back up.
A free kick from Jack Doyle wasn’t far off the mark either, as it headed just past the right post.
Down the other end, Boston were also looking to double their lead, and weren’t far off doing so through Andi Thanoj, as the midfielders curling effort edged wide.
Hanford was also called upon to make an excellent save, showing quick reactions to stop a powerful volley from Jordan Burrow.
The former York striker, who scored twice against the Port last season, was stopped again the keeper a few moments later, as a powerful header was easily collected.
Southport’s last opportunity to score an equaliser came in the 86th minute, as Carver’s shot on the turn trickled wide with Boston remaining firm.
The Pilgrims’ return to Lincolnshire with their fourth win in a row over Liam Watson’s side, who will aim to recover with a midweek trip to Kettering.
Southport FC: Dan Hanford, Matthew Challoner, Charlie Oliver (89’), Mo Ali, Jack Bainbridge, Dean Winnard (62’), Jack Doyle, Russell Benjamin, David Morgan, Niall Watson, Marcus Carver.
Substitutes: Tony McMillan, Dylan Vassallo (62’), Adam Anson (89’), Connor Woods.
Boston United: Ross Fitzsimons, Matt Tootle, Scott Duxbury, Tom Platt, Scott Garner, Luke Shiels, Andi Thanoj, Paul Green, Jordan Burrow, Jordan Thewlis (80’), Terry Hawkbridge.
Substitutes: Peter Crook, Tyrell, Connor Dimaio, Jordan Archer, Frazer Preston (80’).
Goals: Thewlis (13’)
Referee: M. Corlett Assistants: N. Evans, D. Burton
Written by Amos Wynn
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SOUTHPORT FOOTBALL CLUB thanks National Lottery players for their support
£10M emergency support package from The National Lottery gives lifeline
to National League clubs while fans are unable to attend.
Southport Football Club would like to thank National Lottery players for their support during these challenging times. We’re grateful to benefit from a share of the £10M of funding that has been announced for 66 National League clubs as part of a unique partnership between the National League and The National Lottery which will ensure that this season can continue.
Head of Operations, James Tedford said “This helps support the vital work we do in Southport and the surrounding area. We run sides from U7 through to U16. We put on Sports Camps and have sessions for Little Kickers and Wildcats on a Saturday morning as well as supporting our Walking Football Community project. We play a huge role in the area with hundreds of people coming into contact with the club’s programmes. Protecting this, and the work of the other National League clubs, is essential for communities across the country. I can’t thank National Lottery players enough for this lifeline.”
The partnership with The National Lottery will benefit all clubs in the fifth and six tiers of English football, so that they can continue to play behind closed doors after the return of fans was paused due to rising infection rates. As a thank you, National Lottery players, who make a difference every time they buy a ticket, will also get a range of benefits – including free tickets once stadia are safe to reopen, grassroots football opportunities and VIP experiences at Wembley Stadium.
Nigel Railton, Chief Executive of National Lottery operator Camelot, said: “The National Lottery and its players have been making a huge difference to communities across the country for the past 26 years, so we’re delighted to be working with the National League to protect these all-important clubs and help them continue the vital work they carry out locally. They do a fantastic job and I can’t wait to cheer on my local National League side when fans are allowed to return.”
Southport will be looking to continue their winning run as they welcome Boston United to The Pure Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Last time out, Liam Watson’s side bagged a 0-3 victory over Blyth Spartans at Croft Park, with goals coming from George Newell, Dylan Vassallo and Marcus Carver.
With a 0-0 draw against Hereford and a 1-0 win over Chorley prior to that, The Port remain unbeaten in the Vanarama National League.
Saturday’s opponents, Boston, have won two of their three league games so far this season.
They started the season with a comprehensive 0-4 away victory against Leamington, with four different scorers.
Jordan Thewlis and Scott Garner were both on the scoresheet in their second match, which was a much tighter affair, but the Pilgrims still came away 3-2 winners.
They dropped points for the first time this campaign on Tuesday night, as a late Guiseley equaliser cancelled Terry Hawkbridge’s goal.
The man in charge:
Craig Elliot has been in charge of The Pilgrims since 2017.
He was given the role after achieving three promotions in four seasons with Barnsley based club, Shaw Lane.
After retiring early from his playing career, he has also been in charge of Glasshoughton Welfare and Ossett Town.
The Pilgrims have plenty of players who can cause a threat to The Port defence, as shown with the eight goals they have netted already in the league this season.
Thewlis will be looking to add more goals to his tally, whilst new signing, Jordan Burrow, will be aiming to build on the goal he scored against Telford.
The former York forward was at the double on his last trip to Haig Avenue, as the Minstermen came away with a 0-2 victory back in January.
Southport will be hoping to improve last season’s meetings with the Lincolnshire side.
The away trip to the Boston Community Stadium ended in a 2-0 defeat for Watson’s side.
Meanwhile, a Newell goal was nothing more than a consolation in a 1-3 loss in the reverse fixture at Haig Avenue.
This will be the toughest test for Liam Watson’s side so far, with Boston looking very strong.
With no wins against them in the last three meetings, The Port will need to be at their best to change their fortunes.
Written by Amos Wynn
Mo Ali believes that while Southport are operating with a small squad, the quality of the players in that team will be enough to help them through the upcoming schedule of fixtures.
Southport are set to play six league games in the next three weeks starting with a home game against Boston United on Saturday before the rearranged game against Kettering Town on 3 November.
Speaking after Saturday’s 3-0 win over Blyth Spartans, Ali said: “We’ve got great quality from the bench and I think in the squad anyone can come in and be quality at this level.
“Last week I had a little niggle so I didn’t play and Dean Winnard came in and made a masterclass performance and then this week I’m back in.
“We know there are teams at this level with much bigger squads than us but they will have some players who aren’t really ready for this level and won’t play much. Everyone in our team can come in and do a job.
“So we know we’ve got some busy weeks ahead of us but we aren’t concerned because the quality is there to carry on our good start.”
Southport head into Saturday’s fixture as the last team in the three National League divisions to have conceded a goal after AFC Fylde’s clean sheet streak was ended on Wednesday night.
Ali believes that the understanding the back three have developed is key to that: “I love working with the lads.
“We’ve got a really good understanding because we played so many games together during pre-season. Me, Charlie [Oliver] and Adam [Anson] have all been here since the very start of pre-season and Jack [Bainbridge] has come in a bit later but slotted straight in.
“We’ve still got a few bits and pieces to iron out. Pre-season was great but I think it’s a big step up to playing together in the league but once that’s all done I think we should be starting to get a good run together.”
Written by James Houghton
The club can confirm that an offer has been accepted from AFC Fylde for the transfer of Jack Sampson.
Joining Southport in 2017 after spending time with clubs including Accrington, Morecambe and Macclesfield, the striker proved to be an important addition to side.
After scoring nine times in his first year with The Port, it was his second season that proved to be the 27-year-old’s most productive campaign, bagging 16 goals in 33 games.
Sampson added another 11 goals to his Southport tally throughout 2019/20, bringing his total for the club in all games up to 36.
We as a club are aware of his ambition to pursue full time football, and accordingly do not wish to stand in his way in that regard.
We would like to wish Jack all the best in the future and thank him for everything he has done during his time with the club and look forward to welcoming him back to the Pure Stadium.
The 27-year-old will now link up with Jim Bentley’s side for the 2020/21 season.
Our Club Shop will be open between 10am and 2pm on Saturday when supporters will be able to collect Season Ticket & Membership Cards.
Anyone who is unable to collect can e-mail email@example.com to request postage.
The matchday programme, for those who have ordered a printed copy on either click & collect or through their annual subscription, will also be available for collection at this time.
Face coverings must be worn inside the shop at all times.
A massive thank you to Gareth Johnson and Neil Townley from Just Wings who have taken up the sponsorship of Jack Bainbridge’s change shirt.
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