Devarn Green struck with eight minutes remaining to secure a place in the Emirates FA Cup first round for ten-man Southport.
Green sent the Sandgrounders through to complete a rollercoaster of an afternoon for Liam Watson’s team, who took an early lead through Brad Bauress before captain David Lynch was sent off at the start of the second half.
Southport’s progress owed much to a display of fortitude, and they will hope that Green’s late goal, securing a dramatic win and a coveted place in Monday’s draw, provides the platform to kick-start their season.
— Southport Football Club (@southport_fc) October 20, 2018
Just as they did against York City the previous weekend, Southport struck early but were unable to extend their lead. By the time Ashton equalised, the Sandgrounders were at a numerical disadvantage and the game looked to be turning.
Yet whereas seven days earlier, Southport were on the receiving end of a late twist, this was their time to profit.
As Regan Ogle launched a long throw into the centre of the penalty area from the left, the second ball was directed into the path of David Morgan at the far post. He did well to reach it under the challenge of Aaron Chalmers, nudging the ball into Green, who was able to swivel and steer home a shot from six yards.
By grinding out a victory in the face of adversity and with the scenes of celebration that followed, it is the type result that should give Southport the confidence needed to embark on a climb up the Vanarama National League North table.
The scorer of the winning goal, Green also made a significant contribution to Southport’s opener after three minutes. Having received a pass from Jack Sampson after good play from the striker winning possession on the touchline, Green veered into the area, showing excellent footwork to skip past a number of challenges.
Green’s initial shot was deflected into the path of Bauress, who pounced from close range.
Southport proceeded to control the play but they were dealt a setback when Lynch was shown a second yellow card for a foul on Sam Sheridan on 52 minutes.
It was Sheridan who drew the visitors level soon after, finding the bottom left-hand corner with a superb strike from 25 yards, but Southport were undeterred.
Bauress shot wide and Green was denied by goalkeeper Luke Pilling after being released by the excellent Morgan.
At the stage, it was anyone’s game, as Matty Chadwick lifted an effort over the Southport crossbar and Chalmers broke forward before sliding an angled shot narrowly wide, but this time it was Southport who had the final say.
Southport (4-4-2): Hanford, Richards, Winnard, Astles, Ogle, Green, Morgan, Lynch, Bauress, Charles (Homson-Smith 76), Sampson.
Subs not used: Tibbetts, Kinsella, Gilchrist, Mueller, Langley, Parry.
Goals: Bauress 3, Green 82.
Ashton United (4-4-2): Pilling, Lees, Chalmers, Baines, Regan, Chadwick, Sheridan (Hill 77), Sangha (McHale 83), Jackson, Ashworth, Tomsett.
Subs not used: Anghel, Hendes, Martin, Roberts, Howarth.
Goals: Sheridan 61.
Referee: Adam Williamson