MATCH REPORT | Alfreton Town 3-1 Southport

MATCH REPORT | Alfreton Town 3-1 Southport

Southport conceded twice in the final 11 minutes as they were beaten by Alfreton Town just when it seemed they had put themselves in a position for a second comeback within three days.

When Elliot Osborne drew the Sandgrounders level on 76 minutes, a share of the points would have been deserved, yet having worked hard to draw themselves level, the visitors left the Impact Arena with nothing.

Southport had gone about the second half with good intent and, after picking themselves up from the disappointment of seeing a Jack Sampson saved while Ryan Astles directed a header onto a post, the improvements in their performance were clear.

As it was, parity lasted for only three minutes, as Tom Denton scored a decisive goal before Bobby Johnson added a late penalty to leave the visitors scratching their heads again.

A visit to Alfreton Town is always one of the toughest assignments in the Vanarama National League North and having developed a habit of conceding early goals, Southport could not have made a worse start than to be trailing within the opening six minutes.

As Tom Platt brought the ball forward from midfield, the visiting defence stood off, allowing the chance to open up, and his low drive from 25 yards squirmed through a busy penalty area into the goal.

As on Saturday against Ashton United, it took time for the Sandgrounders to recover from their initial setback.

The visitors were grateful to goalkeeper Dan Hanford for repelling a first-time shot from Johnson after a cross from the right by James Clifton, and the first half was largely one-way traffic.

Clifton, the Alfreton full-back, created a number of chances for the home team, teeing up Johnson for another chance that was saved by Hanford, who also smothered the danger from Richard Peniket after he had found a way in behind the Southport defence.

Clifton also combined with Peniket shortly before half-time, giving Denton the chance to shoot, but his effort was scraped away by the Ryan Astles, the covering defender.

The parallels to the draw against Ashton continued as the Sandgrounders, having spent much of the game to that point on the back foot, set about the second half with new purpose.

No sooner had a Jordan Richards free-kick been diverted against the woodwork by the head of Astles than Sampson, the stand-in captain, was foiled from the penalty spot Sam Ramsbottom, stretching low to his left after a foul on Billy Priestley.

Undeterred, the Sandgrounders continued to press forward, Dion Charles twice going close, including a brilliant bending shot that was flew narrowly wide at the end of a strong run in from the right, while chances also came the way of David Morgan, Sampson and Astles.

Southport looked to have completed another comeback when Osborne curled a free-kick into the Alfreton area, bypassing everyone and nestling inside the post.

Yet the reprieve as only temporary, Denton pouncing from close range after Callum Chettle had beaten Reagan Ogle on the right, before Johnson converted a contested late penalty to leave Southport frustrated again.


Alfreton Town: Ramsbottom, Clifton, Shiels, Gowling, Wilde, Hotte, Platt, Chettle, Johnson, Peniket, Denton.
Subs not used: Nicholson, Middleton, Bacon, Riley, Clackstone.
Goals: Platt 6, Denton, 79, Johnson (pen) 89

Southport: Hanford, Richards, Astles, Priestley, Ogle, Charles, Morgan, Osborne, Green (Gilchrist 70), Sampson, Phenix (Dobie 86).
Subs not used: Mueller, Langley, Bauress.
Goal: Osborne 76

Attendance: 546

Referee: Barry Lamb

Report by Alan Jones

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