MATCH REPORT | Chester 0-2 Southport – FA Trophy

Second-half goals from David Morgan and Jordan Archer saw Southport register a fifth straight away win to book their place in the FA Trophy first round.

The Sandgrounders struck twice in the space of three minutes shortly after half-time to see off Chester and set up a home tie against Solihull Moors, of the Vanarama National League, in the next round.

After a goalless draw in the original tie on Saturday, there was again little to choose between the teams during the first half, but Southport re-emerged from the break with renewed intent, showing a clinical side to their play before closing the game out with authority.

Morgan found the target in spectacular style from distance and Archer, formerly a Chester play, seized on a defensive lapse to give the visitors a comfortable lead which they never looked like relinquishing.

As on Saturday, there was little in terms of chances during the first half. Southport started well, forcing a succession of corners, but a route to goal was not always easy to come by.

Archer did well to release Devarn Green, who sent a shot wide, but it was Chester who played the more progressive football as half-time approached.

Dan Mooney’s deep corner from the right wing clipped the Southport crossbar, while Gary Roberts spotted the run of Anthony Dudley, who went for goal from a narrow angle and his shot was inches away from crossing the goal-line.

Yet Southport took control with two quick-fire goals after the re-start and from that point, there was no looking back.

Morgan’s form has been outstanding recently and his current level of performance was summed up on 52 minutes with a magnificent strike from 30 yards.

And the second from Archer quickly followed, intercepting an attempted back-pass from Gary Stopforth before slotting the ball past goalkeeper Grant Shenton.

Archer could have scored again in similar fashion, going for a first-time shot after latching onto a ball on the edge of the area but this time he was unable to get the connection needed to beat Shenton.

This was Southport’s fifth clean sheet in six matches and although the result was never in jeopardy, they needed goalkeeper Dan Hanford to be at his best to preserve another shut-out, denying Dean Smalley with the Chester substitute bearing down on goal.

There as more good news with the return to action of Andy Parry for the closing stages, providing further proof of the competition now building within the Southport squad.

With progress in another knock-out competition, the Sandgrounders have not lost in eight matches in all competitions and they will travel to Tranmere Rovers in the Emirates FA Cup this weekend with a spring in their step.

Chester (4-2-3-1): Shenton, Thompson, Livesey, Howson, Grand, Roberts, Stopforth, Jordan (Marsh-Hughes 66), Mooney (Mahon 66), Dawson (Smalley 66), Dudley.
Subs not used: King, Noble.

Southport (4-4-1-1): Hanford, Richards, Winnard, Astles, Ogle, Charles (Homson-Smith 76), Morgan, Wood, Bauress (Parry 76), Green (Mueller 87), Archer.
Subs not used: Tibbetts, Sampson.

Attendance: 654

Referee: James Bell

Report by Alan Jones

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