MATCH REPORT | FC United of Manchester 1-1 Southport

MATCH REPORT | FC United of Manchester 1-1 Southport

Devarn Green scored with nine minutes remaining to earn Southport a draw at FC United of Manchester.

Having let points slip during the closing stages of recent games, this was the Sandgrounders’ turn to score late, but they still left Broadhurst Park with a sense of what might have been.

By the time Green earned the visitors a share of the spoils in the closing stages, they had already missed a series of chances, including a first-half penalty, meaning that a draw was the least they felt they deserved.

On another day, Southport could certainly have made things easier for themselves, the sight of Jason Gilchrist sending his penalty against the base of a post summing up what has been a frustrating start to the season for the Sandgrounders, but in the end they were grateful for a point.

This was an important game for reasons either team would have wanted. With just one win each, they occupied two of the bottom three places in the Vanarama National League North at kick-off and a draw does little for either side in their attempts to kick-start their campaign.

As manager Liam Watson reflected afterwards, the fact that his players were able to recover from the frustrations endured earlier in the game was a reason for encouragement.

Southport continued their recent progress defensively, the return of Dean Winnard to the team at right-back bringing increased solidity to what now looks like a resolute back four, and Green’s equaliser extends their current run to only one defeat in five games.

There have been signs of improvement during that run and the task now for the Sandgrounders is to translate those points into wins.

The game looked to be following a frustratingly familiar pattern for Southport when Kurt Willoughby put the home team ahead on 35 minutes, scoring with a low curling shot after Michael Jones had dispossessed David Morgan before releasing Lewis Thompson, who then played the ball inside for Willoughby to pounce.

In truth, the Sandgrounders should already have been in front, as Gilchrist was denied by the woodwork from the spot before Dion Charles, the source of Southport’s biggest danger for much of the afternoon, cut in from his position on the right before sending a shot wide.

Once behind, the visitors went close again through Charles, while Jack Sampson should have done better instead of placing the ball over when through on goal and the striker found himself in a similar position shortly after the re-start but lacked the conviction needed to get a shot away.

With that, the Sandgrounders’ best chance of finding a route back into the contest appeared to have gone but they deserve credit for keeping going.

Green was summoned from the bench midway through the second half, taking a position on the right as Charles was pushed into a central position alongside Sampson.

And the substitution paid dividends in the closing stages, Green finding the space inside the area to score with a header after a long throw-in from Reagan Ogle, who continues to impress with another stead performance, had been touched on by Sampson.

Southport felt that their return could have been greater but in the end they were grateful for the point.


FC United of Manchester (3-5-2): Carnell, Baird, Lynch (Banister 72), O’Halloran, Tattum, Kay, Jones, Donohue, Thompson, Mansell (Litchfield 85), Willoughby.
Subs not used: Logan, Crawford, Dickinson.
Goal: Willoughby 35

Southport (4-4-2): Hanford, Winnard, Langley, Astles, Ogle, Charles, Morgan, Lynch, Bauress, Sampson, Gilchrist (Green 67).
Subs not used: Osborne, Mueller, Priestley, Richards.
Goal: Green 81

Attendance: 1,967

Referee: Andrew Kitchen

Report by Alan Jones

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