MATCH REPORT | Southport 0-0 Darlington

MATCH REPORT | Southport 0-0 Darlington

The over-riding emotion was one of frustration as the Southport players made their way off the pitch having been held to a goalless draw by Darlington.

The Sandgrounders’ current run of one defeat from six games points to the improvements made after a tough start to the season, but they must now be wondering what more can be done in order to transfer draws into wins.

Despite creating a catalogue of chances, this tuned out to be a third draw in four games for Southport on an afternoon when they did everything other than score.

No matter what they tried, there was to be no way through for Liam Watson’s team, who were twice denied by the woodwork and saw a penalty saved as their search for a second win of the season somehow continues.

The obvious disappointment aside, there were reasons to be optimistic for Southport, not least the balance shown in an attacking sense which led to what was probably their most cohesive performance of the season so far.

In Dion Charles, who began the game as the partner for Jack Sampson up front, the Sandgrounders had the game’s brightest attacker and if anyone was going to find a route to goal it always seemed likely him.

With Brad Bauress, making his second start of the season, and Devarn Green occupying the wide areas, Southport were able to stretch the visitors, who were grateful to goalkeeper Jonny Maddison, and the goal frame, for keeping the Sandgrounders out.

Having conceded goals at a high rate during the opening weeks, a first clean sheet of the season was testament to a sound defensive showing. Southport have been bolstered by the experience of Dean Winnard in their past two games, playing alongside the dominant Ryan Astles here, while Reagan Ogle continues to show a maturity that belies his 19 years.

The Sandgrounders’ most presentable chance came in the 57th minutes when Bauress was denied from 12 yards by goalkeeper Maddison.

Maddison dived high to his left to claw away the penalty from Bauress, whose free-kick into the Darlington area led to defender Jon Burn being penalised for hauling down Sampson.

It was one of a number of good saves made by Maddison, as Southport tried in vain to find the goal what would surely have given them the win they desperately crave.

Bauress was foiled by a post in the fifth minute as the Sandgrounders started with gusto before a shot from Charles was later stopped on the goal-line by Burn.

Darlington saw more of the play in the lead-up to half-time but the home team had a monopoly on the chances and the second half was almost one-way traffic.

Liam Hughes made a last-ditch block to deny Green and the Southport attacker shot wide from the rebound as the home team pressed forward.

Jordan Richards was also denied by the woodwork, crashing a 25-yard free-kick against the angle of post and bar after the penalty save from Maddison, who also made late stops to frustrate Jason Gilchrist, Charles and ultimately the Southport team.


Southport (4-4-2): Hanford, Richards, Winnard, Astles, Ogle, Green (Osborne 89), Morgan, Lynch, Bauress (Gilchrist 74), Sampson, Charles.
Subs not used: Mueller, Hollins, Phenix.

Darlington (4-2-3-1): Maddison, Trorman, J Burn, Hughes, O’Hanlon, Elliott, Glover, Thompson, Nicholson, Henshall (Saunders 65), Styche.
Subs not used: Stansfield, A Burn, Galbraith, Morrison.

Attendance: 1,019

Referee: Scott Simpson

Report by Alan Jones

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