MATCH REPORT | Southport 0 – 1 Nuneaton Town

MATCH REPORT | Southport 0 – 1 Nuneaton Town

By Kevin Davies’ own admission, there were no excuses.

This was a dreary, disjoined and desperately disappointing showing from Southport, resulting in a third successive defeat and an afternoon they will want to quickly forget.

As the first of seven games to be played in the final four weeks of the season, the Sandgrounders will have wanted to make a good start to a busy run of fixtures but, as Davies reflected afterwards, they never got going against Nuneaton Town.

Daniel Nti scored the only goal midway through the first half and despite having more than an hour to summon a response, there was precious little to suggest that Southport were capable of finding a way back.

No excuses but perhaps there were contributing factors. Without the injured Jack Sampson and captain David Lynch, serving a one-match suspension, the Sandgrounders failed to strike any sort of rhythm and the absence of two key players was sorely felt.

Add in the fact that David Morgan and Graham Kelly were both returning from recent lay-offs, along with the disruption to a winning team caused by enforced changes in recent games, and that may go some way to explaining a performance devoid of cohesion and conviction.

In truth, it was a contest that never rose above the level of mundane. Although Ashley Chambers saw his cross drift onto the Southport crossbar five minutes from time, Nti’s goal was the only notable shot on target mustered by either team in a game that was instantly forgettable.

The deciding moment came on 26 minutes and was typical of the scrappy nature of the game, Nti scoring with a deflected shot after receiving a ball from Luthur Wildin on the right before turning inside the area.

Southport’s likeliest route to goal was through Dion Charles. After only four minutes, he left Niall Heaton trailing in his wake before sending a low shot marginally wide with goalkeeper Ross Etheridge rooted to the spot. Charles started briskly, but for the Sandgrounders, that moment was as good as it would get.

Etheridge got a touch to an angled effort from Charles, who displayed impressive footwork again on the by-line before cutting inside to create the space for a shot. From then on, the Nuneaton goalkeeper was reduced to the role of spectator.

Southport’s initial response to falling behind had been encouraging as they worked themselves into some promising areas, but despite sending a number of crosses into the box they failed to capitalise and their threat quickly evaporated.

Nuneaton kept a good shape to protect their lead but it was never necessary for the visitors to exert themselves with Southport continuing to labour.

As players struggled to find their stride and passes regularly went astray, it seemed impossible for the home team to build any momentum.

Charles shot over from 25 yards after picking up a loose ball, while Ross Hannah sent the ball into the side-netting after a sweeping cross to the far post from Alex Whittle, his fellow substitute, but the game had finished before Southport got started.

 

Southport (4-4-2): Worsnop, Richards, Howson, Priestley, Kelly, Smith (Hannah 58), Morgan (Doyle 90), Osborne, Dawson (Whittle 79), Charles, Gilchrist.
Subs not used: Halstead, Marx.

Nuneaton Town (4-3-1-2): Etheridge, Wildin, Langmead, Johnson, Heaton, Ferry, Beswick, Elliot (Daniels 89), Green (Mitchell 54), Nti, Chambers.
Subs not used: Lyness, Dielsa, Nabi.

Attendance: 814

Referee: Ben Speedie

Report by Alan Jones

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