MATCH REPORT | Southport 2-2 Bradford P.A

MATCH REPORT | Southport 2-2 Bradford P.A

A second half Southport comeback earned them an important point after Bradford Park Avenue rushed into a comfortable first half lead.

Jake Beesley’s first half shed a bit of light between the two teams but Jordan Archer’s volley and Jason Gilchrist’s 90th minute equaliser shared the spoils at the Merseyrail Community Stadium.

The draw means that Port drop to 15th and Bradford Park Avenue stay fourth level on points with third-placed Spennymoor.

Southport’s slow start was soon capitalised on by the confident visitors, the Avenue drew first blood with Beesley stabbing home from their long throw.

With the play-off semi-final places in their sights, Mark Bower’s side continued to press with top goal scorer, Beesley, breaking free of the Port back-line, he rounded ‘keeper Dan Hanford but Matthew Platt on the line cleared the danger.

Shortly after the half hour mark, Bradford doubled their lead. Beesley pounced on Southport’s mistake at the back, bearing down one-on-one with Hanford again, this time after rounding him he beat the man on the line, blasting past Ryan Astles into the top-left corner.

Dion Charles was the main attacking avenue for the Sand grounders in the first half with the best chance falling to the forward on the stroke of half-time but he blazed his effort over the bar.

Liam Watson’s side had it all to do in the second half after a disappointing opening 45.

The Yellows looked rejuvenated upon the restart and five minutes into the second half they were clawed a goal back.

Jason Gilchrist’s equaliser vs Bradford PA © Julia Urwin

It took a moment of brilliance from Archer to fire Southport back into the game, flicking the ball over his head and volleying goal wards seeing his effort loop over Charlie Andrew in the Bradford goal.

Southport continued to press looking for the equaliser, Charles went close but it was an easy save for Andrew.

Their hard work nearly came undone in the dying embers of the game, another defensive mix-up set Beesley on his way chasing his hat-trick, Hanford was caught in no man’s land but he done enough, the striker rounded the goalkeeper but stumbled at the critical moment.

At the other end, the hosts continued to apply pressure and in stoppage time they were finally rewarded. Reagan Ogle’s long-throw was missed by Andrew, substitute Gilchrist at the back post initially hit the bar with his header but bundled the ball over the line at the second time of asking ensuring Southport gained a crucial point.

Southport: Hanford, Richards, Ogle, Platt, Astles, Morgan (C), Green, Wood (73′ Gilchrist), Charles, Archer, Bauress (65′ Morgan Homson-Smith).
Subs not used: Parry, Davies, Tibbetts.
Bookings: 17′ Richards, 83′ Morgan

Bradford PA: Andrew, Ross, Cleee, Nowakowski, Killock (C) (74′ East) , Havern, Knight, Branson, Beesley (90+ Toulson), Johnson, Spencer.
Subs not used: Dickinson, Lowe, Crichlow-Noble.
Bookings: 20′ Clee

Attendance: 949
Sponsors Man of the Match: Jordan Archer
Referee: Sam Mulhall
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