MATCH REPORT | Southport 3 – 0 Telford United

Since his appointment as the Southport manager, Kevin Davies has spoken about raising standards and that is something now evidenced in the record books.

By registering six consecutive wins at home, Davies’ players have achieved a feat not previously managed during the Sandgrounders’ 40 years in Non-League football and it bears testament to a remarkable transformation that continues at a rapid pace.

Southport’s current sequence at the Merseyrail Community Stadium began with victory against Chorley at the start of January and they have not looked back since, with the goals flowing for the Sandgrounders once again on Tuesday night.

The defeat of Chorley started a run that has now seen Davies’ team chalk up eight wins from ten outings, scoring three goals on seven occasions, including each of the past five games, which have all resulted in victory.

To see Southport seal the points with the swagger they did here was something to savour. Not only does this team possess the attacking menace that brought about three wonderful goals to inflict the downfall of Telford United, but having conceded only once in five games, there is also a balance and steel to their performances.

No player sums up the verve seen in recent games more than Dion Charles. Having developed a habit for creating goals since his arrival from Fleetwood Town in January, Charles is now writing his own name onto the scoresheet.

With a goal not too dissimilar to the one scored by Jason Gilchrist against Tamworth on Saturday, Charles capped a sublime performance by bringing the ball in from the left wing, shifting it onto his right foot and bending a shot beautifully past the reach of the outstretched Ben Wilson in the visiting goal.

That made it 2-0 to the Sandgrounders with 18 minutes to play and, for good measure, he also threw in an assist.

Again the danger came from the left, with Charles weaving his way from the wing to the penalty area, before feeding the ball into the centre of the goal, where Jack Sampson, who was outstanding on his return from an ankle injury, poked the ball home.

Telford finished the game with ten men after Amari Morgan-Smith was shown a straight red card for lunging in on Jordan Richards with a minute remaining but, as a contest, it was long since over.

The result lifts the Sandgrounders into eighth position in the Vanarama National League North and while sterner tests will follow – starting with a visit to fourth-placed York City this weekend – there is an unmistakable confidence about this team.

The Sandgrounders had to be patient, having been unable to find a way past a compact Telford team in the first half, but Elliot Osborne got the scoring underway three minutes after the re-start.

Finding the target with a peach of a free-kick, Osborne set the bar for the quality of goals that followed, curling the ball into the top right-hand corner with great precision from 25 yards.

Davies changed Southport’s shape to 4-4-2 during the early stages and, with David Morgan absent due to a hamstring strain picked up against Tamworth, Osborne was deployed in a deeper midfield role.

It allowed the former Fleetwood player to make a number of driving runs from the centre of the pitch and he assumed a prominent part in the win.

Charles was irrepressible, twice coming close twice within a matter of seconds during the first half only to see his header clawed away from underneath the bar by goalkeeper Wilson, who produced another good save from Osborne.

Yet there was to be no denying the Sandgrounders and, with the team in this sort of mood, they are likely to relish the challenge of continuing their current run.

 

Southport (4-2-3-1): Worsnop, Richards, Howson, Priestley, Kelly, Smith, Lynch, Charles (Dawson 79), Osborne (Doyle 90), Gilchrist, Sampson (Cockerline 85).
Subs not used: Halstead, Fagan.

Telford United (4-4-2): Wilson, Bignot, Smith, Sutton, Harris, Newby, Deeney, Royle (Marsden 69), McAtee (Richards 63), Morgan-Smith, Murphy (Dinanga 74).
Subs not used: White, Singh.

Attendance: 784

Referee: James Bell

Report by Alan Jones

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