MATCH REPORT | Southport Surge Into Final

MATCH REPORT | Southport Surge Into Final

Jordan Archer’s late header and Paddy Lacey’s brace was enough to send Southport into the Partners Foundation Challenge Trophy Final.

Marcus Cusani’s brilliant long-range effort brought the North West Counties side level early into the second half.

But an inspired performance from the January signing sealed a date with Colne Football Club, on April 29 at the University of Bolton Stadium.

The Yellows, due to restrictions were forced to play in White on the night, enjoyed inflicting early pressure on the lower league side.

On loan striker, Archer, latched onto Reagan Ogle’s teasing in swinging delivery but his volley flashed past the post.

Before forcing Martin Pearson into making an unorthodox left handed save after a defensive mix up.

Joshua Tibbetts marked his return to the starting line-up with a goal saving stop with his feet, from a tight angle after Joshua Nicholson weaved his way past captain Andrew Parry.

Lacey ensured that the Sandgrounders would go in at the break in front. The former Accrington Stanley man opened his Southport account with a cheeky flick to the surprise of the Ashton ‘keeper, from Morgan Homson-Smith’s corner.

Lacey’s opener versus Ashton Athletic. © Julia Urwin

It wasn’t long before Pearson was called into action, once more. Archer and Dion Charles combined, a quick shimmy from the Port forward created the space he needed to unleash his left-footed strike only to be denied by a strong right-hand from the Athletic shot-stopper.

Jay Foulds and Dougie Pitts’ side came out fighting following the restart as they looked for an avenue into the game.

Before long, they were level thanks to a stunning effort from Cusani. The forward burst through a gap occupied by two Port players and fired home off the crossbar.

However, seven minutes later, Port were back in front. Homson-Smith, again, the provider. His corner lead to a goal mouth scramble only to fall to Lacey who thundered home into the roof of the net.

After doubling the lead, Liam Watson’s side showed no sign of slowing down. Driving forward through Jordan Archer.

Southport’s number 10 on the night came close on a number of occasions, his best chance came when he and Devarn Green linked up, the woodwork was Ashton’s saviour after he latched onto the cross with his diving header.

Full-back Jordan Richards was next in forcing Pearson into action. After a marauding run onto a short Homson-Smith corner, Richards curled his effort, goalwards, destined for the far left corner he was only to be denied by the same right hand that halted Charles in the first half.

In the dying embers of the semi-final clash, Archer finally got his reward and wasn’t to be denied this time. He ghosted beyond his marker to nod home from Green’s cross at the far post past the diving Pearson.


Ashton Athletic: Pearson, Guffogg (80’ Smith), Howard, Cringle (c), Defreitas-Hansen, Wilson, Reid, Munro (59’ Bandell), Gilchrist, Cusani, Nicholson (85’ Raines).

Subs not used: Declan McLoughlin and Luke Holden.

Bookings: None.

Southport: Tibbetts, Richards, Ogle, Parry (C), Platt, Lacey (69’ Morgan), Green (82’ Astles), Davies, Charles (69’ Bauress), Archer, Homson-Smith.

Subs not used: Jack Sampson and Dan Hanford.

Bookings: 34’ Davies, 69’ Lacey.

Report by Stephen Killen.

See the goals HERE

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