MATCH REPORT | Spoils shared at Blakewell Meadows

MATCH REPORT | Spoils shared at Blakewell Meadows

Southport gained a crucial point in the race for the play-off positions after a hard-fought 0-0 draw with Darlington.

Liam Watson’s side were on cloud nine after dismantling league leaders Chorley FC 5-3, just seven days prior to their trip to the North East.

Both sides had their fair share of attempts in the first half, but it was the Quakers who had the best chance of the half through Romal Palmer. The Darlo playmaker, pounced on a loose ball, took one touch onto his right foot and bent his effort goal wards only to clip the roof of the net.

Port came back with chances however, Dion Charles was looking to add to his goal tally after his brace against Chorley, after temporarily switching to attack down the right flank, Charles dragged his right-footed strike failing to threaten Jonny Maddison in the Darlington goal.

He had a golden opportunity minutes later, when his half volley whistled past the right-hand post after running onto Jack Sampson’s flick on.

The injury to Sam Muggleton brought the first half to an abrupt close, after he received treatment for over 10 minutes following his collision with Marcus Wood.

Muggleton’s injury seemed to take the sting out of the game in the second half and Darlington’s woes continued after captain Terrence Galbraith collided with the Darlington ‘keeper.

Both teams pushed for the illusive opener, Southport saw a number of penalty claims waved away from Aaron Bannister.

With one defeat in their last four home games, Darlington thought they were going to extend that run when Palmer’s dangerous free-kick looked goal-bound, only to be denied by a fine finger-tipped save from Dan Hanford.

As the clock ticked down, Port pushed on. Their best two chances coming in the dying embers of the game. Jason Gilchrist pounced on a defensive mistake but saw his fierce effort, from close range, deflect over the bar.

Before his replacement, Jordan Archer, in the last minutes of the game, latched onto Sampson’s flick on, his first touch was perfect as he edged one-on-one with Maddison but failed to trouble the Darlo shot-stopper.

The stalemate means Southport are within seven points of the play-off places, they travel to promotion-chasing Stockport County on Tuesday, who have just set a post-war record for number of games unbeaten.

Referee: Aaron Bannister
Attendance: 1,462

Darlington: Maddison, Trotman, Muggleton (45’ O’Hanlon), Smith, Hughes, Galbraith (57’ Saunders), Elliott, Palmer, Ainge, Thompson, Nicholson (76’ Kneesaw).
Subs not used: Wheatley, Hall.
Bookings: None.

Southport: Hanford, Platt, Parry, Edwards, Astles, Morgan (c), Green (73’ Homson-Smith), Wood, Gilchrist (76’ Archer), Sampson, Charles.
Subs not used: Tibbetts, Richards, Lacey.
Bookings: 42′ Parry, 60′ Platt, 53′ Charles.

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