PREVIEW | First Hurdle, Telford

PREVIEW | First Hurdle, Telford

Liam Watson’s men kick-off the new season with a visit to the New Bucks Head, as they take on AFC Telford United in the first game of the 2018/19 campaign.

The Sandgrounders rounded off a great pre-season with a 3-1 win over Bury, with a brace from Mike Phenix and another goal courtesy of Jack Sampson, earning victory against the EFL League 2 outfit.

Telford Pre-Season

Meanwhile Telford have endured a fair share of both victories and defeats as they prepare for the new campaign.

The Bucks started the summer in emphatic style beating Ellesmere Rangers 6-0, and then putting four past Market Drayton Town a few days later.

After easily strolling past their lower league Shropshire rivals, their first big test came against Championship giants, Aston Villa.

Since being beaten by Fulham in the play-off final, the Villans have suffered a turbulent summer with uncertainty across the club, from management to ownership.

Despite their difficulties, Villa was still able to earn a 3-0 victory against Telford.

In the following game the Telford manager, Gavin Cowan, saw his side suffer defeat again, this time losing 1-0 to Barwell.

United returned to winning ways when they took on National League side, Wrexham.

Two goals from new striker, Daniel Udoh and one from Shane Sutton, steered them to a 3-1 win against the Welsh club.

They failed to follow that up with another victory, suffering defeat once again, this time against League One side Shrewsbury, who edged their way to a 2-1 victory.

After a mixed pre-season, they ended on a high, earning a 1-0 win over Aberystwyth Town; another new signing, James McQuilkin, getting the winner.

Opposition Signings

McQuilkin joins from Kidderminster, alongside forward Andre Brown, and will play a huge role in how Cowan wants his team to play this season.

As well as that, the club have also welcomed new goalkeeper, Sheridan Martinez, from Solihull Moors and another striker, Darryl Knights, from Tamworth.

Former Wigan Athletic and Notts County player, Adam Dawson, is another new addition, joining on a free from Southport. A familiar face to those who are travelling to watch the club on Saturday.

The winger made 17 appearances last season for The Port after signing in December.

New Addition

Southport also welcome a flourish of new signings, the latest being left back Stefan Mueller who finalised his deal on Sunday.

The American, Mueller, will be amongst plenty of new faces looking to make their competitive debuts.

Last Season

In last year’s National League North, Telford and Southport finished next to each other, coming 14th and 15th respectively.

When the two met last season, it was Southport who came out on top. Whilst the first meeting ended in a 1-1 draw, with a stoppage time equaliser rescuing a point, when the two met at the Merseyrail Community Stadium it was The Port who raised their game and earned a 3-0 victory.

A freekick from Osborne, a bending effort into the top corner from Charles and a tap in for Sampson secured the three points.

Men In Charge

A big change from the last meeting will be the two men in the dugout, with both sides having new managers stepping into the fray heading into this season.

Whilst Liam Watson returns for a third permanent stint as Southport manager, Cowan will be stepping into the dugout for the first time in his career.

After serving the club as a player for past two seasons, as well as representing them between 2008-2010, Cowan has now got a whole new challenge to undertake after being considered the best man for the job to take over from Rob Edwards.

Both sides are entering this season in very similar circumstances. Both have new men at the helm. And both will want to improve on last year’s mid-table finishes and strive for better in the new campaign.

Ticketing

The game on Saturday has the following admission prices:

  • Adults – £13
  • Concession – £10
  • 16-19 – £5
  • U16 – £1

Away coach travel in partnership with Trust In Yellow is full, but you can secure your seat on the other trips in August by clicking here.

Written by Amos Wynn

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