PREVIEW | Playing The Poppies

PREVIEW | Playing The Poppies

Southport will hope to bounce back from the defeat against Alfreton Town on Monday when they take on Kettering Town at the Pure Stadium this weekend.

The 2-0 Bank Holiday loss leaves the Port with much to ponder as they look to return to their solid form in the opening four games of the season.

Saturday’s opponents, Kettering, have experienced a difficult start to life in the Vanarama National League North, and currently sit in 20th place with only one win.

That victory came on the opening day of the campaign, beating AFC Telford United 2-1 at Latimer Park.

After the loss of last season’s top scorer, Rhys Hoenes, the Poppies may have feared that scoring goals would be the problem; in fact it has been conceding them.

In seven games, Nicky Eaden’s side have conceded 17 goals, the second worst defensive record in the league.

Five of those goals came in Monday’s 5-3 defeat against Kidderminster Harriers, as they stumbled to their third defeat on the bounce.

Since the opening day victory, their only further point came in a 1-1 draw against Chester.

Kettering are back at this level after winning the Southern League Premier Division last season.

Liam Watson’s side will still have to be wary of what the Poppies can do going forward, having netted nine goals this season.

The Port will need to show the defensive strength that they demonstrated in the opening four games, where they did not concede.

It will also be a good game for Southport to discover their scoring form again, and break down the Poppies like other teams have managed this campaign.

After a busy and mixed first month of the season, Watson will want his side to head into September on a positive note.

Written by Amos Wynn

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