REPORT | First Win

Southport secured their first Vanarama National League North victory of the season with a 1-0 win over Chorley.

A first half-free kick from Dylan Vassallo, which was slotted through the Magpies wall was all that separated the two teams.

Liam Watson’s side needed to work hard in defence to earn the three points and condemn Chorley to their third league defeat in a row.

The Port started off brightly as Niall Watson came close with an effort inside the box, before the ball nearly found its way in from the resulting corner only for it to trickle wide of the right post.

Chorley also had an opening of their own, with a beautifully struck Oliver Shenton volley rattling the crossbar as both sides looked to gain an early lead.

Reilly also had an effort for The Magpies which called Dan Hanford into action for the first time as he parried down to his right before gathering the ball to stop the rebound.

The main threat for Chorley appeared to be Shenton as the attacker came close again, this time curling a great effort just wide of the post.

Another chance came Southport’s way just before the twenty-minute mark after Lewis Baines slipped in his own box, fortunately for the visitors Jack Sampson could not find the target with his header from David Morgan’s cross.

Down the other end Hanford nearly found himself in trouble as he failed to punch the ball clear after coming off his line needing his defence to stay strong to block Mike Calveley’s attempt out for a corner.

The only goal of the game came in the 27th minute as Dylan Vassallo slotted in a free kick on the edge of the box which was awarded after a foul on David Morgan.

Chorley nearly equalised with a free kick of their own just before the break but Hanford got across to stop Sam Walker’s effort.

Meanwhile the Port nearly doubled their lead but Adam Anson couldn’t keep his header down to strengthen his side’s half time advantage.

After the break, Watson’s side needed to work hard to remain ahead with Chorley upping their attacking intensity.

Elliot Newby came close just before the hour mark but saw his attempt blocked wide as the Southport defence remained firm.

Moments later, Hanford needed to make a wonderful save to deny Calveley with his strike in the box looking destined to cross the line.

An equaliser continued to evade the visitors as Andy Halls saw his glancing header go wide of the back post.

Marcus Carver had a good opportunity to seal the Southport victory but slotted his attempt off target after finding space to run through.

Down the other end, despite finding space in the box, Shenton failed to control a first time shot which perhaps could have been their moment to equalise.

Another chance also came The Sandgrounder’s way to secure the win as Connor Woods whipped an excellent cross into the box but George Newell was unable to get his header past Matt Urwin.

Up until the final minute The Magpies continued to battle with Sewa Marah slotting the ball wide and Joe Rodwell-Grant shooting straight into the keepers hands.

With Chorley unable to take their chances Southport held on to see out a 1-0 win.

Southport FC: Dan Hanford, Matty Challoner, Dean Winnard, Charlie Oliver, Adam Anson, Dylan Vassallo, Russell Benjamin, David Morgan, Marcus Carver (71’), Jack Sampson, Niall Watson (60’).

Substitutes: Tony McMillan, Jack Bainbridge, George Newell (60’), Mo Ali, Connor Woods(71’).

Goals: Vassallo (27’)

Chorley FC: Matt Urwin, Andy Halls, Scott Leather, Harvey Smith (60’), Lewis Baines, Sam Walker (79’), Arlen Birch (79’), Mike Calveley, Oliver Shenton, Elliot Newby, Lewis Reilly.

Substitutes: Joe Rodwell-Grant (79’), Sewa Marah (79’), Jack Baxter, Tyler Garrat (60’), Oliver Putnam.

Referee: Richard Aspinall.   Assistants: Simon Kells, Darren Brown.

Written by Amos Wynn

Match Photos HERE

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