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  1. Published on: 21/04/2018 08:31 PMReported by: roving-eye
    By the end, there was an element of relief that Southport’s place in the Vanarama National League North had been secured for another season but it did not arrive in the way anyone would have wanted.

    An unlikely sequence of results would have been needed for the Sandgrounders’ status to be properly threatened, but having finished their final home game of the campaign with seventh successive loss, they were grateful for scorelines elsewhere.

    At one stage of the afternoon, with teams below them in the table winning, it looked as though the matter would not be resolved until the closing week of the season, but ultimately Southport have stumbled across the finish line.

    There have been mitigating factors in recent weeks: injuries have left the squad stretched, a fixture backlog meant this was the fourth fixture for Kevin Davies’ team in eight days and that run has included games against the division’s top three teams.

    In the end, however, Southport’s season has been rescued by the run of eight wins from ten games between January and March, without which the conclusion could have been much trickier.

    As in their game against Salford City, the newly-crowned champions, on Tuesday night, there was not a great deal between the Sandgrounders and third-placed Brackley Town but they key moments went against them.

    Southport were enjoying their most productive period of the game when Salford plundered the only goal and the same thing happened here.

    Dion Charles had three chances midway through the second half and Jason Gichrist, usually the epitome of composure in front of goal, fluffed his lines when one-on-one with goalkeeper Danny Lewis.

    As a long ball forward was flicked on by Dan Cockerline, a slip from defender Gareth Dean left Gikchrist through on goal, only for the striker to send his shot straight at Lewis.

    Two months ago, there is little doubt that Gichrist, who is still in line to end the season as the league’s leading marksman, would have tucked the ball away without hesitation but the miss is typical of Southport’s current struggles.

    The deciding goal arrived with 15 minutes remaining, Adam Williams scoring with a low diagonal finish from the right side of the penalty area as he drilled the ball past the goalkeeper Mark Halstead after a run and pass from Matt Lowe.

    The most notable chance of a tepid first half saw the Southport goalkeeper produce a fine save to touch over an angled shot from Ellis Myles after Lee Ndlovu had taken the ball forward before releasing James Armson.

    There was more urgency to the Sandgrounders’ play after the interval. The chance for Gichrist came on 58 minutes and Charles later received a pass from Dan Cockerline before advancing down the right and into the penalty area, but he opted to shoot, firing the ball over the bar, when there were other choices in the centre of the box.

    David Morgan was denied by goalkeeper Lewis and a free-kick from Elliot Osborne was deflected over but losing has become a habit for Southport as the season approaches its conclusion. They now have two games remaining to reverse the current trend.



    Southport (4-3-3): Halstead, Richards, Marx, Howson, Smith, Morgan, Osborne, Lynch, Gilchrist (Hannah 88), Charles (Dawson 66), Cockerline.
    Subs not used: Worsnop, Priestley, Doyle.

    Brackley Town (4-3-1-2): Lewis, Myles (Lowe 57), Dean, Graham, Franklin, Byrne, A Walker, J Walker, Armson, Williams (Brown 90), Ndlouv (Iaciofano 70).
    Subs not used: Streete, Nicholson.

    Referee: Alex Kirkley

    Attendance: 1,004

    Report by Alan Jones
    Southport 0-1 Brackley Town - Att 1004 (34)
    0' - SFC - Kick Off
    46' - BTFC - Kick Off
    47' - SFC - Yellow Card - David Morgan
    57' - BTFC - Sub OFF Ellis Myles ON Matt Lowe
    66' - SFC - Sub OFF Dion Charles ON Adam Dawson
    70' - BTFC - Sub OFF Lee Ndlovu ON Joe Iaciofano
    75' - BTFC - GOAL - Aaron Williams
    88' - SFC - Sub OFF Jason Gilchrist ON Ross Hannah
    90' - BTFC - Sub OFF Aaron Williams ON Andy Brown
       

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  3. katycolin says:22/04/2018 10:58 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by roving-eye View Post
    Southports place in the National League North for next season is confirmed after other results went their way. Despite a 1-0 defeat to Brackley and Southport sinking to 19th place in the league the other teams cannot catch them.

    Southport 0-1 Brackley Town - Att 1004 (34)
    0' - SFC - Kick Off
    46' - BTFC - Kick Off
    47' - SFC - Yellow Card - David Morgan
    57' - BTFC - Sub OFF Ellis Myles ON Matt Lowe
    66' - SFC - Sub OFF Dion Charles ON Adam Dawson
    70' - BTFC - Sub OFF Lee Ndlovu ON Joe Iaciofano
    75' - BTFC - GOAL - Aaron Williams
    88' - SFC - Sub OFF Jason Gilchrist ON Ross Hannah
    90' - BTFC - Sub OFF Aaron Williams ON Andy Brown
    should not have to rely on other teams losing to ensure we stay up


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